"I am in love." That was the song sung on his radio. He was wearing white pants, checked shirt, necktie, wrist watch and colorful sunglasses. Listening to the requested songs on Radio, he was purchasing essential goods in the market. He has been working in the office for 10 years.
The young girls of the city teased him singing, "What a handsome man!" "Since I bought a home, I am not going to marry a girl of simple status. As I am great and extraordinary, the girl who gets the chance to become engaged to me will be the lucky one," he said to me.
He is my childhood friend. He was gossiping to the toothless old people and the kids gathering in front of his house. The old father was carrying the goods that his son brought from market as if they were going to be exhibited in the yard. He was speaking proudly to the old friends, "Some people are dull both in speaking and walking. But I take a bath twice a day and I look smart." He continued his gossip, turning to his mother. He asked, "Please boil water for me. I didn't drink water before taking a bath," he added.
One, an old man of almost 65, asked him, "Are the some people lands similar to us in walking, speaking and eating?" The old man added, "you are changed yourself into a funnyman of film." The amused kids chuckled at him. The mother complained about her son saying, "What a mystery it is. He says that he has earned a
lot but the amount of money is only about seven thousand and those second hand goods."
My friend acted differently and began to put forward his clarification. "My lifestyle is quite different; there is no system to save whatever one earns. The income is to be spent to satisfy immediate wants. The train runs underground, the doors of the shop open automatically and there are no restrictions at all to enjoy young girls, like the heroine of a film. I was bound to act according to culture. So, I could not save whatever I earned," he said.
"Have you brought any presents to respectful neighbors or only making useless statements?" said my uncle who could not bear all the gossip and added, "you could make no progress in 10 years. It is better to stay here with reliable jobs like business and agriculture. It is time to also marry," the 75 years old asthmatic father patiently told him .
Though it was a cold winter, he had decorated himself in a half-shirt and colorful sunglasses. Looking at him, the uncle began to speak, "Your parents are old now. You are the single son of theirs and are to support them. If you forget how your parents brought you up in poverty, that would be the worst scenario."
He answered in no time. "What is here to make me want to stay? Who would like to live such a slum life? There is neither good food nor a chance to meet and talk with young girls. I am expecting to get a post of watchman in a reputed company.' He added.
Uncle didn't agree with him and told him, "but you can't get the original, true love outside of your home. Whenever you get sick or hungry, your family members will attend
with medicines and food. Do you get such facilities outside of the home ? See! Your contemporaries are happy and healthy. They are well-fed and clothed. They too celebrate life with sweets and meat. It is not good to hate your own home." Listening to his uncle he hesitated. He remembered the painful days being in a far from home, where he went to make the money. Though he worked morning to evening, he was always being scolded by his master.
At such times, he used to remember his home and family. He remembered the shock that he got at listening to the marriage news of his beloved girl friend. He recalled the voice of his master who usually said, "If you don't know how to perform your duty or if you feel laziness to do it, go back home." His tears fell down his cheeks.
He spoke to himself, "how unlucky I am. In a ten year period, just what have I earned? I could not even repair the leaking roof of house. I failed to do any good work. I spent the most valuable period of my life uselessly."
He remembered his friends of childhood, his teachers at school and the places where he used to play. Now, and for the first time, he realized that he had perhaps wasted the last ten years of his life. This realization left him deeply depressed. But he said to me today "I will continue to laugh in life. Very soon, I will get married and have myself, my happiness, love and beauty in my life till the end.