THE EMPTY SACK

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76 years old, Mr.Kumar struggled to smile in his own house. Adjusting the thick specs on his cataract struck eyes, Kumar looked hopelessly at the photo frame of his dear wife behind a pale garland. A retired professor, usually standing tall, now looked cringing and gloomy. Being considered as a useless liability of the house is a painful phase.

The clock struck 2 in the afternoon and hungry Mr.Kumar headed towards the kitchen. Again to his disappointment, the lids opened to empty vessels and containers. His only son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild were off for vacation, not to escape from the busy schedule and routine work but to escape from this old man and his responsibility, they have to pay heed to, unwillingly.

Living hesitatingly in his own house, he wondered if he really even existed, at least for his son. His ears craved to hear ‘Baba’ at least once a day. But, what still has been his oxygen is his 5-year-old grandson, who is the only person in the family who realizes and complies to his relationship with Mr.Kumar.

But this poor little soul has no idea how his parents had plotted to kick the old man out of his own house, straight to an old age home. Brushing through his lush white beard, Kumar shifted towards the calendar to count the days remaining with him in this house. The house of which, every brick has been placed by his sweat, where he sang songs to his beloved wife, where he played with his children and weaved dreams for a beautiful family.

But life isn’t a fairy tale, a tiny tear of helplessness drip down the wrinkled cheeks. Wiping the tear with a sleeve of his kurta, Mr.Kumar packed all his dreams and memories of his house into a small empty sack and made his way out of his palace with a shattered heart. Kumar put on his lean shoulders, his empty sack. No clothes, no food, just a file named- Will and property agreement.

– Sanjana Jathar

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