We were doing well in our work. Satisfaction was on top. For the Sunday we had decided to explore the city. It was the Sixth day of our trip; we were busy in our workshop. At the end of time, I had noticed an elderly old couple of mid 50’s were silently watching us wrapping the event. I took a moment from my friends and stepped towards them with curiosity if they had needed anything or a piece of information from us. He had introduced his wife and himself as Mr. & Mrs. Arora, a retired army officer. With a very gentle voice, he appreciated our team initiative and contribution for the difference we were trying to make in one’s life. By then, he was well aware of our formal introduction and background. In a very short notice, he had invited us for dinner at his place. With such program and schedule many a times we had faced such offer but often we had to decline it all purpose. This was somehow different; I put Puja forward to take the decision. Mr. Arora insisted for a little long and with a pause Puja had accepted the offer. She was not sure for her take and it was visible on her face but now we had made commitment to the elderly couple.
7 PM, we rang the bell. Mr. and Mrs. Arora, they both welcomed us like we were known to them since long. We were still surprised and nervous about the evening and so as the silence was shown on my face. Might be I was over thinking but I had the feeling that something is hidden. No doubt Mr. & Mrs. Arora were a gentle, polite and humble person however my mind was searching for an accepted answer for this royal treatment. The couple made us very comfortable. Mr. Arora took us to his garden, though it was night but for his willingness and energy, we went along with him and appreciated his good work. He had planted all kinds of flowers and beautifully decorated. It was truly awesome. He had made arrangements for soothing music also for the evening. After an hour I relaxed my mind a bit and was overwhelmed by this beautiful elderly couple. They were very loving and I guess that’s the reason they were showing so much of love and care for us. I and Puja then went with Mrs. Arora in her kitchen to help her. I was surprised with her spirit and love for five unknown children for them. She had tried her hands to impress each one of us and yes she was the winner. I must say we had the most delicious food in all those days in Jalandhar. It was a time to leave. I asked permission from Mr. Arora and thanked him for all his effort and making our evening memorable. Mr. Arora looked sad for a while and then he requested us to stay for five more minutes. His please had pain and again we didn’t refuse his request. He then took us to the first floor of his house. The room was neat and clean. Everything was strategically at place. He then pointed out to one photo hanging at wall. The photo was of a young boy in early 20’s. He claimed him as his only son. He told us that his son studies in DCE and lives in South Delhi. He then showed us all the trophies and medals of his son that he had earned since school time. He talked about his nature and good behavior. Mr. Arora was carried away with his memories and so as we. Mrs. Arora then intervenes and asked Mr. Arora to allow us to leave. Mr. Arora asked my number and permission if he could call me if needed. I smiled and shared my number and then we left.
The next day was Sunday and as planned we explored the city. We went to famous places in Jalandhar name as Debi Talab Mandir (A must visit place), Niko park, (enjoyed the rides) Focal Point (a famous Industrial area), Dilkhusa Market (Largest Medicine market) and many more. The journey had come to an end with lots of memories. In evening we had boarded our train to Delhi. We were tired and out of strength. We smiled at each other and trying to get some sleep. Somewhere my mind was still there with Mr. & Mrs. Arora. Their unconditional love was extra ordinary. I was then into my thoughts when my mobile rang. It was Mr. Arora. He had just called me to wish happy journey and disconnected it. I was happy and prayed to god for all his long life and happiness. Later a week, I had received another call from Mr. Arora, he was very normal and calm while talking. I continued the call and now he was talking about his son’s address in south Delhi. He had made a request that if I and my team mates could manage to visit his son’s place. I genuinely replied to him that our next trip has planned for Jaipur now however we would meet him once we returned. He was okay with it and very humbly our call had ended. The very next day I had received a call from an unknown number. I answered the call.
Female Voice: I heard Mr. Arora talking to you yesterday afternoon. Beta, don’t take me wrong but if possible please avoid his calls. I am sorry on his behalf; please forgive him for his indistinct behavior.
I: Mrs Arora, Greetings! It was alright, he was not disturbing me even I am sorry as he was requesting us to visit your son’s place but we are running extremely short of time and it won’t be possible……
Mrs. Arora: Beta, you guys are very good and very helpful.
I: Mrs. Arora, I am sorry to ask you but what happened, you are running out of your breath. Is everything alright? Is there any way I can help you? If you want we will try our best to visit your son before the trip.
Mrs. Arora: Beta, we had lost our son 2 years back. There is no way for him to come back. I heard him talking to you regarding our son and that’s the reason I am calling you and wanted you to know the truth. Mr. Arora is living in a hope and this hope will strengthen if he would continue his talks with you. This is nothing particularly with you, he see our son in every person like you.
I: Mrs. Arora, what….What happened to you son?
Mrs. Arora: He was a first year student when he took his life against ragging.
I: I am sorry Mrs. Arora.
Mrs. Arora: Don’t be sorry beta. My son was very good in studies and very behavior just like his father. I just wished if he had talked to me once before that night. Beta, I want to save my husband. This hope will kill him.
I: Mrs. Arora, I … I don’t know what to say.
Mrs. Arora: God bless you my child.
The call was disconnected. My eyes were filled with tears. My heart was just stopped for a while. The whole evening that we had spent with this beautiful elderly couple was flashing in front me. I was in state of shock figuring out Which one was real? Unfortunately both were real. This was a very new feeling in me of insecurity of losing my loved ones. The entire day I was out of me, I was lost, I was trying to understand the pain of Mr. & Mrs. Arora but I guess I was too young to deal with it. That night I called my mom and I was talking indifferently. I told her that I am a stronger person now and I promise that I will not leave them. She replied – Okay and I promised.
How many times do we really show our love and concern to our parents? The parents who never forget to love you irrespective of our indistinct behavior. When I was a kid, I often had fight with my mother and on realization I used to go to her and show my sorry in different actions. She never complained to me. I asked her once, why she has no anger for me when I am indifferent for her? She replied very gently, when you become mother then you will understand. I know I have to go far way to understand her meaning but this incident reminded me the unconditional love of parents towards their children. That is incredible. I have made a promise, have you???