I watched a movie yesterday and it had a very sensitive subject-a mother’s passion and affection for her child. And how she could keep alive hope against dead ends and patiently waited for her child who was lost from home reunited with her. A poignant wait and only mothers would do. The loss, only mothers may feel more than the father. It reminded me of a real life story and I wondered….!.
I was introduced to this fair, tall handsome guy with round bratty eyes by a good friend. They were mates from their school days. And my friend being a person of intense emotions, feelings and conscientious too, I gathered that this guy too must be of the kind. Else do birds of the same feather flock together? That was way back, some years ago. I also remember meeting him a few more times once at my friend’s house and we even had some light hearted banter over drinks. My friend being keen in enjoying the art form of kathakali and a connoisseur of sorts of the dance drama, he used to hunt his way to the nether world to watch a performance. This guy, his buddy was the member of the once Royal clan from central Kerala and was also naturally a fan of this art form. And often they have both motor biked distance to enjoy the late night enactments in remote temples and villages. These guys had something in common and hit off well. It turned out in later years, perhaps there to end the similarity between the two. It was often that I have heard him, my friend, speak with great warmth and fondness about this chap. And though life took them distance apart, they were in communication and also used to meet.
From the few occasions I have had been with this guy, I did found him gregarious and fun loving. He was just like any of us in our youth, impetuous, and overwhelming confidence.
Years later, I heard from my friend that this guy married a city educated, sophisticated lass and settled in Bangalore.
I continued to hear stories
occasionally, about this fellow from my friend. The last, I heard from him was that the guy had become an incorrigible alcoholic and self-condescending person. He was a recluse and thriving on self-pity and had lost all respectability of self. He lost his job and was now refuge in a boarding quarter in the old Royal household in a town off Cochin.
The twist is from elsewhere. He had a great marriage and life thereafter, until his first child was born- a girl. She was born blind! He was devastated and naturally so. He used to seek his friend for solace and as a means to dispose his agony and trauma. What succor can one lend, but to advise courage and fortitude? Appalling stories continued. The poor fellow was almost over the precipice when he confided to my friend that his wife disliked the child and did not have any mind to tender it. She despised the child very much and wanted to give it away to someone. And that unperturbed by his miserable appeals and pleadings she stayed adamant and could agree to nothing but abandon the child. He finally could arrange child adoption through some NGO. Though, fortunately the child was adopted by a wealthy couple from Germany. We wondered how a woman- a mother could gather does this!
Consequently, he moaned that his relationship with his wife was distanced and fast sliding into terminal point. He wailed that she despised him too, that he was undesirable and an infliction in his own house. He lost the will to work and had terrifying night mares that haunted him. He was always under the influence of alcohol. My friend was understanding and supportive, trying to wean him away from self-destruction.
The final blow was ironically to the poor fellow, my friend. After this man left Bangalore and found refuge in Cochin, he happened to meet him and also could speak to his wife. It was then she revealed that it was her husband who despised the child and did not want to keep the little one. And rubbishing her anguish and utterly terrified state arranged for the adoption and consigned the child to the German couple – her foster parents. All the subsequent affairs and his condition are the natural and direct offshoot of the guilt that began to plough and monstrously haunt him since. Later when confronted with the sordid facts, he confessed to my friend that he was responsible for the wretchedness in which he finds himself. And that the guilt was tearing away at his soul.
I wonder if he will ever have reprieve from guilt, it will gnaw away at him till he ceases to breathe.