Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Story of a alone man.

Submitted: January 12, 2016

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Submitted: January 12, 2016

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 “Oh “ Pradeep murmured and jumped out of the bed. He looked around the room and then looked at the window to guess the time by the observing the daylight coming in through the window. Being failed in guessing the time, he looked for his wrist watch which was laid on the side table. He got tensed watching the time on watch. It was seven o’clock. It meant he was going to be late. He felt himself helpless. He rushed to bathroom. He took bath in hurry. After bath he, wore uniform and without taking breakfast he locked his house and started for the office. He was in bad mood. He thought if he had been a married he would not have to face the situations like this. He was an alone person having no wife and children. He did not like to be alone in life.

In office he was too busy in his work to find a time for lunch. Hunger provoked his anger and he fired on his subordinates on many occasions. The situation got worse when he did not answer to his boss when his boss enquired him about his anger. One of his subordinates offered him a cup of coffee and tried to conciliate him. All of them were familiar to his nature so nobody mind his anger. He was an industrious and honest employee in the office; famous for his honesty, punctuality and commitment but notorious for his ill temper.  Many of employees of the office gave credit to his aloneness for his ill temper.

Without saying a word to anybody Pradeep left the office after duty in evening. He was unwilling to go home. He started his bike and instead of going to home, he began to roaming on the roads. Suddenly an idea of taking a cup of tea in his favourite restaurant came into his mind and he turned his bike towards the restaurant. He sat down on a chair and looked for a waiter. When a waiter came near to him he ordered him to bring tea. He sipped tea observing the people around him.

Reaching home Pradeep opened the door. Entire home was in the dark. Darkness increased his aloneness and moroseness. He switched on the lights and fan of the room. He lay on the bed and began to stare on the roof. Nobody was to welcome him and talked to him. He forced himself to sit up and managed to prepare dinner for himself. After taking dinner he watched television for a long time trying to sleep. Sleep was far away from him. Sound from television set was the only sound to hear in his house. He began to think of his childhood when he was a happy child having everything he wanted. In his childhood, Pradeep was a thin, weak and sick child. He was belonged to the upper middle class family. His parents were expelled from their castes because of inter caste marriage. Neighbours prevented their children from playing with him. So he had to play alone. In School a few boys and girls liked to talk to him. He felt sleepy and in sleepiness he switched off the television and spread the bed sheet over himself. And in darkness of the bedroom he soon plunged into dreams. In dreams he reached in his childhood; in a small forest behind his paternal home where he used to play. After returning from the school he went into the forest where there was a pond surrounded by tress. He used to sit on the bank of the pond and watched the birds and insects flying over the water of the pond. He liked to watched the setting Sun. Sometimes he collected the insects form the soil near the pond and threw them into the water so that the fishes in the water can eat them. In holidays, he used to spend the entire day from the morning to the evening in the forest playing with tress, trying to catch the bird and fishing in the pond. That small forest was like his friend, his warmth in the harsh cold of the society. Even in his adolescence, Pradeep was alone and the small forest was his friend.

His dream broke and suddenly he awoke. He felt cold and in his sleepiness he fumbled on the bed and pick up the blanket from the corner of the bed the covered him with it. A thought of leaving the bed and being ready to go to office came into his mind for a while but ignoring it he again fall into sleep and the dreams continued. This time, an unknown girl was in his dream, walking along with in the forest; sitting with him in the shade of a tree near the pond watching setting sun.

He awoke early in the morning. In spite of sleeping for a short period he felt himself fresh and being prepared he reached the office in a fine mood. After returning from the office he was once again alone in the house; he was not so much familiar with anybody in the city that he could meet with him or could visit him on his home.  He unwillingly cooked dinner for himself. Took out a bottle of vine from the ice box and began to sip it watching television. After taking two pegs of wine he felt himself relieved. After taking wine, his mind went thoughtless; without bothering on anything he threw himself on the bed and kept on watching television until he felt hunger. After taking dinner he felt sleepy and due to vine consumption he soon fall sleep.

Many married men may like the state of being alone, loner or unmarried. But these are not bliss. The man is social animal and likes to be in families or group, being a part of social activities. Unfortunately he was alone from his early childhood.  When he was fourteen years old, his mother got ill and hospitalized. Mother’s disease made him more alone. After returning from the school he and his father daily had to begin going to hospital to meet with seriously ill mother. His mother’s condition was getting serious day by day and a day came when doctors gave up all the hopes and discharged her from the hospital saying that she could not be live more than a few weeks. Now he had to confine himself to home to look after his mother. He stopped going to small forest.  Although his father hired a nurse for caring of mother, but he was emotionally attached to his mother and he would like to remain close to her mother; in front of her eyes.  And an unfortunate day came when his mother passed away leaving him and his father alone. That day the father and son wept for hours; nobody was with them to conciliate them. After the death of his mother, his father became drinker. He began to return home late night in intoxicated state. Pradeep again begin to go to his sole friend the forest behind his home to share his sorrow and aloneness with his friends there; the pond, tress and birds.

