Delhi To Los Angeles

Delhi To Los Angeles

It was Arjun’s 18th birthday after a week. He had asked his father to let him go to Los Angeles for a holiday as a birthday gift. Father told him that he would surely send him, but at this time he was financially a little tight, so he would send him next year. The boy persisted but the father did not give in.

On the day of his birthday, Arjun realized that father had organized a small Prayer Ceremony. When he came down from his room in the morning, he saw the family Brahmin (priest), preparing for a ‘Havan and Puja. Arjun was irritated; he had told his father that he wanted a party with his friends. Arjun sat through the prayer, fretting and fuming all the while. At the end of it, his father handed over a gift to him. Arjun smiled as he proceeded to unwrap it. But what was this? ‘The Bhagawad Gita!’ What a gift! He didn’t want it What about his holiday? He just put it aside and said, “Dad I’m getting late for college, I’d better go now.”

Arjun walked out and did not come back home. He struggled to support himself. He completed his studies and worked part time.

Many years passed. He was now living in Mumbai, far away from his home town. One day he bought a bunch of bananas from a roadside vendor. The vendor put them into a paper bag made of old newspaper. Arjun’s gaze fell on a picture in the newspaper. It was an obituary message. The picture was that of his father! Through the tears in his eyes he read the message below it. Father had passed away, three months ago. