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PUPPET

 

Sam came out of the consulting room almost dead. The words of the oncologist kept echoing in his ears as he walked towards his car in despair.
His driver did not fail to notice his master’s darkened face, but as a matter of respect kept quiet. The engine of the luxurious car roared, and the vehicle moved forward. The chillness in the interior of the car could not stop the sweat that appeared on Sam’s forehead. His state of mind did not permit him to view the hustle and bustle of the roads and so he closed his eyes. His mind carried him to his childhood days.
Long walks to that only school in his village were as fresh as a newly bloomed rose. Accompanied by his childhood friend Jalal, a loving soul even to this day, Sam used to walk two kilometers every morning and evening. Along the lush green fields and the lotus covered ponds, they walked chatting about the homework and class schedule. The days they ran chasing the dragonflies on the way to school, remain fresh in his mind even today.
Jalal was not all that sincere in his studies as his future was already decided. He was to take up the ownership of his father’s shop when he reached 18. The shop, though built in a small area, catered to the needs of the ladies in the village. Sam had always wondered how Jalal’s father could stock up so many things in that limited area. It was the only place where the ladies in the village gathered to gossip under the pretext of buying daily household goods. Sam was lucky enough to get orange and lemon candies for free, as a token of friendship.

“Work Hard and You will Succeed” was the mantra.

The words which were strongly inscribed in Sam’s mind as he heard them almost every day. His life then, just revolved around his small house with his parents and 4 siblings. Being the eldest in the family, he was to be the role model to his siblings.
Sam’s travel in the past paused and his eyelids opened as the car stopped at the red signal. While his eyes stared at the red light, his mind pictured the image of his father. A short and thin framed strict schoolmaster, who never failed to exert his strictness even at home. He had his own ambitions which he forced onto his children. Sam was constantly advised to pursue his career in medicine, for the only reason that his father had lost his mother due to the lack of an efficient doctor.
Sam’s dad had struggled a lot for the welfare of his family with his meagre income. The house used to be in complete silence when his father was at home. Sam understood the wisdom behind this disciplined man only much later in his life.  His day began at 5 am and he made it a point that all the family members gathered for breakfast at 8am. Though the children were annoyed with his strict rules at home then, undoubtedly, they paved the way for their success in future.
Today his offspring could never deny the sincere love he had for his children. He had taken all efforts within his limits to see his children settle down successfully in life. The green signal woke up the engine and the car moved.
Sam was once again carried back to his village. That day, when his name appeared in the MBBS selection list, was almost celebrated as a festival at home. He could still remember his father sharing the news to his kith and kin proudly. His innocent mother, a kind-hearted being, brimming with love for her family, behaved as if she can be free of all diseases from then. The tiny village gathered in his house that evening. They were confident that a savior was getting ready to save them. Long days of hard work had taken its toll on Sam that he couldn’t relish the sweet which others were enjoying.
Though he had achieved and had fulfilled his father’s dreams, still his heart was feeling that emptiness. No way to express his feelings or no ears to hear his heart.
Sam entered his college life keeping aside all his aspirations and desires, to see the tears of happiness in his father’s eyes. The next five years moved as a horse race. Exams and grades were the maximum uttered words.  Those days Sam used to envy the group of rich boys who enjoyed every second. Sam looked up on them as beyond his reach. He had to survive in the meagre amount which his father provided him with great difficulty. As a teenager, he had his own desires but had to keep them all in his dreams. Always there was a feeling of remorse accompanying him wherever he was. He felt that he was made to live on other’s choice rather than living on his own.
Sam completed his graduation with flying colours. The news spread far and wide in his village. His parents were in excess of joy and his sisters were overjoyed. But Sam, though felt happy in fulfilling his father’s desire, could not get into that true spirit of joy. His heart refused to assimilate that happiness and he still remained confused.
He couldn’t pursue his post-graduation because of the poor financial condition at home. So, he settled down in the primary health centre in his village. From morning to evening with the patients, then helping his siblings in their studies became his schedule for a year.  Sam was lost in the deep twists that had occurred in his life as the car took a deep turn. As a relief from the monotonous tedious life, he somehow managed to join his PG course sponsored by a wealthy man in the town.
The agreement was that Sam married his daughter after completing his studies, to which he reluctantly agreed. Once again Sam’s way of life was decided by someone else. His married life began in the nearby town. The clinic set up by his father-in-law became his home as he spent the major part of the day there. Appreciated by all as an efficient doctor, his days rolled on successfully. Success, he achieved through money and fame did not reach deep into his heart.

In spite of life presenting him with all the luxuries which he had once longed for, Sam felt empty. 

He was filled with remorse on missing all the simple, sweet happiness which had passed along at the different stages of his life. He could realize that earning name and fame is not the ultimate goal of life. He understood that a person gets the complete satisfaction in life only when he has lived every stage of his life to the fullest. “Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” The car came to a halt and before the chauffeur opened the door (as of the regular practice) Sam opened the door and walked towards the gate.
Sam’s wife, Jane hurriedly approached him and inquired about his visit to the oncologist. She was anxiously pouring out all her worries and wishes to God from early in the morning, as Sam was to consult the oncologist. Last weekend after lunch Sam was relaxing on the sofa when he felt uncomfortable and vomited which had blood stains. Sam’s wife was so worried on seeing it that she forced him to visit a doctor.
When Sam visited his college mate Alex, a general physician, he recommended that Sam should go for a scan. A tumor was diagnosed in his liver and he was to undergo biopsy. This morning Sam had an appointment with the leading oncologist in the town. Jane repeated, “What did the doctor say?” Jane is an innocent girl whose world is her house. Her only entertainment in life is to keep her house beautiful.
Sam considered this as an advantage to him, as he could concentrate on his work. He took some time to frame an answer to her question and finally said, “Nothing serious, it can be cured through medicines.” He didn’t have the courage to look at her face and utter a lie, so he replied starring at the floor.  Jane felt relieved and she rushed to prepare a tea for him. Sam was worried that he had to utter a lie just to keep her happy. He had sacrificed his life for the happiness of others and this he knows is the last one.
He recollected the words of the oncologist, “Sir, I am really very sorry to explain the very bad condition of your health. I know you can understand the situation. Please take care of yourself.” Neither a surgery nor chemotherapy could save his life. He has just a few more months left in his life. As he kept staring out at the garden, he saw the gardener digging the ground which taught him the reality that every man is to return to the earth. Life is that few years between birth and death.
Moulding those few years is in the hands of every human being. At the end of your life success is when you are satisfied in the way you have lived. Sam understood that he had lived throughout his life as a puppet.

 

 

 

Pic credit Canva

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