This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 30; the thirtieth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
It was a busy day at the office and as most of the software engineers, I went home tired and frustrated. Bharat, my four year old son welcomed me at the door with a broad smile. "Papa
, did you get it?" he asked curiously. I then remembered that I forgot to get the toy he was asking me to buy for the past 15 days or so. I shook my head apologetically as I knew I disappointed the little boy once again. He looked at me innocently trying to control the tears in his eyes and ran into the kitchen to complain to his mother. I walked in and I saw Rakesh and Bhanu, my elder sons watching cartoon network. I shouted "Have you completed your homework? Always watching cartoons!". They immediately turned off the TV and went to their bed room to complete the homework, atleast that was what I thought. Or may be they just wanted to escape my anger, but I needed to vent my frustration on some one.
I turned on my laptop and started working when my wife Radha stepped into the living room and said "Srinu, again working on that black screen?" I looked at her in anger and normally she would leave me alone and get on with her work but today she didn't. "Look Srinu" she continued "I know you are working hard for our family, but you need to take a break from work. I don't remember the last time we went out, let us go out na". I didn't make any eye contact but replied that I had work and I couldn't go. She didn't want to let go and said "The kids are also complaining that you are not spending time with them and always scolding them. They are too naive to understand that you are working hard for their sake. Especially, Bharat is angry that you didn't get his toy for many days". I felt guilty at this point and half-heartedly agreed to go out.
We drove to a near by beach. The sun was just setting and there was a cold breeze blowing. The ocean was calm and the tides were playfully touching our toes as we walked along. A cluster of birds painted a black and irregular "v" on the beautiful orange sky as they fly back to their nests. My three boys were very excited and started running around playing with the tides flowing forward and receding. I asked them to be careful but they were in no mood to listen to me though. Radha was equally excited and joined the kids while I stood a little further away avoiding the water and talking to the client regarding software issues over phone . I saw an old man standing close by and admiring our kids play. For some reason he looked familiar. As I searched my frozen brain for his identity, a name popped up "Radha Krishna".Radha Krishna, once upon a time, one of the richest business men in our state and was an inspiration to all our youngsters for his hard working nature. He left the country long back to expand his business abroad. I wondered whether it was possible!
I hung up the phone, walked upto him and asked him politely "Sir, Excuse me, Are you Mr. Radha Krishna?" He smiled at me and said "Yes. I am, son". I was excited and said "Sir, after so many years, what are you doing in India, especially in this small city?" He said that he came to meet an old friend and he just came to the beach to see families enjoying. I was surprised at what he said and I confessed that he is my role model and I wanted to work hard and become like him one day. I also expressed my interest to know what happened after he left India. He replied "I went to USA and took my business to new heights. I worked hard and earned a lot of money. I was so busy that I didn't spend enough time with my kids and family, and I lost touch with all my friends. Although I had lot of business friends, I never made real friends. My kids are taking care of the business now and they are very busy. My wife passed away few months ago leaving me all alone in this world. I realized that in the past so many years, I spent all my time building my company. I wish I spent some of it on building a few good relationships". He paused briefly and continued "So I came back to India in search of my old friends and relatives".
I was shocked. He continued "Look son. I appreciate you wanting to work hard. But I sincerely suggest you to prioritize your family and friends. I saw you standing there alone and aloof from your family as the sun was setting. But believe me when it turns dark, you don't want to be alone". He smiled, shook my hands, wished me luck and left. The sun appeared to completely submerge below water and it was going to get dark soon and the words THAT OLD MAN said were still ringing in my ears. I regained my composure and ran towards my family.
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Image - Shades of Orange by Harsha Chittar
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