Poignant lines by Omar Khayyam!
“Very true,” say my son and daughter in law.
And here is why:
My son and his family have relocated to a different country. Recently they met a family from India, also settled there. They became friends and started dropping in at each other’s houses.
My son and my daughter in law were surprised that the couple had four children with a lot of disparity in their ages. The eldest girl was about twenty years old while the youngest child was just three years old. They also had two sons who were in their teens.
The mother looked quite young to have given birth to so many children. But they were a loving family and my daughter in law did not suspect anything, till the man narrated his story.
The lady was his second wife.
The man, his first wife and two daughters had lived in this country for more than fifteen years. Their greatest pleasure was a three weeks vacation in India, every year.
In 2010 on their annual visit, they went to a nearby sea town. They took a ferry ride in the sea. That is when fate struck a terrible blow.
The boat capsized. Many people died that day. It was the biggest calamity of the year. My son and daughter in law who were in India at that time remember reading all about it in the papers and being moved by it.
To think that they were meeting one of the survivors!
The man narrated the incidence of that horrible day. “ I saw my wife and youngest daughter being washed away right before my eyes. I barely managed to grab my eldest child and put her into a fishing boat, which came immediately to our rescue. I searched frantically for my loved ones. I saved a few other children. But my child and wife were gone forever. The sea threw up their bodies the next day….”
“Back in this country my child and I could not manage alone. My family in India, urged me to find a wife. They suggested many girls. My heart did not agree to any of them.”
“Then I remembered my dead wife’s neigbour in our native city. Her husband had died young, leaving her with two sons.”
“Now she is my wife, and her sons are my sons. The last little one born to her, completes our family”
My daughter in law is so much moved by this story that she cannot stop talking about it.
She admires the man for his magnanimous decision while choosing a wife and accepting her sons as his own. She thinks that the two boys have been lucky to have been saved from a life of mediocrity as fatherless boys growing up in a small town in South India.
Mostly my daughter in law’s sympathies are with the stoic eldest daughter, who lost her sister and mother in one day and within a year, had to welcome some strangers into her home and life, as her new family.
My daughter in law marvels at her new friends and their unity, but each and every time she would finish her story by saying:
“How your life can change completely, in a fraction of a second!”
Story By MFH. Written By Gulsum Basheer@Talkalittleo