When my sons were in the primary school, I was a member of the ‘Parent-Teacher’ association. It was quite a friendly group of parents who got together with the teachers a few times a year and discussed school matters and helped out in the school’s extra curricular activities.
We were the same set of members for many years together, till our children graduated from school. The parents themselves became comradely and would drop in at each other’s houses. We parents had our own outings and attended parties and festival gatherings of all the association members.
In short we became good friends.
Now it is many years since my children attended school. They are married with kids of their own. But my stint at the school association remains a happy memory to me.
One person who was a hero of our association was Mr.Ilango. He was someone whom you could rightly refer to as, ‘a jolly good fellow.’
He and his wife would invite us home often and serve us scrumptious meals. He would manage to get tickets for good movies for all of us and what a treat we had. Also he was such a chatter box that he could wax eloquent on any topic under the sun.
There was another lady in our group Mrs.Sara, who was as witty as him. They kept our group an active and a happy one.
Then my husband died!
It was a sad time for me and I dropped out of the group as I was busy with so many things.
Once I happened to take my children to a book shop in a mall in our city. My children were occupied in the kid’s section and I wandered among the aisles looking at the books in the shelves. One book caught my eye. It was in the philosophy section and the title was, “Is There Life After Death.”
Being drawn to it for obvious reasons, I picked it up and became engrossed in it.
The next day, Mrs. Sara rang me up. She said that Mr.Illango had come to the book shop the previous evening and had seen me there.
He had wanted to come over and talk to me. But seeing the book that I was reading, he had not wanted to disturb me. He told Mrs.Sara that “his heart had bled seeing me seek answers to questions taunting me after my husband died, in the philosophy section of a book shop.”
I lost touch with my school group after a few years. Mrs.Sara would call me occasionally, mostly on my birthday which fell on the same day as her sister’s.
She told me one day that Mr.Ilango who was much younger to me, was suffering from cancer and was slowly dying. It broke my heart that such a man as him, who was the epitome of life was, slowly dying.
A few months later, I saw his obituary announcement in the papers.
I wished I had visited him when he was sick. But I knew that my heart too would have bled to see him on his death bed.
When ever I see the book I had bought that day at the book shop, when Mr.Ilango had not wanted to disturb me, I think of him.
I wonder with a saddened heart if Mr.Ilango would have found out for himself the answer.
The answer to that baffling question.
“Is there Life After Death?’
Story written By Gulsum Basheer @ Talkalittledo
Image by: My Graphic Tablets from Pixabay
Image By: Christian Dorn from Pixabay