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My Last Wish

 

It’s really cold today. I am not feeling well but putting my hands in my jacket I reluctantly stepped out of my home. Well, my doctor had suggested me to go for a morning walk but I find it difficult to get up early and so, I decided to make my evening special.

There are many things that I notice during my walk- the same road, houses and many more things that I come across. I love to walk alone and enjoy myself completely.

But today after walking some distance I sat on a bench to rest for a while and started on my way back home. But somewhere in the middle I got unconscious and when I returned to my senses, I found myself in a hospital lying on the bed and one of the nurse holding my wrist to check my pulse.

I wondered how did I reach here. There was a doctor on the right side of my bed. He was busy with some papers in his hands. The doctor asked me, “How are you feeling now Mr. Devan?” I said, “I am feeling good now but what’s wrong? Why am I here?” The doctor replied, “A man found you unconscious on the road. He brought you here.”

After the formalities were done, the doctor advised me to take rest as my blood pressure was high. Now, this is hardly surprising. I am 70 now and my life is flooded with medicines. Putting all the random thoughts running in my mind to rest, I asked the doctor, “Where is the man who brought me here? I want to thank him.” The doctor then asked the nurse to bring the man inside.

As he entered, I saw a man with black hair, brown complexion, probably in his 30s and as he came closer I asked, “Are you from India?” There was something in his appearance that made me feel that he’s one of us. He said, “Yes, I am from India.

I stay here because of my job. I smiled and asked, “What is your name my boy?” “Karan Mehta”, he replied. Hearing his name my eyes filled with tears. It reminded me of my grandson who doesn’t even talk to me.(Collection Of Best English Stories)

Karan wiped my tears and asked me the reason but putting his question aside I requested him to take me to my home. He was a nice man and after completing all the formalities in the hospital he dropped me to Christ Villa where I stay.

He opened the door and we both went in. I asked him to sit and have a cup of coffee before he leaves. There were lots of questions in his mind and he started asking them one by one.

He asked me why I lived here alone at this age. “You are now 70 so someone should be there to take care of you and where is your wife?” he asked. While I was preparing our coffee I told him to be patient and enjoy the coffee.

“I’ll answer all your questions.” I added. Meanwhile, the sky outside was beginning to look dark and grim. And as both of us sipped our coffee, the conversation veered towards life, its mysteries and lessons- call it the 70s stuff! In between I got a bit emotional.

It felt like I was truly happy from the inside after a long time. I told him, “My wife Nancy is no more. She passed away in a car accident some years ago.

John, my son, stays in a different house as his wife refused to take care of me. I do have one granddaughter who loves me so she visits sometimes but my grandson is tied to his mother’s apron strings and does whatever she says. “That’s quite strange”, Karan replied and added, “What about your son? Does he take care of you?” “You see, I never cared about my family.

How can I expect anything from my son? Karan looked bewildered and kept mum for a moment. Lightning and thundering sound arose at once and when we both look outside it started raining. Karan started wondering how he will reach his home.

I asked him to stay for the night as the weather would not permit him to leave. Karan reluctantly agreed. I asked him what he would like to have for dinner.

Karan held me and made me sit on the sofa and said, “Doctor has advised you take rest so I will prepare the dinner today.” He asked me if I liked porridge.

I nodded in affirmation and soon he was into action. In the meanwhile, I guided him about the places where the things were that he needed to prepare our meal.

An hour later he finished his cooking and both of us sat for dinner. “Karan after having this porridge I must say you are a good cook, who taught you this?” I asked. “My grandmother”, he said with a big smile on his face.(Collection Of Best English Stories)

Once we finished our meal Karan asked me at once, “How long has it been since you visited India.” I said, “I didn’t go back once I shifted here. I, too, had a small family- my mother was a housewife, my father was a farmer, and one elder brother.

Life was not complicated there but it was me who wanted to make more money and not lead a life of an ordinary man. I never thought about them and just left them to fulfil my dreams of making money and becoming rich. No doubt I am rich today but in terms of family I have nothing. It’s all empty.

This Christ Villa is nothing but an empty house for me. Karan wiped my tears and asked, “Why don’t you visit them? You should. They might be waiting for you to return.” I told him that now it doesn’t make any sense.

I was selfish for so many years.  can’t go back in time to fix all the misdeeds.  just want to stay like this for the few more years that I have. Karan hugged me and made me feel better. He said, “Unless you release all your pain, you won’t feel better.

This regret is killing you every day so to lessen this pain you have to visit them once, believe me, you will feel better. Life doesn’t give second opportunity to everyone.(

I will take you there if you permit.” Looking at my pensive face, Karan reminded me that it was time for my medicine. “Take these pills and I’ll get you a glass of water” he said. I felt some hope inside me. Actually, he is right, my conscience whispered.

Next morning we booked our tickets and packed our bags. I was happy and emotional too as after so many years I was going back to my home. I spent the whole night thinking about my journey, my country. Finally, the beautiful sun arose.

I got up early and did all my household chores and left for the airport where Karan was waiting for me. The flight was on time. Finally both of us took our plane to India. As soon as I put my first step at the New Delhi Airport, I felt I was back to life.

We drove to the Delhi Railway Station as I wanted to go to Varanasi (my town) by train. After waiting for few hours, finally we reached Varanasi. Karan didn’t speak much in the whole journey.(Collection Of Best English Stories)

But I could notice the glitter in his eyes and a sense of fulfilment. When I was on my way home, I noticed everything had changed. From roads to houses and shops, in the meanwhile the rickshaw puller asked me “Bhaiya kaun se mohalla me Jana hai?” “Kishore Gali, near Durga Temple.” I replied.

When we reached I was unable to recognise my house so I asked one of the pedestrians, “Bhaiya Narayan Ji ka ghar kaun sa hai?” “Arey, ye raha apke piche”, the man replied.

I was surprised to see that it was totally renovated and redesigned. I took my steps ahead and pressed the doorbell. My heart started pounding furiously.

The door opened and I saw my elder brother Pratik. Tears rolled down from my eyes. He was confused for a moment. After a brief pause he said, “Devan?” As I moved forward to hug him, he took his steps back and said “You are not my brother, you are a refugee, you better go back to your country”. Hearing this I cried out and said “I am not a refugee.

I am an immigrant”. was born on this land. have spent my 20 years here. know I did a big mistake but now I have realised the value of family. I have earned a lot of money yet I feel I am a poor man.

Please forgive me if you can, I want to spend the rest few years of my life here. Unable to control himself Pratik hugged me, and said, “I kept on waiting for you to return.

I tried to contact you many times but lost all hopes.” Karan, who was watching us from the sidelines, said “Finally my mission is complete. I can rest now.” We all laughed and thanked him for everything that he had done so far.

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