A New Beginning
by Anita Bhattacharjee
My high heels cracked as I walked hurriedly towards the platform. I was gorgeously dressed for the occasion as it was my second anniversary and He was about to arrive any moment.
We had lived away from each other last one year after our marriage as our job demanded but happy days are back. We will be together again. We don’t have to compromise any more. We will take a flat in the heart of the city and live a peaceful life. I was filled with thoughts and excitement when suddenly I collided with a man and almost knocked myself against the wall to avoid a fall. The man seemed least bothered and hardly stopped to say sorry. Instead he gave me an evil look as if I was the one responsible for the mishap. I could never forget the cruel look in his eyes. He carried a briefcase and hurriedly walked out of the platform as if dogs were chasing him.
I readjusted my hair, picked up the red roses that I had so lovingly brought for him. I walked on not allowing these trivial issues to bother me and stand in the way of my happiness. How I loved and missed Him all these days. By then I reached platform number one. He emerged from the train and waved lovingly. Suddenly there was an explosion…the force of the explosion was so strong that I was send flying at a distance. I fainted.
When I regained my consciousness, I lay in the hospital bed deeply wounded. My parents sat beside me. Everything started revolving as I asked them where was HE. Before they said anything I knew the answer. I could not say a word neither did I shed a tear. I knew God had taken away the only asset I had and I had to live on till I die. I sat motionless for hours….there was nothing for me now. My parents, relatives tried their best to support me. They were a pillar of strength to me in those days. I returned to my house now. His memory was everywhere…..the first night in that house was pathetic. Why me? I questioned myself again and again and knew no answer. He had never harmed even a fly in his entire life and why he was the target.
The phone rang early in the morning the next day. I was summoned to the police station. Something related to me had been captured in the CCTV footage. I was out of the blue and knew not what it was. The police officer on duty showed me the footage where I had collided with a man running out of the railway station with a briefcase. I had not seen his face clearly but seen his eyes. How could I forget his eyes. He was the prime suspect in this explosion that had ruthlessly killed millions of innocent people.
Days passed into a year. The culprit had vanished into thin air. His associates had been captured by the police and undergoing trail that dragged on for years. My mom always stood by me. I was like a wrecked ship with no destination…doing job in a multi-national company, eating, sleeping and waking up every morning with no zeal and enthusiasm for life . One day as I was returning from office I met a social worker and her work really appealed me. In this bad world she was doing something good…I took her number and address. One day I visited her and she showed me around how she helped the poor and needy children. “ You should be thankful for what you have dear rather than craving for what you don’t have.”
Her words rang into my ears. I had decided and l let my mother know of my decision. I thanked everyone for their support but now I need to find way for myself in this world. I need to find peace within myself ….I had accepted the offer to be a social worker in a remote hill station. My family was at first reluctant to let me go so far but when they realized that I had made my final decision, they had no choice but to accept.
I resigned from my present job and joined as a social worker. Working with the underprivileged children was a transition from my present state of mind. It hardly left time to dwell about myself. I was enjoying my work and finally I was peaceful. I spent the evenings sitting quietly in my balcony looking at the stars glittering at a distance. Somewhere far away He is watching and if he was here he would have been proud of me.
In the meantime, a particular child named Rohan really appealed me. He worked at a nearby factory supporting his ailing bedridden father and in his spare time he studied at my school for underprivileged children. He was quite intelligent and the apple of my eye. I always wished I had a child like him. Seven years had passed by since that tragedy occurred. But I was self composed now and believed God had given me this life for a particular reason….to serve mankind.
Five days had passed and there was no news of Rohan. I asked his friends and they said Rohan was probably serving his father who had been bedridden for one year. Two more days passed and finally I decided to visit Rohan. I went to the nearby village where he lived and the villagers informed that his father had been admitted to the government hospital. I walked all the way to the hospital and as I reached the entrance I saw a dead body being brought outside. Rohan stood beside the dead body with eyes full of tears. He saw me and ran towards me hurriedly. I took him in my arms as he cried piteously. My eyes fell on the dead body of the man….the same pair of eyes stared back at me but this time it was motionless! I sank to the ground. The truth was bitter. I had cursed this man all through my life but his destruction hardly made me happy. I had learnt to forgive. Rohan was the son of my enemy and yet somehow he was my replica.
We both had lost the only thing we had in life and this bitter truth will bind us together for the rest of our life. I held Rohan’s tiny hand walked towards my home. The sun was setting beyond the hills but for me it was a new beginning. ***