Moving On – Part 2

Author’s Note: Catch Part 1 Here

They knew then that their life flashing before their eyes was no accident. They had been given a glimpse of their lifetime on Earth. And now they were being offered the chance to see how their family was doing without them. After which it would be time to truly move on.

Vishwa and Sikander looked at each other, unsure and hesitant.

Vishwa reluctantly began, “If I am being honest Sikander, I don’t think I want to see how my family is today. I want to move on with the good memories I have of them. You see, no matter how much confidence I have in my upbringing, I also know that some of my children are emotional, some are more practical, some give more value to relations, and some value money the most. I fear there is already a divide between all these conflicting points of view. On one hand I want to see my family and bring peace to my heart. On the other hand, if they don’t respect my last wishes, there is absolutely nothing I can do from here to influence or change what happens from this point. Why subject myself to this unnecessary torture? I think I will be content to remember my family the way I saw them last. And yet, and yet…!!”

“I completely understand what you are going through right now Vishwa. It seems as if the Universe has seen it fit to bring us together so we can help each other through this. My worries are different from yours though. My wife is an amazing woman, a strong lady, a doctor with a spotless reputation. But she is also a mother and now, a widow. And I am worried for her more than anyone else. I can only hope that my children take care of her and don’t leave her alone. And I am sorely tempted to see what has happened after my passing. Has one of my children moved in with her, or have they offered to have her live with them? My wife will never admit it, but I know she needs family around her. That’s the source of her strength. That’s how she is able to fight death on a daily basis.”

Sikander sensed a sudden change in Vishwa’s demeanour just as he came to the end of his tale. He looked up to see Vishwa adjusting his hairdo, straightening his shirt and the white “veshti” he was wearing. Vishwa was standing in attention, looking intently at the gate through which they came. Sikander looked around the room to see if anyone else had reacted similarly. But whoever remained in the room had their eyes closed now, some looking peaceful, some with tears flowing down their eyes. Except Vishwa and Sikander, everyone else had either moved on or closed their eyes to see their loved ones one last time.

Sikander also peered now at the doorway, to see what could have possibly distracted Vishwa to ignore the fairly important discussion they were having. That’s when he saw her. And he too instinctively checked his grooming, adjusting his hair, his “kurta” and “lehenga”. He and Vishwa hugged each other in excitement, hopping about like teenagers. They were transported back to the days of their youth when this beauty graced the cinemas. She had been the girl of their dreams then. And as she stepped into the room, they could see she looked as youthful and pretty as she did all those decades ago. Except she was in front of them in full color, in contrast to the black and white movies they saw as teenagers.

They dragged their attention back to the matter of seeing their family for one last time. Both came to the conclusion that there was nothing to be gained by this exercise. They preferred to trust in the values they had passed on to their children, and believed with all their heart that their families would continue to stay united against all odds.

Having made their peace with this decision, they turned to more pressing matters. Both were smiling at her now, convinced this was the reason neither had chosen to move on, or close their eyes! Vishwa and Sikander remembered the many pleas they sent upwards in those days, “Please God, please give me one glimpse of her in person!”

It almost seemed like their prayers of all those decades ago were being answered. With an impeccable sense of timing.

The heartthrob of their youth had arrived. They had seen her up close in all her glory, as never before! Arms linked with each other, Vishwa and Sikander grinned at her, waved, then turned towards the gate at the end of the room. This would be the story they would tell their family, when they were all together once again. Yes, it was time to move on.

Drawn by Mrs. Lakshmi Kumar, Painted by Dr. Anisha Kumar
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2 comments on “Moving On – Part 2”
  1. Bala Raman says:

    Wow, this story took me to a different world altogether. Your description about the clothes and the hairstyles were superb…

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