Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Last Meeting

That was the last time I saw him. He was almost breathing his last, when I arrived. His family was waiting outside his suite in the hospital; crumbled and broken. Ismail came to me and I could see it in his eyes.

“Sudipto, he is…”

I held his hands tightly. He was about to burst into tears; but then, he was the eldest male in the family now. The last thing he could do was to cry. I went to his mother and bent down near her. She saw me and looked away; holding the end of her sari and biting it she started to weep. I glanced at Dolly, Ismail’s sister. She looked at me too, more in distress. I wanted to go in and meet him.

“Ismail, may I go in and sit near him for some time?”

His mother looked up at me as if she wanted to tear me apart and kill me. She still thought it was my ploy and I was responsible for whatever has happened to Md. Haroon Anwar Nawab, her husband. I looked at her too, but I had nothing to say more. I was helpless. If she does not let me to enter, what would I do?

“Yes, you can go in. The doctor said it is fine if anyone goes in; but, don’t make any noise. He must be sleeping.”

Ismail told all these staring at his mother. She was weeping all the time; she did not utter anything. I took out my shoes and got in to a pair of hospital sleepers and a gown stacked in front of the suite. I opened the door and moved the curtains with minimum of sound and got in. It was a stunning sight inside the suite. Everything was so marvelous. The atmosphere was covered in white marvel and the pearly look inside was so pensive. There was only one window and the soft afternoon sunlight was coming in like rays from the heaven! The light rays were flirting with the furniture and the other medical instruments in the room. The tree outside made it look like they were playing hide and seek. I wished if it was not his hospital suite!

I tiptoed towards his bed and sat beside him on the stool. I did not make a noise, but somehow I knew he felt my presence there. He was motionless. The Holy Koran-e-Sharif was on his chest, and his hands were folded over it, as if he was praying to the Lord in these last few moments. The sunrays were falling on his head and his white hair was shinning like white marble. I sat there, listening to the silence that wrapped me from all around.

The sunrays on you
Calling me so much,
My hands shiver
Dying for
your touch.
And I am listening
To the silence in here,
Your sight
invites me
To come more near.
Will I ever know again
What you wanted
to say?
I don’t know this even
If you want me, this way!

Suddenly, his hands moved. I felt so, but I was not sure. A couple of fingers tried to rise as he extended his hand. I went close and caught it.

“Father, it’s me, Sudipto!”

His eyes opened a bit and from the slightest of the aperture he looked at me. I was all tears when I saw him that way. Probably he tried to smile – I would never know if he smiled that time.

“I have come back, father. I will take care of Ismail, Dolly and … and Amma too. You can count on me now.”

I could feel his hands strengthen the grip. I knew he wanted to tell something, but I never heard anything.

“Father, I’m sorry for all what I have done.” There was a long gap. “Please forgive me.”

I held his hand with both my hands. I knew he was taking his last breaths and I wanted to call out to his family waiting outside, but I could not leave his hand – not again – not anymore. His eyes were closing, but he was able to move his fingers. I wanted to hear him speak, but perhaps I never would. I could feel that these were his last moments and I was short of words. A renowned wealthy writer, who has published so many novels and poems of himself, was now searching for words – mere words with which he creates so much of fan following and fame, were not enough today to talk to his own father!

A last few words came out of my mouth, “I love you, father!” and his lips moved. This time he smiled and I could see it. My prayers were heard. Perchance, he had forgiven me. I was so happy. I pulled his hand near me to kiss them, when his hand dropped! It was all over. His hand dropped on the Koran-e-Sharif and I thought, maybe this was how God wanted me to be close to Ismail, Dolly and Amma. I never called her ‘Amma’ like Ismail and Dolly, but I always felt her to be the same.

I stood up and walked towards the door to call them in. It would be hard for them to hear it, but they must have anticipated the same by now. I was sad that my father died, but somehow, I was happy. Was that weird? I still wonder! While I was opening the door from inside, a quick thought came to my mind:

A moment in love is worth more than an entire loveless lifetime.
Written as Prompted in:
Tell a Tale: Week # 4
One Single Impression: Prompt 58 (Listening)
3. 3 Words Wednesday: CXXXII(Flirt, Ploy, Stunning)

4. ABC Wednesday: Round 4: L is for.... Last Meeting

A footnote: Writing short story is fun and I really like it. But at times, the words fail to convey many things. A person from my part of the world will understand that Sudipto is a Bengali Hindu name while Ismail and Md. Haroon Anwar Nawab are Muslim names. The story is of a person who comes to see his dying father. He is a Hindu, while his father and the family is Muslim. He might have converted to a Hindu or may be off a different Hindu mother. This is the backdrop, which was not much clear from the story. I think it may not be clear to people reading it from different parts of the world. So, I wanted to mention this here.


