images (1)

The Old Man

Once there was a man who used to travel miles just to visit his grandson since he was born. The old man was abandoned by his son and daughter in law as they bought a new house within the city boundaries and the old man was left alone by the countryside in his large farmhouse where he used to stay with his cows and horses and also a dog named Rocco who was his friend that loved him unconditionally.

The old man’s grandson was very fond of his grand dad and both of them used to spend quite nice time when his son and daughter in law used to stay in office the whole day. To the old man’s son and his wife, the old man was no more than a caretaker of their little son, as they were not sure of hiring a new babysitter for trust and security issues, plus this old man did not charge a single penny for travelling so far and look after their little son. Little did they know that it was the love for his grandson that brought the old man to their house after crossing miles with his old 1960″s car.

Years passed by and the little boy grew up and started going to school, the schedule for the boy also changed, slowly he started going to higher classes and also he made new friends, he had very little time for his grand-dad with whom he has spent most of his childhood ever since he was born. Poor old man started missing his grandson, as many years ago he had lost his wife in cancer and since then he had deviated his heart and mind towards his grandson, so that he does not feel alone.

The old man used to go every day earlier, but as time flew, those everyday became  once in every week then gradually to once in every two months. He was feeling as if life was not giving him enough time to spend with his family, his son and grandson. The man developed cancer too and was in his early stage, and he knew about it, so he was mentally prepared, it’s just that he wanted to spend some more time…..”Some more time” he murmured. Rocco stayed by his side throughout but already the dog was 15years old and died of cardiac arrest. His most of the cows and horses were also sold by him as he couldn’t afford to care for them because of his growing old age and sickness and weakness as well. Still he did not tell his son or his grandson who was now in his college 1st year.

Back at the old man’s son’s house things had already turned ugly, the son used to fight a lot with his wife and they stayed separately for some time, the grandson was disturbed at this mentally and most nights he used to convince himself to sleep thinking someday his parents would be back together like they used to be, but that never happened. One morning the old man called at the grandson’s house and he picked up the call, he was too busy and was about to go out with his friends so he hesitated a bit and did not listen properly to what his once loving grandfather had to say. He left the house in a hurry. Then days passed mostly the same way as they have been for years now.

One day the grandson was feeling helpless and was mentally depressed from his parents’ regular fight and he also did not have such friends with whom he could share his thoughts, so he went to the attic and while going through his childhood stuffs he found a photo album that had pictures of his grand dad and him, playing, bathing together, his grand-dad playing hide n seek.

What the boy did not realize was that he had tears rolling down his cheeks and he was teary eyed. He felt a sudden pinch in his heart as if like a bee stung, he rushed downstairs and called his grand dad, the phone kept ringing and he tried multiple times but there was no response from the other end.

He drove to his grand dad’s place and next what he saw was enough to break him from inside and which left a deep scar on his life that was not to go away for a long time.

The house had the grandson’s photo everywhere, pictures of his childhood to his grown years. He ran his fingers through the old pictures which had dust gathered on them, he climbed upstairs through the stairs with his heavy steps and opened his grand dad’s room hoping to see the old man. But to his surprise the room was left in the exact condition as it had been used by the old man last time. Everything was organized, there were dents in the bedsheet as if someone was sleeping just now, the cupboard door half open, and few clothes lying on the ground….the rocking chair made from expensive timber wood is still placed in front of the window from where the whole farm was visible, and the chair had sunlight falling on it. The boy went near the chair and there was dust on it, so was on the bed and also the cupboard, it took some time for the boy to realize that the room had not been used for a long time. Before leaving the room his eyes fell on the photo stand on the stand by the bedside, which was a photo of him as a 5year old kid and his granddad who was still strong those days.

He wondered where his granddad could be, so he went out of the room and met the old priest at the nearby church, who informed him that his grand dad had passed away in his sleep almost a month ago and had left the entire property and the large farmhouse on his grandson’s name. Also had written a letter to the young boy, it described how much the old man wanted to be with his grandson in his later years and also how much he loved him. But the grandson used to stay busy and had made new friends so the old man did not want to bother him much. His own son that is the young boy’s father had already broken contact with him when the young kid was in high school.

Then suddenly the boy realized that the call he had got one morning from his grand dad was the same day that he died. The old man had called to speak to his dearest grandson once before he took his last breath when he was fighting with cancer. The boy’s heart broke thinking that the old man died a sad death, all alone and deserted, even though he had his own family and a grandson, still he did not inform anyone of his sickness and even handed the letter to the priest’s hands which was addressed to his grandson.

The boy spent the rest of his afternoon sitting in front of his grand dad’s grave staring at it silently.

One Response

Leave a Reply to Nitish Abrol Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.