Today was supposed to be a day where he would learn lessons and Udain was a twelve-year-old boy innocent to the fallacies of the world.
The school was a place he loved with a great deal. He enjoyed the journey towards the school and then meeting his bunch of friends after reaching that long awaited destination. An 18 years old would label Udain’s days as monotonous, but those days were exactly what he loved.
But today was supposed to be a crucial lesson; a lesson that would bring him out of his little cubicle. After the school had ended, he forced his feet towards the school van, reluctant to go back home. What made him reluctant? Was it the catastrophe waiting for him at home? Or was it because he was getting separated from his friends? Nobody knew.
As soon as Udain reached his school van he saw Mehak crying.
Mehak was a nineteen years old girl studying in the twelfth standard.
Mehak was someone close to Udain’s heart because
1. she cared for him
2. Udain and Mehak would get off at the same stop and the same stop made them wait for the van together-
3. Udain ran to Mehak shaking her hand, clamouring and asking Mehak about what has happened. Udain’s stubbornness kept him stuck with his beloved sister.
And Mehak broken and despondent ignored him like elders always did with Udain.
But Udain was obstinate and his behaviour finally made Mehak break her silence.
She murmured “It’s a heartbreak Udain. I got cheated. I loved him, but he didn’t bother.”
Udain was confused, he didn’t utter a word. He knew that something was wrong. He knew that people cry when maligning. He sat silently beside Mehak during his whole journey, holding her hand in a hope that he will be able to calm her pain down.
He kept quiet between all that time and bid Mehak a goodbye as they got off the van. Udain ran towards his dad after he saw his dad waiting for him.
Uncorrupted by the ways of world he went back to home with daddy.
Later that evening after he had completed his homework, he went into his mother’s room and spotted her sitting and sobbing near the corner table of the room. As soon as he saw her, he darted towards his mother and asked “who cheated on you? who broke your heart?”
All Udain got to know that day was that people cry ’cause they are heartbroken or when they are cheated. His mother pecked him with a kiss on his forehead and told him that she was not well. But Udain’s intractable nature dragged him to his dad. He went to him with his head low, almost dragging himself to his dad.
“You made mom cry? you didn’t care, right?” he spilled out the words with great disdain.
“Who told you that a person cries when he is not cared for?” asked his dad.
“Muskan di. She too was crying today. Someone broke her heart and cheated on her. I know, you did that to mom. You made her cry” replied the sad Udain fiercely.
“Udain, come here” called his dad, waving his hand in the air. Udain went near him and sat on his lap as if all his anger was lost.
“Beta, a person cries. But it is not necessary that only heartbreaks and cheating are the reason behind it. There are various other reasons that can make a person cry. You fall in love, you cry. You lose something, you cry. Deaths, separations, failures and even success can make you cry.” explained the father.
“But dad, how? why would a person cry due to all these things?” he questioned.
“Crying purges you of all the emotions, Udain. It makes you feel better. Crying makes you stronger. What do you do when you lose your toy? you cry. Same is with people out there.
Dear, love is a wonderful feeling, it is as if you fly in the air and everything appears beautiful. Now, if the person you love hurts you, you cry. The separation is the termite that eats you up and crying protects you from getting digested. And if not cheating and hurting others, death; death can separate two lovers. But the difficulty caused due to separation during both these times are same because the memories are no less than the termite. It is the wood on which the termite feeds. Also, never confuse lovers with just a boy and girl in love. Lovers can be anyone. You and mom. You and me. You and god. You and Mehak, etstra. Also, one should never hurt a person,one claims to love. It leaves them shattered and useless. It handicaps them from all the pleasures that are there at the present.” replied the father, teaching his son about the ways of the world.
“But dad what happened to maa then? Why would she cry? She said she is sick.” asked Udain.
“Beta, today she failed. As I told you that failure too can make you cry. She failed to provide you with a companion.” replied the father trying to save himself from a breakdown, unable to explain his son about the miscarriage his wife had had this morning after Udain left for school.
“I don’t need a companion Paa. I have you and mom. That is enough for me.” replied Udain.
Although his father’s previous reply made less sense to him but he thought of pondering upon what his father had said. All he knew was that there was something wrong that made his mother cry. But that day was a day for lessons to be learned and Udain got one of the most crucial lessons of his life.
By Suhaan Rehbar.