Is Life a One-Way??

via Daily Prompt: One-Way

There was once a vagrant who resided near the outskirts of a village. Far enough from the eyes of the villagers and the crowd, lest they object to his presence. He had to be careful though… The outskirts of the village also happened to be the beginning of a thick and dense forest, home to many a different specie of wildlife, wild and lethal more often than not…

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His home was more of a palace for him… It was the broken down remains of what was once an aristocratic bungalow. Village rumour had it that the devil had cast his evil eye on the property and misfortune befell the family who dwelled there.. The vagrant had probably  experienced  the swing of fortunes in its intensity…in its entirety… to be affected in any manner by the fear of misfortune befalling him… He and also the stray animals were quite content in sharing the remains of the huge bungalow estate…He couldn’t care less..

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He would wake up early…very early every morning, not due to the howls of the wild animals nearby or to the sounds of crickets and bat screeching, but to tend to his survival…food. The lights of one family in the village would burn bright and early…and also happened to house a lady who was generous enough to dole out a generous quantity of bread that was prepared in the household  to him…

He had to make sure that his food, his only means of survival…was sorted out in the dark… in the darkness of dawn.. He was concerned that the lady may withdraw her generosity if the villagers spotted him in the village… After all he was coming from a bungalow which was considered as a bad omen for the village..

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He hardly spoke a few words… he did not have anyone to share his words with… except cursing the stray dogs ,cats and rodents that tried to hijack his meal….The only other human interaction he had was with this generous lady…After picking up his daily bread… He would mutter the words in a low and rough grunt…

“The good you do comes back to you”, was his only thanksgiving .. His only Mantra… His only human interaction… to his guardian angel… the sole reason he was alive and surviving….Perhaps his share of life experiences had taught him this… his life turmoil’s had drilled this essence deep into his marrow… After a certain stage, after a certain threshold of endurance is breached… the superficial is done away with… only the core essence remains… This Mantra is what had remained…is what had survived in the vagrants case…

He was however unaware that things were getting different, more intolerant with his Food Donor… His Guardian Angel… She was well aware that this vagrant is alive only through her generosity… only due to the risk she is taking in feeding him by keeping her family in the dark about this for some years now… And all that she gets in return is a gruff, dreary, monotonous and loathsome piece of advice…”The good you do comes back to you“….The burden of unnoticed generosity was emotionally weighing her down…making her feel restless, agitated and violent within..

The seed of not being acknowledged and recognized enough….had been sown…She decided to end it pretty soon… After all who would notice the death of the vagrant? He was anyway considered a bad omen for the village… That night… she had already laced the bread to be given away early morning with poison..

 

She got up at the usual hour… A Special feast had to be prepared today… Her Son was returning home…after a good many years.. She was just wondering… how much her son would have changed…in all aspects… now that he had made it big in business… a well established and respected businessman now…. Unknowingly she had a smile on her lips….only to be startled back to reality…hearing the faint footsteps and noises she had now been accustomed to!!!

She was now in a different world… of tussle… of right and wrong…of good and bad.. of God vs the Devil…of morals, of the values she stood by all her life…Her Day of Judgement had arrived… Her hands trembled as she reached out for the loaf of bread…Suddenly, as if gripped by an unseen force, she threw the poisoned loaf into the bin…She had no right to take anyone’s life….

Soon enough she saw the vagrant at the window… His eyes glowing with expectation in the darkness around… to receive the few morsels of food…to keep him alive another day… She frantically hunted around the kitchen… She could not send him away empty handed… She found some slices of bread… probably more stale compared to one she shred to the bin… but he would have to make do with it… Nothing else could be done at this point of time…

He accepted the same, eagerly stuffing it in his many pockets on what was once a royal coat now adorning his skeletal structure…He was on his way after muttering his rather unusual lines “The good you do…comes back to you”…She soon forgot all about this and got busy in her chores… Her son was expected shortly…

The atmosphere in her home was tense… All family members borne a sombre expression on their face. Some were frantically pacing up and down the hall way…It was nearing midnight….There was no trace of her son… All said and done, he should have been asleep now on his bed by now… even if he was delayed by some hours… They were quite certain… that some woe had befallen him…all were fighting with the undercurrent of this possibility in silence… but it was just a matter of time, before restraint cracked itself open, through one of the family members vociferously…. agitatedly….

Just then, they heard some faint noises near the gate… They rushed out, lanterns in hand…to find their son crawling his way in… badly bruised and injured… feebly alive…He was immediately taken in and nursed and the heavens were thanked….

With the son feeling marginally better in health, spoke of his ordeal of how bandits in the forest had looted him and left him for dead… Of how he managed to fight for his survival and staved off the wild animals and made wayward progress through the thick foliage.. But he was too badly injured… He gave up all hope and wailed in loud despair…requesting Death to embrace him quickly…He was quite certain that he saw death approaching in the form of a ugly vagrant…but to his surprise….the vagrant gave him some pieces of stale bread and also offered him a shoulder till the outskirts of the village…

The mom simply started sobbing inconsolably on hearing this…. She had just been hit with the full impact of the Vagrant’s words…. “The good you do comes back to You”…

It was her very bread that she gave to the vagrant early morning…that had saved her son…

She realized that Life is never a One-Way…but only a full circle…

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Story recollected from a book named Joy Peace Pills authored by JP Vaswani, which I had read as a pimple faced teenager…

 

 

 

Author: Team Wellness

A dreamer, who from a window seat of a rail bogey, enjoys staring at the infinite plain lands, re-living images captured by the eyes, amused by a dogs yawn and its trot.. moved by a cows gaze and fascinated by the trail of army ants kissing each other to glory... I am not sure if slow n steady wins the race.. there is no race if you ask me....but certainly slow and steady has its own grace...

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