Tringggggg! The doorbell just woke me up from the nap I take after my lunch. Someone was at my door on a Sunday afternoon, the only day I get to sleep peacefully after lunch. I crawled out of my bed cursing the person at my door. As usual the lock gave up on me. I struggled hard to open it and finally it opened after a struggle of two long minutes. As I opened the door I found two policemen at my door. I rubbed my eyes and checked again.
Yeah! They were real policemen. Even though I was taken aback by the sight of their uniforms I managed to smile at them and asked them the reason for their visit.
The reason they told me almost gave me a heart attack. My parents had filed a petition at the police station about their missing son. The moment you realize that you have completely forgotten about your parents who actually sacrificed their health, wealth and time to make you what you are today, an engineer of the first degree. The moment you realize that the six figure salary you earn is the result of their sweat and blood. The moment you realize that how your siblings pushed you to work harder to get a better result from you.
The rage in my heart made me forget everything they had done for me. I did not realize that what my dad did was for my own good. If things get very easy in life you would never find life interesting.
The moment you realize that your mom’s lap used to feel like the safest place on earth. The moment you realize that how your dad spent all his life abroad, away from his family working day in and day out to realize your dreams and give everything you wanted in life. I had not visited my family in the last four years.
Neither did I try to keep in touch with them nor did let them do so. I had completely isolated myself from my family after my father did not recommend for a job in the multinational company that he was working in. He wanted me to find a job for myself instead of going for the recommendation even though it would have helped me get a job without me trying hard.
You wouldn’t feel the pain of how many struggle to get established in life. If finding a job you really like was easy, everybody could do it. The joy you get after trying to get something is much more than what you get without trying.
I told the policemen that I will try to contact them as soon as possible but they refused to leave until I did what they wanted. They wanted me to call my parents right away. I went back in, got my phone and dialed my father’s mobile number which was always in my memory. The number I had never cared to dial in the last four years. The moment my dad picked my call I almost did burst out. He sounded very old and weak. I asked him how everything at home is. He did not answer that question. Instead he asked me how I was doing. He also asked me would I care to visit them any soon. I had no answer to that question. I kept mum.
The guilt inside me had gone to a different level now. I wanted to meet my family as soon as possible. My parents, my siblings, their children, my cousins, other relatives, friends, and every other person I knew from my hometown. I checked for tickets right away and booked a bus ticket. I got myself ready to head back home.
While rushing towards the door, I tripped and fell. I banged my head on something very hard that I blacked out.I opened my eyes, I don’t know how long but I was still on my bed. I heard somebody talking in the next room. All of a sudden, I realized I was in a different house. I got up from my bed and walked across the room to check who was in the next room.
While doing so I saw myself in the mirror and I was shocked by the sight. I was old. I checked for the calendar and it was too late. I realized my parents left the world long back and I couldn’t even make it to their funeral. The nightmare had struck me once again and will go on forever.I rushed to the next room and found my wife having fun with her grandchildren. When I asked her where our son was, she pointed at the door opening behind me. He stepped out and I rushed on to him and hugged him tight.
The article was first published on Google+ blog of Shihab Muhammad on Saturday 19, March 2016 and has been republished with the permission of the author. Use of this article without the permission of the author is not allowed.