Heroes in our Homes

(1)

He is sitting silently on the hospital bench. 

“Congratulations! You have been blessed with a baby girl,” the nurse announces excitingly.

He stands up.

“Would you like to see her? I will bring her to you,” says the nurse.

She comes back after ten minutes, with the little miracle in her hand. He looks at the little life as she moves from nurse’s arms to grandmother’s arms.

“Have you recorded the time of birth? You guys are always in your own little world,” he yells at his mother.

Her face turns pale. Everyone around her goes silent for a while.


(2)

He is standing in the hall waiting for his wife and daughter. 

His daughter is going to college and is moving out of their home.

“Darling, hope you have kept your medicines,” says his wife, as they enter the hall.

Yes mom, don’t worry.”

“Also, make sure you take out all the snacks as soon as you reach there and arrange them properly.”

“No, I won’t,” the daughter laughs, “I will manage, Mom.”

“It’s high time you learn to take things seriously,” he yells at his daughter.

She breaks down. So does her mother.


(3)

He is moving out of the hospital with his extremely sick father. As he makes his father sit in the car, his father suddenly holds him tightly and starts breathing heavily.

He looks at his father and looks around to see if there is someone who can help. In seconds, his father stops breathing. He looks back at him to realize his father is no more.

He calls his wife, “Inform everyone he is no more.”

“What!??” she exclaims.

He hangs up.

Her heart sinks as she senses the coldness in her husband. She sits down and cries her heart out.


This is just half the story. Here’s the full story…

(1)

He looks at the little life as she moves from nurse’s arms to the grandmother’s arms.

He is overwhelmed and is feeling a range of emotions. He brought into this world a life; he has a big responsibility now and he suddenly has this unconditional feeling of love.”

He doesn’t cry with happiness.

“Have you recorded the time of birth? You guys are always in your own little world,” he yells at his mother.


(2)

“No, I won’t,” the daughter laughs “I will manage, Mom.

His daughter is moving into the big bad world. He always protected her and now he is concerned for her. He doesn’t cry and say, “I love you. Please take care of yourself.”

“It’s high time you learn to take things seriously,” He yells at his daughter.


(3)

He looks back at him to realize his father is no more. 

His world is shaken. He feels like there is no roof over him anymore. He feels this unbearable pain in his heart.

He doesn’t cry.

He calls his wife, “Inform everyone he is no more.”

“What!??” she exclaims.

He hangs up.


He  doesn’t cry, he never does. He should not. He is supposed to give strength to the family and be their hero. And heroes don’t cry. Humans do.

Every time he feels the rush of emotions, he doesn’t know what to do. And the outlet is what it is. 


Let’s ask ourselves today…

Do we want to be born to a hero or to a human?
Do we want to live with a hero or a human?
Do we want to raise a hero or a human?”

The 2 Worlds

Knock knock.
Shanti opened the door.

“Aunty”, the neighbour said. “Please have dinner at our place tomorrow. We have Ganesh pooja, and we need your blessings.”

Shanti has earned a lot of respect because of her simple nature, calm demeanour and warm conduct. Both her sons are married now. One is settled in Bangalore, and the other in Chandigarh. Shanti keeps shuttling between the 2 residences depending on who needs her more.

Shanti is in Chandigarh these days. Her husband, Randheer, is also in Chandigarh with the family. Randheer has not been keeping well for last few months, owing to his age and lifestyle. Shanti is still quite active; she is 12 years younger to Randheer. When they got married, she was 18. Since then, she has been taking care of Randheer, his family and kids. Last few days of Shanti have solely been dedicated to Randheer, making arrangements for his strict dietary requirements as well as his food cravings within the dietary restrictions and accompanying him for walks, hospital visits, etc.

Since morning, Randheer has been rather silent. He had his breakfast and wanted to rest a bit. Shanti, meanwhile, was busy with other work. She goes in to check if he needs something. “Would you like to have some milk or sprouts?”, she asks. He doesn’t respond. She goes closer and tries to move him. “Noooooooooooo”, she screams. His son comes running to the room. She starts crying and hugs her son. “He has left us alone.”, she shrieks.

Five days later, after all the rituals are done and the visitors have gone, she moves in her room. She is lying on the bed; her eyes are hurting as she has been crying all day for last 5 days. There is no one in the room. She sleeps for 2 hours, and feels quite fresh when she wakes up.

Somehow, she can’t stop smiling. A part of her wants to madly indulge in the dance of liberation. She is free, from the shackles of slavery and insult. No one is going to abuse her anymore. Her relationship with Randheer was never of companionship. There was no love. She was nothing more than a caretaker and a punching bag for him. He is gone now.

For the world, she is a devastated widow. There is a world inside her where she always dreamt of being free, of living her own life and of not serving someone endlessly; where she wanted to be treated as a human and not as a doormat. In her real and authentic world, she is finally free to live her own life.