“Papa, you finally came. I have been waiting for you since long. Why are you late today?” Rudra’s curious face was smiling now. “Beta, I was ploughing the farm, that’s why I am late.” Raghav said.
“Oh! So you must be very tired. I’ll bring you a glass of water.” Without waiting for the answer Rudra ran into the house. Raghav and Rudra. Father and son, living in a remote village on the bank of a river in Gujarat, helping each other in every aspect of the life. Raghav gets up in the morning, prepares food and goes to the farm. And Rudra eats, studies, sleeps, plays at home. Returning from the farm in the evening, Raghav teaches Rudra, and then they make food together while talking, after eating they play for some time and go to sleep. And the circle rotates every morning for the same routine.
Starting of July month, one day Raghav returned home from the farm. Little Rudra was studying in the yard. He looked up at the sky and shouted loudly “Papa, see the clouds have brought rain. Our farm will become green again.” Listening to the shouts of Rudra, Raghav came out. There was no limit of happiness on their face. The tiredness of Raghav’s face was now converted into happiness. “Oh Lord! Thank you very much. It happens quite rarely that after ploughing I don’t have to wait for the rain. Thank you very very much.” And it starts raining. They both were happy today. The dinner tasted like a buffet today.
July month passed, it rained well the whole month. One can clearly see the green farms on the border of the village; the crop is fluttering in the light wind. Only two days left to harvest the crop. Raghav is taking care of the crop at the farm. In the afternoon, Raghav and Naresh (The neighbour) are having their lunch under the shadow of the tree. “What do you think Ragha (Raghav), will it rain or not? I don’t think it is going to rain now.” Naresh said. “Not for the next two days, after two days it rain as much as it wants to rain.” Raghav answered.
Raghav was very happy because the crops were good this time, By selling the crop he will be able to pay the debt of last year and current year, then he was going to bring clothes and sweets for little Rudra from the remaining money. “Raghav Raghav, come on let’s finish the work.” Raghav, lost in thought, was awakened by naresh. After finishing the work Raghav returns home in the evening. Little Rudra asks Raghav curiously, “Papa, papa how is the crop this season? When will you harvest it? When will you go to the market? When will you bring me new clothes and sweets and toys too? Say something papa.” He asked too many questions in one breath. “Calm down beta calm down. Everything is fine, and I will also bring new clothes for you. Can you please bring me a glass of water beta?” Raghav replied. Rudra ran into the home.
Raghav and Rudra were playing in the yard and all of a sudden the door knocked loudly. “Ragha,hurry up.” Naresh’s anxious voice was heard. Raghav opens the door. “Hurry up, we need to harvest the crop right now. Take your tools, we’ve to go to the farm.” Naresh spoke hurriedly. “But what happened? There are still two days remaining.” Raghav was also anxious.
“THERE WERE. There were two days, now we don’t even have time to sit. I just heard the weather forecast on the radio. A cyclone is being formed in the Arabian sea. And now it has started moving towards Maharashtra. It will affect Maharashtra and some parts of Gujarat too.” Naresh said anxiously. “But the cyclone is on the Maharashtra side, why do we have to worry? We are in Gujarat, over here.” Raghav replied. “But when I was returning from the market I watched it on Doordarshan too. The Gujarat government has told everyone to be careful. It can rain in our village too. There is no reason for taking any risk, hurry up.” Naresh said. “Yes, let’s go. Rudra, beta I am going to farm. I will be back soon. Take care and stay home.” And then Raghav and Naresh rushed towards farms.
They started harvesting as fast as possible. The harvesting was completed in about an hour and a half. It wasn’t possible to keep the crop in the farm. They put most of the crop in the village’s storage. And took the remaining crop to their homes. “Pray to the god that the danger of these two three days will soon be averted.” Naresh Prayed. The happy face of Raghav was now anxious, he reached home. “What happened papa? Is everything alright?” Rudra asked. “Yes beta, we just harvested the crop a little bit early so that we can sell it as early as possible, and can bring you new clothes and sweets early.” Raghav lied to Rudra because he didn’t want to see him sad. Raghav spent two days at home with Rudra as there was no work at the farm. Due to Rudra he was diverted from the problem.
Two days were passed. “Papa, when will you go to the market?” Rudra asked. “Two days have passed, we just have to wait for one day beta. The next day I’ll go to the market.” Raghav said. There was no sign of the rain up in the sky. But still the danger wasn’t averted. Slowly the restlessness of Raghav was converting into calmness.
