‘We are afraid of India, we don’t know if we have enough immunity to spend some time there’ – I heard this quite recently from one of the dearest friends from the West. Probably the sold media has created such a chaotic image of India in the minds of people looking at those odd incidents in a few places in the vast country.
I was fortunate enough to travel extensively enjoying each and every in of such villages where purity was not only there in nature, but in the minds of innocent people too. Beyond the hassle and bustle of the urban landscapes, unlike city men, people are happy there and that perhaps is the beauty of their lives too.
It was one among such beautiful landscapes in India – looking at the reflections of the greenery on the surface of the lake, I don’t remember how long did I stand there. Upon the banks of the lake, there were just a few houses, but I noticed an apparently new house been abandoned. It seemed there was a party but the surrounding not cleaned well after the possible celebration.
Curious to know if that was the house I am searching for rent in that beautiful surrounding I enquired an old man who was engaged in feeding cattle close to the abandoned house. ‘I don’t think the owner would give it for rent, nor they are ready for selling the property – with just a piece of cloth covering his nudity, the old man came closer and smiled. He had a story to tell me!
Just a mile away from the lake is a university where students from across the state gather to learn agricultural sciences. A few years ago one of the professors of the university approached the old man with a desire to have a few cents of land on the bank of the lake. He happily agreed to help him and soon he started building a house too.
The old man was surprised to see the professor’s eagerness in building the house. Often from mornings to evenings, he was working tiresome coordinating other workers too. Occasionally there was a young woman too with him whom he introduced as a friend from the same university where he worked. Soon there was a home, with all its simplicity and beauty!
It was the time for the housewarming ceremony where the professor invited all his friends and colleagues from the university. A long cherished dream, when the professor was about to enter the newly built home, there appeared a few unexpected guests – his wife with whom he was living separate and her parents who had decided not to leave professor alone.
He was a victim of domestic violence where he finally decided to live separately from his wife who had already caused much damage to his life. Trying to find solace in his loneliness, he found himself falling in love with a postgraduate student in the same university and they decided to live together in the new house. However, things changed upside down when his wife and her parents appeared suddenly challenging all his dreams.
The merry in the house turned into furious arguments and the house that he sought for solace from the calamities in his life became a battlefield! However, the professor was careful enough to treat the invitees with a feast that lasted until early evening when he had a fresh shower and dressed up like a bridegroom for his beloved and happily waved hands at his guests. When they all left he too started following the road.
The very next day people in the surrounding woke up to the news of the professor’s death and when they found him, he was wearing the same dress that he wanted to wear on the day of marriage with the girl whom he found as the new life-partner. ‘But in his final makeover, he looked peaceful’ the old man concluded, but I was thinking about the ocean that he carried within him when he was alive and the dreams that he abandoned on the earth!
While walking away from that house that looked haunted, after a few yards I had a strange feeling that someone is following me! I turned back to see no one there, but once again after walking for a few feet when I looked back, there was a man – a man in his wedding dress smiling at me. ‘Hello friend’ I heard his voice.
“Would you like to stay at my house?”