In high school, he came to contact with a girl named Uma. After summer vacation, new session was started and many new students took admission in school. Uma was one of them. She was the daughter of a clerk in the bank. His father was transferred from the other city. She was a nice girl with long hair, black eye, slim body and fair colour. He saw her for the first time in lunch break. He was eating his meal in the corner of the classroom. As it was her first day in the school; unfamiliar to any student of the class she was sitting alone in her chair. He approached to her and asked her courteously he could share his food with her if she didn’t mind. She denied his offering. Eating his meal, he kept on talking to her. He introduced himself to her. She took interest in him and told him about her. In this way for the first time in his life he made someone his friend. He spent about a year with the company of his friend. He now had somebody to talk with. They used to go to that small forest on Sundays and in holidays and spent hours at the pond; taking with each other; watching birds flying in sky; recognising insects and feeding fishes in the pond. In evening they saw setting sun. As a friend he told many things about himself, about his mother, about his father. She also told him about her and her family. Those days were the best days of his life. Sometimes they managed to watch a movie in a theatre. Their friendship grew deeper and deeper day by day. In these two years, they fell in love with each other; a true love full of sympathy, friendship, respect and trust. He was now more confident. She gave a meaning to his life. Unfortunately Uma’s father transferred to another city and Uma had to leave Pradeep. On the eve of separation, she came to him to meet him for the last time. Both of them sat silent for a long time at the edge of pond watching the setting sun. There were tears in her eyes. Suddenly, she began to sob. He asked her why she was weeping. She said that she was going leaving him alone, perhaps never would meet him again in life. He consoled her by saying that he would not be alone, her memories would be with him. He would not forget her. Without saying any word she rested her head on his shoulder. He wiped tears from her face and consoled not to lost heart we would meet again.

He felt himself alone after separation from her. Again he turned to his permanent friends the forest, the pond and the birds and insects of the forest. He never again tried to make somebody his friend. When he completed his school education, his father sent him to Delhi for college education. He completed his college education and soon got a job in Delhi. His father being retired from the service, stayed at his native place. Pradeep often visited him.

This was the story of Pradeep. He spent many years of his life alone. Now at forty years of age, he began to mourn his aloneness. Nobody could help him. So far he himself was so apt to his aloneness the he never felt the need for a life partner. Days were passing in this gloomy way just like an ever last dark night.

One day when he was on duty at his office, one of his familiars from his native town gave him a message on phone that his father was seriously ill and was admitted in hospital. Pradeep at once taking leaves form office, reached to his father.

When he reached hospital, he got surprised by finding Uma in front of him. She was a nurse in the hospital. She was looking after his father in the hospital. Uma also recognised him and she too was surprised by finding him. She told him about his father’s illness. They reached the room where his father was kept. His father was sleeping in the bed. Pradeep did not like to disturb his father so he came out from the room. Uma consoled him by saying that his father was out of danger and he did not need to worry about. They sat in the visiting room. After remaining silent for few minutes she asked him “where do you lives?” He looked at her and told “In Delhi. I work in a multinational company. And you?” she told him “I have been working at this hospital for last two years. Before coming here I had worked at a hospital in Agra“ 

They talked about their childhood, their separation, their life after separation. Both of them were unmarried so far. They talked for a long time and then went to father’s room to look if he is sleeping or not. His father had already awoken when they reached his room. His father was pleased to see him and now he was feeling better. Pradeep passed the evening with his father in the hospital. At night, Uma asked him to go to his home for taking sleep. She would look after his father. Giving her thanks he went his home. He could not sleep for the night. Next morning he reached the hospital. Uma was already present in the room of his father. She gave him her familiar smile. Later when he enquired her about his father’s condition, she replied him that he is fine and would recover within two weeks.

Pradeep had to stay at his native town during the treatment of his father. During these period he everyday met with Uma. She was taking care of his father earnestly. Her behaviour and simplicity won the heart of his father. He was worrying about his son’s marriage. And a day came when doctor’s declared him fit and discharged him from hospital. Pradeep extended his leaves to looking after his after. In home father and son were alone and often they talked with each other on their past and present. Their conversation went on for hours. His father’s illness, old age and aloneness made him closer to his son ever. One day during conversation, he expressed to his son how he was eager and worried about his son’s marriage. He lamented on his not being able to do anything about his son’s marriage.

One fine morning, Uma came to their home to meet them. Pradeep’s father became pleased to see her. Pradeep did remain almost silent during their conversation. His father took much interested in her and within a short time he asked her many questions about her and her family. When she told him that she was Pradeep’s class fellow in school day, he got surprised and complained of his son’s not informed him about the fact.  

That night pradeep’s father asked him during conversation that he think that Uma was suitable match for Pradeep.  Pradeep asked him that he knew her from the high school and she was his only friend in school. Other student did not like to make friendship to him. his father asked him whether he would like to marry her. After hesitating for a while he expressed his desired to marry her but also express his doubt that whether she would like to marry to him or not because of his bad social image.

Both father and son were afraid of their social image which was very bad. One day Pradeep gathering his all courage and telephoned her and requested her to meet with him. She accepted his request. They meet in a restaurant in evening. In evening Pradeep told her everything about him and his family. He reminded her of their school days friendship. After a long conversation he dared to put a marriage proposal before her. At his proposal she felt shyness and after a short silence, she accepted the proposal and assured him to talk with her parents about marriage.

After returning home, he prepared dinner. After taking dinner, he told his father about his meeting with Uma.

That night Uma told herparents about the marriage proposal from Pradeep and expressed her desire to marry to Pradeep. She told her all about Pradeep and his father and their plight. Fortunately her parents were not aware of Pradeep’s family background. Uma somehow got success in convincing her parents for her marriage to Pradeep. In this way the glooms and aloneness of Pradeep came to an end.

Each dark night ends with sunny day.

 


© Copyright 2017 Sumit Kumar Arora. All rights reserved.

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