Morning of the third and critical day, Raghav was still sleeping. Rudra was shouting from the outside, “Papa, Papa! Come out. See it will rain again. Yay, it will be fun.” Raghav’s sleep flew away in a jiffy. He woke up and came out. The Sun was covered in the darkness. The sky was covered from black clouds, Clouds were storming fiercely. Rudra was happy. But anxiousness was clearly seen on the face of Raghav.
“God, you can’t do this with me. I beg you lord, please please avert this disaster from us. There was no crop due to drought last season, please don’t drown it with heavy rain this time.” Raghav’s restless mind was praying very badly. But no one was able stop what was going to happen. It rained, there was a cloudburst. It rained continuously for seven days. There was water everywhere in the village. The gates of the dam had to be opened as the dam was overflowing. The river, which had dried up in the summer, was now flooded with rainwater. The water of the river crossed the bank and penetrated into the village. For ten days the whole village was flooded. On the tenth day, as soon as the water receded, Raghav rushed towards the storage.
All the farmers had arrived. The storage opened. The stench of spoiled crops spread all around. Nothing good was left. The whole crop was ruined. There was no sign of hope. Only despair was there all around. This year’s crop was also ruined. Raghav returned home with a sad face. As soon as he saw Rudra, he tried to hide his sadness.
“Papa, is the crop fine? Is there anything to worry about? Will our diwali go well this year? Say something papa, why are you quiet?” Totally unaware of the reality, Rudra started asking questions again. “Yes beta, everything is fine. I’ll go to the market tomorrow and will bring new clothes for us & new toys, sweets for you.” Raghav lied to Rudra. Raghav went to the market with the little crop he had at home. Only 50 rupees for 1 quintal of crop. He had no other option than selling the crop. Selling the crop Raghav bought a little sweets and a cute little toy for Rudra from that 50 rupees. At the bus station he met the lender. “Raghav bhai, hope everything is good and if it isn’t, it’s not my problem. I want my money back with full interest. I will visit your village tomorrow. Keep the money ready.” Without waiting for Raghav’s reply, the lender went off.
Raghav reached home, Rudra saw the sweets and toys in his hand, He became very happy. “Papa, clothes?” “Dear we’ve to give our measurements for new clothes, we will go to the shop tomorrow,” Raghav said. “Okay papa.” Rudra ran into the house with his new toy. Surrounded by so many problems, anxious Raghav collapsed on the floor. “What will happen now? There is no chance for farming in the near future, Tomorrow the lender will be here for his money. Oh lord! Why this injustice to me? Is it my mistake that I’m a farmer?” Raghav’s eyes were filled with tears. He started crying, hearing his father cry Rudra ran outside. Watching Raghav cry he also started crying, “Papa, please don’t cry papa, I don’t want any new clothes. I don’t want anything, but please stop crying.” Still unaware of the reality but scared Rudra hugged his father.
Raghav spent the remaining day in a corner. watching his father like this little rudra was also sad. That evening was calm but was very depressing. They didn’t have dinner at night. “Let’s go for a walk beta.” Raghav told Rudra. Rudra was talking as always, but Raghav was calm, his eyes were looking firm, like they had decided something. They reached the farm. Raghav went towards the tree. “Papa, what are you doing? Why did we come to the farm?” Rudra Asked.
“Do you trust me beta?”
“Yes papa. But what are you doing? And why?”
“Beta we are going to meet your mom.”
“Really papa, where is Mom? I want to meet her.”
“Yes beta, your mom is in another world, there is no tension over there. There you will get new clothes and tasty delicious food too.”
“It will be great fun papa, let’s go.”
“Yes beta. Now come on, climb up on my shoulder. We are going for a very long journey.” Saying this Raghav covered Rudra’s face and …… “Please forgive me beta, I couldn’t become a good father. I tried, I tried a lot, but I failed, sorry beta.” The tree; which had seen Raghav growing up, and little Rudra too under its shadow, was the only eyewitness of their death. They both committed suicide. Next day in the morning villagers put down their dead bodies. Little Rudra’s face was still covered. Even after his death, failure can be seen on the face of Son of The Soil. It wasn’t like that he didn’t try, he had given his full efforts. But he failed, and he has to take this decision.
“Mom, I was waiting to meet you for so so long, I have to tell you so many things.” In Heaven Rudra told his mom, they finally met. At the end Raghav was smiling, but at the cost of his son’s very precious life.
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