Manojavam took good care of his father in his last few years. Apart from being his father he was also his mentor and above all a true friend. Manojavam, though very grief stricken due to the fact he will lose one of his best friends, was surprised at how his father remained peaceful all the time. From close quarters he had seen his uncles and aunts die too. They looked scared, sometimes acted violently and sometimes behaved just like babies as death neared them. But his dad was very different. His behaviour versus time graph was a straight line parallel to the time axis. Never ever had he seen him swerve from being absolutely normal. What surprised him even more was the fact that he looked more and more peaceful as death neared him. The inner trauma of the voluntarily retired internal organs which had served him sincerely for a long time did not affect his outer persona. Manojavam wanted to ask his father as to how he managed to be so peaceful even after knowing that he is going to die shortly, but could not muster the required courage.
His father was quick to realise that something is bothering his son. One day he requested Manojavam to sit beside him. He spoke “Manu, I feel that you are not your normal self. I see a big question mark in your head, but cannot guess what the question is. Please be frank and let me know what it is.” Manojavam gathered some courage and asked ” Dad are you not scared that you are going to die. How can you be happy and normal? What is it that gives you so much peace?” His father smiled. “Manu, let us say you have no other option but to enter a haunted mansion. But you have two options either enter alone or enter with two of your best friends. Which one will you chose?” he queried. “Obviously I will enter with two of my best friends.” Manojavam replied instantaneously. “In both cases you are still scared of the haunted mansion but with the company of true friends you are willing to face your worst fears a little more calmly, isn’t it?” his father asked. “Yes” said Manojavam. “What do you see me do most of the time Manu?” his father questioned again. “You read books and mostly listen to music.” answered Manojavam. “I am a common man and I am scared of death but the company of these two friends have made me face it peacefully. In fact, when death knocks I want to befriend it too.” Manojavam realised that dying peacefully is also an art. At that moment he decided that when he died, whenever it may be, he wanted to die peacefully. “But father, there are many genres of music. Which one should I befriend?” he questioned. “That you should pick from experience son. There is a set of natural frequencies preset in you by God or Nature, whichever you believe in. Each one of them correspond to different moods. A given genre may resonate with the rage in you, another genre may resonate with the emotional in you, but for me, at this stage, I have chosen the genre that resonates with my soul directly.” his father answered. Manojavam was about to ask “Which one?”, but this time he himself realised the answer. He just switched on the player and MS began singing with utmost devotion. His father closed is eyes and immersed himself in the soulful music. Manojavam too was involuntarily tugged into its deep harmony and lost his way back. He knew what he wanted to listen when death asked for an appointment.
Once when having lunch together, Manojavam had shared this incident with his wife and his four rag-picking boys. That was the reason why they had bought him a MS songs CD as a gift. Once they left the hospital, Manajula switched on the player and MS again began singing with the utmost devotion. Manjula sat next to Manojavam gently stroking his hair. Manojavam closed his eyes and immersed himself in the soulful music. Once the CD ran its length he opened his eyes and asked Manjula to play it again. She did. She also sat next to him and opened his favourite photo-album. As she flipped the pages of the album, Manojavam was lost in the memories. Naturally he had done a lot of travelling in a lifetime slightly exceeding a century……………………..
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. I have chosen to narrate a single story in parts and each part would be in response to that days prompt. Hope all of you like it.