  1. WOW you actually managed to combine 3 prompts..:)

    The story was engaging too =)

  2. A nice story! at first i thought about the entire setting: gloomy, morbid and pale. but then you pulled out life and love out of it! its really awesome!

    Now a few notes: i think the story should be a little bit longer. more thoughts of the main character must build up the tension a little bit. a few details about the past may do that.
    Also, the reasons of the son leaving his father were unsaid, its a good approach too, the reader can get the space for imagination!!

    nice work Tanmoy! carry on.

  3. As a Westerner, I appreciated the footnote, which made the story much more for me. I think I have to agree, I would have liked some indication on why the son left, why he chose Hinduism. But a detailed story nonetheless.

  4. How true Tan. You did well on all three prompts .. and I love the poem you inserted.

  5. That was a great story. I'm very much impressed by the way you have written the story on that picture. It was tough, I agree.

    Good Job. Thanks for participating :)

  6. Great use of the various prompts. This story carries so much truth, sadness and inspiration. Nice work.

  7. I see that others think you should make this longer. Maybe. You would have to do it very carefully, with only a few words, because you don't want to slow the story. It moves nicely right now, and it's better to leave a mystery than bore your readers.

    I didn't find it very hard to follow, but my husband was in a similar situation. He was the son of the "other woman," and was not allowed to be part of his father's family until his father was dying.

  8. Tan,

    Can't tell you how much i loved reading your fantastic story, that pinch of poetry in between interwoven with beautiful story-telling.

    Just one thing, instead of the footnote, i wanted to find out something about the reason for all that about Sudipto (such a lovely Bengali name) from the story itself.

    But still, your style..
    Would be following your blog from today onwards..

  9. i was hoping a different plot till the middle :) but this was beautifully narrated!!

  10. no words can describe how i feel reading this story..such a lovely heart feeling story, touched me to the core. dont have enough words to praise u..thank u so much for sharing.

  11. captivating story ...truly....u write amazing......keep writing :)

  12. wow... the prompts are very well embedded in the story... you write wonderfully well... would love to read more of you !!!

  13. Always sad when families part ways, but nice when a somewhat happy ending comes about.

  14. @ RV

    Thanks for liking my story... Thought of including all the prompts... happy to have done so... Thanks :)

    @ Anik

    Thanks a lot for reading the story and for your wonderful comments, Anikbhai... I definitely understand your notes. But, I want to tell you a few things too. I really dont think the story should be elongated. Its a short story after all and I'm sure if I make it any longer, there will be less suspense and more description. I dont want to describe. This is the very reason I did not mention the reason the Son left the father. The footnote should tell enough about the reason, so... I kept mum...

    Shob ami bole dile, onnora ki korbe?? hehehehe... dhonyobaad...

    @ ThomG

    I read the story after I published it here, then I genuinely felt the need of the footnote, for I knew, YOU would read me too... Not all the readers of my blog are Bengali. So, the footnote was necessary. Happy that it helped :)

  15. @ Amias

    Thanks a lot. I tried to insert all the prompts. Happy to see you liked it :) The poem? Well, it is something I like to do. Poem in Story - story in poem... etc :)

    @ Story Teller

    Thanks for the read...

    @ Tumblewords

    Thanks a lot for visiting my blog again. You felt the story inspired? Wow! I'm so happy...

    @ Ann

    Welcome to my blog!
    You said it right, Ann. I felt the same too. So, not going to enlarge it any more...

    Your husband actually went through this? Oh! I'm more than sure I do not know him... Do let him read it sometime, if possible :)

  16. @ Sudharam

    Welcome to my blog. Thanks for the wonderful comment. Well, about the reason, I'm not too sure how do I put it in the story itself... hehehe.. trust me, I dont know... While I was writing the story, the thought was in me, and it never came out so prominently. I felt it too... hence, the footnote. What to do now? Dont want to change it...May be, next time ... ;)

    @ Pratibha

    Thanks a lot for reading this. You see, I love to keep my readers in suspense. hehehehe...

    @ Anonymous

    I dont have enough words to thank you too... keep reading me, my reader...

    @ Mysterious Gal

    I will keep writing... that was a promise... but then, there is a return promise too.. You need to keep reading me too...

    @ Rashmi

    Welcome to my blog. Thanks for the comment. I will be the happiest person in the world if you read me more. I have put up most of my creations in this blog. Please feel free to browse through whenever you get time. Thanks again :)

    @ Angel

    Welcome here. An Happy ending was missing from my stories. Once my readers pointed that to me. So, I'm trying to put happy endings to my stories these days.

    Cheers to all of you mates. Thanks for reading .. Keep visiting me more :)


Thanks for reading me and choosing to comment. Your comment always encourages me to write more and write sense. Keep visiting, whenever you can and comment on the posts. I will be more than eager to receive your comments and suggestions.

Warm Regards,
Tan :)

PS: Please visit my other blog: Thus Spake Tan!