Suresh stomped into the house, hurled his bag, loosened his tie and sunk into the sofa. Priya came with a glass of water.
“How was your day?” asked Priya cheerfully. She had noticed that ever since Suresh had heard of demise of his best friend’s mother, he was upset. For a few days Priya thought that it was natural since she was very dear to him too! After all he had known her for all his life. But days passed by and Suresh was still the same, in fact worse!
“It was fine” Suresh replied curtly.
“Ok! Freshen up fast, dinner is ready. I have made your favourite Aaloo parathas.” Priya made another attempt at cheering up. Priya knew that her husband gets very hungry by the time he returns from work and any unnecessary questions often made him angry. So she decided to wait until she brings up the topic.
Both of them silently had dinner. While Priya was doing the dishes, Suresh went to the balcony for a smoke.
Priya was determined to hit the bull’s eye today! She couldn’t see Suresh so restless. She had known the reason; in fact, she had known it for years! But she could never brace up enough courage to confront Suresh. After all, she couldn’t risk their relation to revive an old one! She took a deep breath, mustered all the courage and brought up the topic.
“Suresh, mummy ji had called today. She was worried about you. Why weren’t you answering her calls? For how long would you ignore her?” Priya asked while making the bed. She somehow wanted to get Suresh talking. Suresh never discussed much about his mother but never stopped Priya from having a cordial relationship with her.
Suresh preferred to be not poked when he is upset, so Priya was carefully trying to make the dreaded conversation with him. All her attempts had failed so far for so many years, and today’s attempt didn’t seem different either. Even then, she was hoping that this direct confrontation would do some magic, but who knows if it would be like a boomerang!
“Suresh… I am talking to you baby.”
Suresh responded only by exhaling circles of smoke.
“Suresh, now enough is enough ok? Please don’t overdo” Priya commanded pulling out the cigarette from his hand. She didn’t wait for even a second to throw it in to the ash tray.
Few seconds passed by and both of them were staring in to each other’s eyes. Priya’s eyes were questioning and Suresh’s eyes were pleading.
Suresh hugged Priya tight, burried his face between her neck and shoulder trying hard to control the sobs.
“Is there something that you want to talk to me?” asked Priya lovingly. She was slowly running her fingers from his hair. She knew it soothed him, always!
“Ma, I am sorry. I am very sorry! I said what I said out of anger that day. I don’t mean it at all. I know you haven’t estranged me from my dad. I know you were not responsible for his death. I know you have always loved me the most, yeah, more than dad did. I am sorry Ma for distancing myself from you for so many years. I am sorry for blaming you for all wrong things. I am sorry for being rude. I am sorry for not being a good son! Please forgive me Ma. My pain of losing dad had made me blind and I failed to see that you were as shattered as I was, may be more. I failed to distinguish the right from wrong, good from bad, family from foes. I am sorry Ma – for not being your strength in your toughest time. I am sorry Ma, I am sorry for everything!” Sitting at his mother’s feet, Suresh was crying inconsolably.
“Beta” Ma said helping Suresh to his feet. She couldn’t control the tears that had welled in for so many years now. With a quivered voice she continued “Beta, you were not wrong. You saw what you were shown. Circumstances were such that we could never clear the misunderstandings between us and after your dad passed away, the so called “relatives” took benefit and increased the distance between us. But Beta, as you grow old, you must learn to judge people. You must learn to see who loves you and who is using you.”
“Ma, I see everything clearly now. I promise I will never be a bad son again. Won’t you give me another chance Ma, please? Will you please move in with us Ma?” Suresh pleaded with folded hands.
“I will Beta, I will” Now Ma was crying, more of tears of joy! In spite of all the pain that the destiny and her own son had given her, she couldn’t stop loving him. She lovingly held Suresh’s head and kissed him on his forehead.
Ma hugged Suresh and he never felt more loved. He held her tight, with closed eyes he pictured all his childhood that he had spent in Ma’s warm care. With Ma still in his embrace, when he finally opened his eyes, he saw Priya standing at the door. He showed her a thumbs up! And a smile broke on his face.
Priya blew kisses in return. Her efforts of 5 years had paid off today! She was successful in making Suresh apologize to his Ma and renew the relationship between them.
Love never dies! Don’t let misunderstandings hamper any relationship. It’s not worth it. The years lost in withdrawal are lost forever; you can never make up for them. And life may not always give you a second chance. Do not hesitate to apologize if required. It mends the relationship faster than any other reconciliation. Respect relationships, nurture them!