“Mr.Gupta,Mr.Gupta! Come back here I request you for god’s sake!”
But Mr.Gupta swings his head like a pendulum, apparently to say no and keeps walking towards the huge front gates, staggering and swaying to keep balance. I hold back my urge to shout again and run after him. Moments later, standing and staring into his drooping, yet excitingly childish eyes, I feel helpless like never before. He reminds me of how incapable I am to help him. He is panting, groping for breath, straining his lungs for some air. Walks too hard for his age I guess.
“Where were you headed Mr. Cherry Head?”, I ask him trying to smile.He lets his lips widen into a happy arc and leak out a sudden little bout of laughter, hearing the words ‘Cherry Head’. His red, although scanty hair were a matter of amusement for all.Mr.Gupta had made a lot of friends over the time that he had been staying here, some because of his cherry-red hair, and some with his famous ’bouts of laughter’.
“My daughter! She called me yesterday! She asked me to meet her at The Square.”, he said, with a mixture of surprised happiness and urgency on his face.
I tried hard to nod to him in agreement and said,
“Yes Mr.Gupta, I know she called. And she is already here today!Waiting for you in the hall as we speak!Ah, she’ll be so happy to see you! Lets walk back, she has been waiting for you for a long time now”
Mr.Gupta had been a successful man in his life. A furniture business that spread to nearby towns, a magnificient two storey house with a small garden in the frontyard, a saintly wife and a strikingly beautiful daughter.Even her marriage with his son-in-law Rahul had been a success.And then the fates turned.
Just when you think you have everything,life brings you back to nothing.His daughter Saira, and Rahul were on their way to the hospital to take her pregnancy report when they died in a car pile-up.
The reports had been positive.
Constraint is possibly the greatest virtue in life. And Mr.Gupta was a victim of the lack of it. This jolt sucked all sanity out of Mr. Gupta and he had to be admitted to the same hospital where his daughter was brought in dead.
Sleeping on the soft white bed of his hospital ward, he looked perfectly healthy, and his face so resolved of all worries, devoid of any thought or complication. Three days later he was shifted here, among other inmates, who all shared one common trait.
He had been declared insane.
We walked together towards the compound, where no one was waiting for him, not his daughter, nor anyone else. But it wouldn’t matter. Before even reaching the compound, he would forget every second of the day that had passed.
These are not mad people, Mr. Gupta and the others.They are just living somewhere else, somewhere inside their minds, far away from the world outside.
And I make sense of their nonsense.
Also,Diana from ” A Beginner ” recently nominated me for three awards;two of which I already have!Nonetheless,”thank you”s are in order and I am glad that the stuff in my blog is getting appreciated!Speaking of appreciation,A Beginner is a blog you must stop by if you haven’t already.
Thank you again Diana!