The rain was settling down. Some infrequent droplets and those were it. A wind undressed the sky from the clouds and exposed its bare blue residue. The heavens were turning lucid. Taking help from a gentle breeze, trees and shrubs of the earth swirled away the water droplets clung to their branches and leaves. The day was all set to welcome a pleasant, bright and fresh afternoon. And the indistinctly misty evening added itself to the serenity of Maale-Nag, a hamlet on the valley of the mighty Himalayas. The village stood afresh; with a new life imbibed in it. After all it had been raining continuously there for the past two weeks. And little did the rain know that it had spoiled Vyomketan, the yearly harvest festival of the villagers that ran over the last one week.
A couple of hours were still remaining for the nightfall. The last bus from the city down below the plains was to reach the village in a short while. In a small shed near the bus stop sat an old man who apparently was waiting for someone who would come in that bus. Though he seemed so fragile, his age hadn’t have stolen the sparkle out of his eyes, which were filled with hopes.
“Is he coming today?” Asked a passerby who seemed to have known the old man for quite some time. As with the case of any other village, in that village too everyone knew each other.
“I hope so”. The old man replied him without taking his eyes off, which were set at a distance, on the road where it bended and disappeared behind the mountains.
“You should go home grandpa. He is not a child. He will come home alone once he reaches here.”
A long pause was the reply from him. But still he didn’t take off his eyes from the road.
Two weeks back, at an office in the IT city of Bangalore.
“Boss, I am done with my pending tasks. I don’t have much to do now. Can I take a leave and go home next week? It’s our yearly harvest festival that is coming up”. Navin was sure about his leave getting approved when he asked his boss for it.
“Sure Navin, you can go home. But keep yourself ready for any unexpected tasks that would come up during that time.”
“Sure boss!” His joy grew to new bounds. He thought about going to his village and meeting his grandparents after one long year.
The rain had completely stopped falling down. The pleasant evening gave way to a cold dusk. The sky had put on a colorful gown. Red, green, purple and various other variants imprinted on it! The glory of a splendid day was evident in that painting the nature had made on the skies.
At a distance, the sound of a horn was heard. The bus was approaching the village. The old man stood up from the bench with eagerness filled in his eyes. He seemed to have reinvigorated from all his ailments, when he heard the growl of the bus. He moved ahead and got out from the bus stand.
The bus stopped in front of him. Only a few passengers were there inside the bus and they started getting down one by one. Few moments later, the last person disembarked from the bus. With that, the old man’s face turned to disappointment.
No, he wasn’t there. The person, whom the old man was looking for, wasn’t there in the bus. A cold breeze caressed his face followed by a few droplets from the sky. Another rain was starting to grow.
At the same time, in the same IT office at Bangalore, Navin looked at his watch while the tele-conference was going on.
‘By this time I would’ve reached my village’. He thought.
He also knew that his grand father would be waiting at the bus stop for him now. Though he used to tell him to not to wait for him, his grandpa did that every time he went home. After all since his father’s death, it was his grandpa who took care of him.
The client in the US didn’t want to know about all these. They just continued the meeting, as scheduled...