Have you ever watched a nail-biting finish of world Cup football match or have seen your favourite sports star winning the game after the hardest fight? Or, have you could reach the airport to board the plane at last minute? Or, arrived for the job interview in last minute? All of us, have, at a certain point of time realised the feelings of ‘relieved’ to the core of our bones. I have also experienced so many “last moments” in my life that now can’t bear this kind of tensions at all. So, I try to avoid last minute arrivals nowadays but can’t help last minute win of my favourite football team.
The most pathetic moment of excitation of my life seen my grandpa missing from home. He was a Professor working in a renowned University. He was a scholarly person and had to travel to various colleges for up gradation of the Philosophy Departments and designing the curriculum. We had a farmhouse too in a nearby village. My grandpa was very fond of gardening and he used to visit the farmhouse on the weekends. When I was only five years old, my parents along with me went to visit my grandparents during my summer vacation in school. With grandparents everything becomes different. The most pampered days, foods, roaming, shopping and lots of chocolates and sweets were an everyday affair. After two days of our arrival, my grandpa had a call from a college Principal requesting him to solve a problem related to their work and he agreed to attend the meeting. The place was only two hours journey by train from our place. As usual routine work to finish, my grandpa left for the station and asked us to go to the farmhouse as he would come back directly to the farmhouse in the evening. We also were happy and along with my grandma, we arrived at the farmhouse. We enjoyed whole day, my father was fond of fishing, I also enjoyed with him. The day spent so well. In the evening we were waiting for Grandpa to arrive. My mother prepared a special sweet and snacks for him. But, to our surprise, he did not come back. The clock ticked it’s time to midnight, my grandma was out on the street, my dad started calling neighbours, and the moment of terrible anxiety gripped us. On those days, we didn’t have mobile phones, no internet, no communication was available.
There was no news of train accidents too. The night passed with anxiety, grief, predicting the worst possible news. In the early morning, next day, my dad and neighbouring uncles went to police station to file a missing report. All disheartened, tears in eyes we were sitting numbly. Could not predict what went wrong! My grandma went inside to pray to God and closed the door. I fall asleep on my mother’s lap. My dad sat on a chair like a statue, no amount of consolations could feed him a cup of tea!
Time passed and it was about noon, I woke up as I was feeling hungry. I looked at my mother but didn’t dare to ask for food. There was a knock on the door and a voice calling “Joy”…..my dad’s nickname. We were dumbstruck, we knew that voice, its grandpa out there. My mother just rushed fast towards the door and as if holding her breath she opened it wide with bangs!! Grandpa standing with two other men we didn’t know. Our eyes forgot to blink, we got up, moved slowly towards the door, didn’t believe having him right in front of us!! What a relief!!! Till today could not forget that day of my life. At that age, I experienced the worst anxiety and the best relief!
The story unfolded. My grandpa boarded a wrong train and arrived at a wrong place. He could not realise what he did, where he arrived. He got down from the train when co-passengers told the train has reached the last station. He sat in a place in the station and tried to remember where he was supposed to go. As he could not help himself, he sat in the same place. After the whole day passed, in the night, the station vendors got curious about him. From his appearance they guessed that he must be any dignified person, they tried to know his home address. My grandpa could not tell them anything but shown all his papers. The kind-hearted people could know his address from his identity card and boarded a train in the morning to our village place. Thankfully, the identity card was reading our farm house address. So, the two men decided to accompany him up to our house. Our heart felt the gratitude never like before and after. They took food with us and left for their home and now they are our extended family. We were not technologically advanced those days, but people were with angelic hearts!!
My Grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and took abode to heaven three years later.