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  • Prachi Jhawar

Those Were The Days

Mr.Rupert was a 78-year-old man laying in the hospital bed taking his last few breaths with cries all around. He was holding his grandson’s hand and telling him about his youth. He said “I remember when I was young, I used to love fishing with my father. Every morning we would walk to the lake which was about 5 kilometres from our home. My father used to say that walking was the best exercise. Every morning we would reach there before sunrise. Then we used to sit in the grass nearby where my father used to light a fire using sticks, collect the mushrooms from the garden and give me my first nourishment of the day as I had lost my mother when I was barely 3 years old.

So yes, I remember my father was everything. When we would sit in our old wooden boat and start pedalling, we would witness the soft sunrise when the birds would be chirping and the sky would be a mixture of light yellow and orange. We would reach the middle of the lake where the depth must be around 2000m, and we would fish. Then when it was almost 9 or 10 a.m, we would return back home. I would bathe and then my father would drop me to my school on the way to going to work.

I would say that my father used to avoid all unneeded comforts. He believed in living a simple life. However, all necessary things were provided with. He worked for my secure childhood both materially and emotionally. After school, he would come to pick me up and then we would walk home. After reaching he would make me a lentil soup and take me to the fields. Over there he would make me sit in the grass to study while he worked. I have seen my father working day and night in the fields - growing crops with all his affection and love for the country. When the sky would start turning grey and we would hear the sounds of prayer, it would be time for us to return home. After we returned he would place a banana leaf before me, on which he ladled aromatic rice and dal. As we completed our dinner, we would talk about the day, giggle and play around and then at night, he would tell me a fantasy story to make me sleep. He was doing this for years but I never saw even a trend of tiredness or seldom on his face. He always presented himself and used to cry from inside.

One day he could not take it anymore. His heart was tired of doing everything alone and he collapsed in my school when he had come to pick me up. The doctors said that he had a panic attack due to stress. This mishap happened when I was a 12-year-old boy. Because this incident happened at the school, the teachers over there admitted me into an orphanage. I know this was all sad but after a year I got so enjoyed the atmosphere that my sadness took its wings off me. Soon I completed my 10th standard and then graduated to become one of the finest scientists ever.

On the way on my path to success and science, I met APJ Abdul Kalam, Vikram Sarabhai and Dr Homi Bhabha. I started pacing my life for success. In all this fun I never forgot my parents; they were always there in my heart. As time passed by I became the most famous space scientist. Soon I was independent enough to move out of my orphanage and then I rented a flat.

When I met your grandmother. We had joyful days and worked together to turn that one rented house into our bungalow. Then we had your father. He became another reason for our joy. I still remember my feeling when I first held him in my hands. Those feelings... that happiness cannot be expressed by me. I wish the time would stop right there. But it's not possible, for my boy grew up and up. We couldn't believe how fast the time was running. Your father would always respect me. He mostly used to cry when me and your grandmother and wouldn't sleep with him. HaHa, those days. Very few people had watched but everyone had time for their family unlike now when everyone has watches but no time for family to spare. “Ahh, those days”- and just about he was to say more, his nerves became numb.

Before, very few people had watches, but everyone had time to spare for their family. Today when every one of us has a watch, very few of us have time for our family.

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