“This is my testament. Tomorrow I may not walk among you. For I man, like many before me has to pass on. I am not immortal, and this I have always known. As celestial is the eclipse of the end of time, tomorrow, I will walk away, far beyond the future. A distance, the past can not equal.” He paused, and I looked searchingly into his eyes. Trying to understand, a lesson I knew may be the last. He sighed, and I sat up. Yonder into the deep blue skies, his eyes locked. Mine too, sought the depth of the deep blue skies. It can not be. It surely can not be. But it was. In the deep blue skies, I saw him.
From the depth of our silence, he continued.
“I may not have lived my existence to the fullest. I may not have been as good as many may have expected. And, indeed, I may not have achieved what many thought I would achieve. But, in my heart I am contended. I walked in meadows, dry brushes and patchy sands attesting to the footprints of those who heard my cries. I sought not echoes of understanding from others. But, if it be there were echoes of understanding, and nought was learnt, then let it be known, I too have my failings.
In this testament, I seek that you not look to the heavens seeking that which afflicts you, I seek that you look closely into your shadow, look over your shoulder and seek my understanding.
If it be that you relate to my understanding, I am sad. For how it be, we continue letting a truth that should create deeper blue skies for the children be shrouded in our own inability to walk among the free.
Didn't, you hear that child yesterday calling out for someone to reach and touch her hand? You heard, but just like me, you said it is not my child. If it be it is not your child, how it be you too where a child. Look inner yourself and reflect on whose child you were, then you will surely find that it was the child in you that was calling out to you.” He paused, looking down on his scraggy hands like he was counting the many years gone, toiling for a people.
“So what you say for yourself,” he asked.
And I answered.
“I grew up in a rather moderately well off family. In the early years, we did not lack for anything. We grew up as most urban kids did. The tribulations of our parents were their own. After all, there was always food on the table. That a people could go hungry was alien, until in later years. But then, it really did not happen to us. This I only witnessed. Could be if I too had been hungry, may be I could understand why a people can let themselves slide into an abyss of despair. Yes, why a people can let themselves slide into abject poverty, while the very people they voted for to govern and realise their aspirations line their pockets to utterly contemptible levels.
When, I was of school going age, again there was nothing lacking in my existence. The politician was there, but really the politician was merely the person who at Independence Day celebrations delayed the fun. The politician always seemed to enjoy talking to himself. It was mostly a him, then.
I never really could understand why the people afforded this fun-spoiler so much time. There they were looking up at the podium, gobbling even the foulest words that fell out of the foulest mouth. And did they clap!
Like thunder the ovation always was and the birds the skies they took. I guess the birds too really did not understand why a people could disturb so much peace just because the politician has opened his mouth. It never really occurred to me that this person who the people seemed to love so much could be the very person who in time the people come to hate so much. I believe I was one up from the people. After all, I already hated this person. But I guess it was all for the wrong reasons. Surely, I could have had more reasons, but really it did not matter.
The politician I recall used very strange words. Humanism, man at centre, was rather prevalent those days. Words that had no meaning to me. I was innocent as all children are. Then, there were the times, a new tall building came up, and the politician would again make an appearance. Of course, having a two storey building in your town was something exciting. And if it had lifts, then you should imagine how much fun us kids had!
Yes, my father would also often be there. Being a somebody in the town, he somehow had to make an appearance. And did we glow. That is my father up there.
Looking back, I believe I never really witnessed my father smile whenever next to the politician. Could be he always knew something. Must have been a secret. For why else did he not tell us what it is about the politician’s presence that did not make him smile?”
He raised his scrawny hand, you could count the veins. I paused.
“What you say is of the other, what I ask is of yourself,” he slowly said.
“Perhaps, my happiness is in seeing wrong in others. For of their wrong, I can speak well.” I replied.
He coughed, spittle dripping down his lips.
“My son. That is the blind side of your beatitude. Your happiness should lie in seeing the wrong in yourself. Your father did not smile in the presence of a politician, because in the politician he saw himself. A failing, an abyss of reason. Go now and redeem your beatitude.”
I sadly looked at him, stood up, and walked away. A tear fell, but I knew his last words were an altruism.