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THE MAN WHO IS ...
Like most of the days, on the long and morning fresh stretch of Mahatma Gandhi Road, Calcutta , India with few vehicles mostly early morning buses towards the Great Howrah Bridge standing alone over the river hooghly connecting the two cities of Calcutta and Howrah.

A boy walks clutching to his small tiffin box, takes hurried and nervous paces towards his first job in life not knowing what lay ahead in his new life as the lone bread earner for his family apart from his grieving father.

Twenty five minutes have passed by since he had left his home, four kilometers away when he enters the majestic Howrah Station. He boards the local train with anxiety and nervousness but with only one thought crossing his lonely mind, that he shall do whatever it takes to make his family the greatest and wealthiest family of Calcutta. As he stands near the gate taking in the fresh gush of wind, his thoughts drift towards the week gone by when everthing changed for him and for his father.

A week back he was dreaming of becoming a big doctor as his elder brother had encouraged and assured him with all the support to make his dream come true. His father the grand man of the family who had nothing to say about these dreams as he had never thought so. Since he didn't had time for all big dreams while working from early morning to late night just worrying of taking home some grocery and milk so that his wife would cook up something good for dinner for their little ones.

Loud whistle of a passing local breaks the boy's thoughts and he quickly firms his hold on to the standing rod.

His thoughts cross to his elder brother lying in bed in a hospital just opposite to where his school was on Chitpur Road. The whole family crying over his dead brother's body and his family standing with a blank look on his face.

The local pulls into Hind Motor, a little suburb made famous by the Ambassador car manufacturing factory. He comes out of the station and starts his walk towards the Seth's (Owner's) office six kilometers away in an old building.

The man enters his fathers room, after a tiring train journey of forty-eight hours from Bhiwani (Haryana), and informs him that the renovation of the old ancestral house is complete and it has all the modern amenities which no house has in their native town.

Its year 1975, and party time for the whole family with all the sisters, their husbands and children present to enjoy the grand dinner at the new home of the man's father on busy Central Avenue. The man happily hands over the papers of the new office, on the commercial centre of the Calcutta, to his father while his young brother looks on. After a few days the man hands over the papers of the factory land bought for his brother to start the railway component factory to his retired father who passes them to his younger son for his ownership signatures. A month after the man finalises the last payments of the carpenters, electricians and builder and asks his father to enter the fully furnished office and tells his younger brother to take the big leather chair behind the desk.

The year is 1977 and the man is asking his father to sign the papers of the land purchased in Hissar, commercial city near New Delhi, in Haryana.

Its year 1982, the man enters his new residential flat the first of its kind Residential Apartment in Patna, state capital of Bihar. His wife is beaming with happiness and his three kids, two boys and a beautiful daughter are all  eyeing the big palatial rooms with awe and childish joy. He makes his father and mother comfortable on a newly constructed corner bed in the drawing room.

He enquires his wife about the lunch and satisfied with her menu asks the priest to get all the things ready for the puja. His father, wrinkles over his old face beaming proudly and feeling as the wealthiest person on earth as if his son had bought some king's palace.

The family is mourning the death of the old father while the man being the eldest son completes the last rites with grief and deep regret towards his old father whom he had promised his very house in the great city of joy and commerce.

The man is calling his wife over the black telephone set and informing her that he has bought a piece of land in the new emerging residential colony near Salt Lake City, Calcutta. He then tells his younger brother to get the land registraion papers ready who informs him, with various future plans in his mind, that it would create problem with the income tax authority if the papers are made in one name. The younger brother tells the man that the Chartered Accountant has made the papers in names of three buyers, one of that in his wife's name. The man looks towards his younger brother and confirms silently. Its year 1984.

The work is nearing completion and the three storied building is getting a final coat of paint  and the family's first ever own house of three floors is taking shape. The man stands across the street admiring the structure coming up and looks skywards as if telling his elder brother and father that he has fulfilled his promise of a house in the big city.

Its year 1998 and 1 o'clock in the night when the phone rings and the overseas call from Cardiff, United Kingdom is quickly taken by the man, knowing who may be on the other side of the line. His younger son's voice crackles over the telephone "Dad I am a MBA now and coming to India to join the biggest Multinational HealthCare company". The man leaps up with victorius joy and repeats loudly to his wife "Hey are you listening our son has become a Masters".  the wife says, "Don't speak so loudly the neighbours would wake up, I am listening on the other telephone."

Its year 2001, the man sitting on the balcony of his first floor of his house in Calcutta with elder son's daughter of two years and smiles weakly as she says in her limited vacabulary "Baba (Grandpa), look doggy". He had decided to stay with his elder son and his wife to support and oversee his startup IT business effort in the city.

He is thinking of the unplanned events that have happened over the past three years with all his cash money taken away by his elder brother's three sons who had asked for his financial and whole hearted marketing help to start a road transport company, leaving his tranpsort company of twenty-five years.

Thinking why did his younger brother and his wife and son, whom the man had allowed to sell off the land in Hissar (Haryana) and the ancestral house in Bhiwani (Haryana) to finance his failing railway manufacturing business, have abused his wife, physically assaulted his younger son and manhandled his elder son's wife in his absence from Calcutta.

And now asking himself that where could he have gone wrong in dreaming of great family and a small dream of leaving behind a great legacy for his sons. He tries to find a reason why did his younger brother, whom the man had given the whole third floor to live, had come and abuse, assault and strike at his dignity and announce his hidden decision that the man cannot stay in the building. All his four elder and younger sisters and their husbands have outcasted the man. His youngest sister who lived in the second floor of the house due to his mother and younger brother's decision and the man did not even till date cared to know how much money his younger brother had charged her.

Even she had spoken against him in support of her brother and her husband, whom the man had himself chosen as the sister's husband, who now silently plays his game of destruction of the man & his family.

He is suddenly become so lonely and feeling surrendered against the chase for a LIFE of his dreams and the man is totally ashamed of himself....
..... A TOTAL FAILURE IN LIFE

But we are proud to say that this Man is the Best Father we could have asked for.

Submitted by HS, India


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