He entered the park holding her hand. She was around thirty, or may be a bit less … a shaped body wrapped in a light blue churidaar. Her mature figure defied age. May be she wasn’t the hourglass figure, but her face defied the turbulence of the woman in love. At her age, I would have attempted to romance her heart away … but on this day, I watched her hold him strong.
A man in his mid-life often wanders, mostly in search of that romance that he dreams, but could never fulfill. A discomfort only the man feels, that stays and leaves with him.
This park had a few benches for people to sit and relax. My daughter was one among the notorious bunch running around. All the time, I could hear her giggle past me. The air around was refreshing, as I stretched my limbs to rejuvenate.
He had chubby cheeks, the pinkish glow emerging from below his dark, inquisitive baby eyes. Already we had exchanged an introductory glance, his face glowing with a refreshing smile towards me as they passed from front … while I barely managed a sheepish grin.
Here was adulthood, even couldn’t match up to a boyish urge to smile!
Soon he merged with the group of toddlers grabbing the ball. The lady settled for another bench beside me. I looked at her from the sides, her bare arm reminisced the charm of women in her early youth.
Alas, my young days had passed a while back.
‘Uncle, do you know how to play ball?’, my mind diverted to hear the boy’s question.
There was reason for him to validate me, for nowhere did I prove my expertise with the ball. I may be a top-grade ball player, but then when did I show him that?
‘No beta, I can’t’, I muttered.
‘You’re lying uncle … you know how to play’, his eyes widened and he believed himself. Somehow, he denied my humility. I could have spoken the truth. I knew how to play the ball with whatever little I played even during my college days. But then, my shy demeanor … and he was quick to correct me.
I felt as if he knew me inside out, and more about the adult instinct to hide qualities away. ‘Speak up the truth’, I probably heard him command that from his within … and I gathered courage to admit that. ‘Little bit beta, nothing more’, I replied.
‘Will you play with me?’, his demure face with those expressive eyes merged to look for an answer. His question appeared innocent, more than I had ever read innocence in the eye of a kid.
I looked at the lady. She had her face lit up with a smile glued with attention.
So we started to play. And for the next few minutes, it was me and him. The difference of age was probably more than the bond that he was making with me. As he interacted, I felt a divine presence … watching me, inspiring me and refreshing my soul.
It was as if I was attempting to merge with the creator through this newly-created bundle of joy. He may be barely five, while I was decades elder to him. Did that matter? I hope not, since we were mingling as if it was an old acquaintance.
Divine intervention, may be. Or else, why would he choose me as his playmate when there were so many kids around?
The ball play went around for around twenty minutes. Then he felt tired and soon trudged towards his mother for an affectionate hug. Rejuvenation, I felt. Even the heavenly presence in his body needed a gentle energizer. And the young lady put around her bare arms for a warm hug for him.
His eyes looked at me from around his mother’s wheatish arms. The look of a soul being nursed by its creator pacified me.
Very soon, he was on his way out, gently holding his mother’s hand. Not before thanking me with that show of courtesy that was bred in this planet.
‘My dad never brings me to the park … but my mom does!’ was his parting gift.
Was his dad busy? Was there no love left for him in this world?
The lady looked back at me, with a show of gratitude … probably thanking me more for the time I spent with her little boy.
Nothing heavenly, I assumed. I felt for my mother’s hand to hold me out of the park too. In turn, it was my daughter standing there in front.
‘Dad, are you dozing again?’, her voice admonished.
For a moment, the parent-child relationship seemed reverse. And I glowed in my new-found peace having met with the creator's presence in a newfound creation.