Ganeshrao got up early morning at five. With great vigour he went out and had a stroll. While going on the street he saw some people in a park exercising. He too entered the park. There, he began doing those exercises of which he was capable of.
Now he must tone up his muscles and become fit… His belly had blown out like a drum.. he should push it in…
Soon he got tired of exercising….
He had lost touch with exercising… so the tiredness would naturally occur. It does not matter, slowly he would gain stamina.
Because of the exercise he was perspiring and because of the perspiration cool breeze from the garden still seemed chill.
He was feeling relaxed…
As if he had become free…
Free from all ties…
But was he going on a wrong path?....
The one who had spent her lifetime for his sake
How could he now turn his back on such wife?...
Though now he had become tired of her…
At one time he had indeed loved her…
But this love…newfound love… what was this love like…
Like a silk worm weaving a cocoon around itself…
In which the worm had a true or false sense of joy, trust and a sense of security, true or false or imaginary…
But one day when the silk worm turns into a butterfly….
Even it tears the cocoon that it had built so painstakingly…
Liberated of all ties it flitters freely from one flower to another….
That morning after shaving Ganeshrao instructed Vinya,
“Hey, go and get a cup from the kitchen…”
Vinya found the behaviour of his father entirely different from normal. His father had never ordered him with such confidence. Vinya merely threw a surprised look at his father and ignoring him he turned to do his own work. When Ganeshrao saw that his son was not listening to him he turned his attention to his wife.
“Get me a cup from inside…” he said.
Ganeshrao waited for some time. Still there was no response or movement from inside. Ganeshrao scolded, “I am shouting from that time asking you to get me a cup”
His scolding fetched the desired result.
His wife came from inside, kept a cup before Ganeshrao and grumbling again went inside the kitchen.
“Do we have an old brush?” Ganeshrao again asked his wife.
“Brush?... what brush?...
“Tooth brush… what else…”
“Why do you want it?”
“Don’t ask unnecessary questions… just tell me if we have it or not,” Ganeshrao again scolded her.
“I’ll just see… If I find one I’ll give it” his wife shouted from inside.
Vinya came and stood before his father.
“So you have again started your bickering” Vinya shouted at his father.
“keep your mouth shut. Don’t you know how to talk to your elders?” Ganeshrao shouted back at Vinya.
This unexpected reaction made Vinya cowed down. He did not know what to say. He simply sneaked out of the room.
“Did you find it?” Ganeshrao again shouted at his wife.
“No.. I don’t keep old things in the house… then and there I throw them away’ a voice came from inside.
“In that case give me the brush which I am using now,” Ganeshrao instructed his wife.
Ganeshrrao’s wife brought and kept the brush before him and went away without saying anything.
After a while Vinya came and stood near his father. He gaped at him.
“Aai..” he loudly called out his mother.
“What is it? …till now it was your father.. now it is your turn to shout…” His mother said getting annoyed.
“Come here, quick, I’ll show you a funny thing..” Vinya said with laughter ringing in his voice.
His mother hurriedly came out. She stood next to Vinya and she too gaped at Ganeshrao.
Ganeshrao was mixing a dye in the cup with the brush and was applying to his hair. He had already dyed more than half his hair black.
“Now, what do we say?” Vinya said sarcastically.
“Senility.. what else? It is true that when a person turns sixty he turns natty and behaves like this what else? Ganeshrao’s wife said and went into the kitchen stamping her feet.
“Hey.. I am only fifty. There still are ten more years for me to turn sixty” Ganeshrao said twirling his moustache and looking at his wife.
(to be contd…)
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Anil Ekbote