Harishchandra or Harry as he liked to be called looked out of his 16th floor high rise apartment in Manhattan. It was evening dipping into night. The sky was inky blue. The black of the night was creeping up slowly and covering all the blue out slowly. It seemed to Harry as if it was covering the hope in his heart too into an endless abyss of black.
Of course NY was lit up in a riot of colourful lights of the night. The sight had always filled Harry with awe and fulfillment. He had chosen the 16th floor because he wanted to be high above everyone else. And now that he was, he felt all alone, hanging high above everyone else. Today it left him feeling cut off from the world.
He had enjoyed his success for all these years. He had made it on his own. He wanted to be in the US. He wanted to own a luxury apartment. He wanted to own all the top brands of the world. He wanted to get away from the simple family from India. That was his dream.
His life had been a dream run of success upon success. His startup took off like a rocket and he became busier than ever. The more money he made, the more he wanted. And as his wants increased, so did the distance between him and his family. His wife gave up on him and went away with the gym instructor. His daughter grew up and went away after she turned 20. She too never looked back like he never looked back. But he never bothered, he went on as before, running after more money.
He had come here on a student visa 30 years ago and never once looked back. He found a job after his graduation. He married Samantha. He never told his parents about it. He told them after his daughter Maya was born. He never cared to ask what they thought. They were never once invited over, nor did he take his family over. As far as he was concerned, they were a closed chapter in his life.
What had his success given him? Money? Yes. But he could not buy happiness with all the money in the world. Or even companionship. He just needed a friend to talk to. He now thought that he was the poorest of the poor now.
Now, standing alone in his home, he thought back all those years of his childhood…………..
His father was a musician. He played the flute. His mother was a homemaker. Their life was hand to mouth most of the time. Some months his father got to play at more concerts. A classical karnatic flute player did not have a job all through the year. So other months the money was less. His mother made sambar, rasam powders at home and sold them. Both his parents were never unhappy with their circumstances. Hari was always surprised by this. How can you be happy in a small house with hardly any furniture, and hardly enough clothes he thought.
His father was a great flautist, skilled at his art. He taught a few kids to play the flute at home for a tiny amount. Hari was always a student with his father, though not a voluntary one. Hari hated to learn the flute. What was the use of learning this? It never gave anything in return. You practiced and practiced and blew at the bamboo and some sounds came out. That’s it. The flute was not the way to his dreams. Hari was sure of this.
But his mother made him learn from his father. All his schooling years, his flute training continued unabated. By the time he completed his school, he was a good flautist too. His father wanted him to give concerts too. Here Hari drew a line and never once accompanied his father. Hari made this very clear to his parents.
His parents then left him to follow his dreams. And his dreams were big. His father and mother helped him achieve a part of it by scrapping together the visa and university fees by selling their ancestral property. Hari said his goodbye and left forever.
At the airport, his mother gave him a flute wrapped in a velvet cloth, saying this was their blessing. Hari took it and simply put it in his bag, intending never to play it again.
Hari became Harry. His future was spread out before him.
His parents passed away. Harry did go once to see to the formalities.
Today, he had retired. His company did not need him. The board of directors made him obsolete. Today he was truly alone. No parents, no wife, no daughter, no friends, no hobbies. No one at all among the world with billions of humans.
He searched his old box of discarded items and found the velvet cloth. The cloth was frayed and colour had faded. Harry opened it and touched the flute inside. It felt familiar. Like an old friend. Harry suddenly felt a small whiff of his old home in India.
Harry put the flute to his lips and the wind called out to him. It filled him with a sense of joy that he had never known before. The music of the wind moved him to tears.
Harry thanked his parents for this blessing.
The Wind had finally found him after all these years of calling out to him.
Written for the prompt “Call of the Wind” as a part of BarAThon by BlogARhythm on 30 Jun 2017