30th July 1993 Small city. Family of six – Indravadan, his wife Minu and 2 year old daughter; parents & sister.
Heavy rains lashing the city, lights flickering, large house, family of six, gathered at the compulsory dinner. Grim silence with the only 2 year old kid chattering away oblivious to the under currents and tension. Soon it was time to leave, the daughter could not understand why Indravadan was quiet and was leaving, wife sobbing but insistent that the proper ritual – seek blessings – be complied with, the Inder finally giving in, which led to another round of unwarranted instructions & dialogue.
It was still dark, stormy but had stopped raining, giving Minu a chance to spend a little more time by dropping Inder to the railway station with his small bag containing all the belongings that he had – a couple of trousers and few shirts, and a decent pair of shoes the only remaining memories of a hi flying corporate job.
A quick hug and promise to get them to Bombay the maya nagri before Divali – at least for a visit – boarded the train – the same one where everyone knew him and asked "Saab, aap idhar" surprised to see him in a 2nd class compartment, he knew that by tomorrow the entire city would be aware of the fact, but his mind was evaluating only the next day.
Once the TT had finished his checking and probing as to 'Why Saab?' Finally the lights were switched off; opening the wallet which costed more than the amount – 650/- the only financial wealth that he had, the real wealth had been left behind, the loneliness, despair creeped in and the open window brought in the rains where the tears mingled before exhaustion took over and uneasy sleep ensued. The Day dawned, rains having cleared miraculously, as if signifying a new beginning.
Six day week began soon and consumed time, with commute by the ever reliable BEST and walking back home – ensured a bit of exercise, saving of money and then there was nobody waiting except the uncle's family. There were other challenges of limited clothes, shoes having to be repaired, but the goal kept him going.
Two months of a clerical job and the frustration was just setting in. Luck, Destiny, fortune favoured – an opening in an industry, that knew him by reputation, father in law whose good will got a rental house in a place, that is still not considered Bombay even today, but it meant the family could be together.
A month before Diwali, the wife and daughter were ensconced along with the counted utensils etc sent from 'home'. Life was good. Friends came over and yes these were who did not care how small was the house or what we served.
A couple of months later, the other promises were fulfilled – company car and shift to the all important western suburb area.
School, Job, house changes happened not always for the better. The wife played peace maker – a joint family again, involved a lot sacrifices, much more than expected that translated into always the question – Was it all worth it?
For a long time every evening on 30th July Indravadan would disappear – to a bar? temple? nobody knew where he would disappear and then would cry himself to sleep. Were they tears of joy, sadness?
One day Minu and her grown up daughter blackmailed him emotionally, found the reason, eliciting a promise of forgetting & forgiving. Did Inder keep that promise?
July 30, 2013 do dashak – Has Inder managed to keep that promise? Has destiny, fate played a cruel trick on him again? Will two decades mean that he will have to go back from where he came?
July 30, 2017 Four years have passed by. A lot of stories have happened. Many bad, some worse. Under has also shared what happened in the 20 years also. Fate, Friends, Destiny has played an important role. Wonder if the failures and successes would be worth written.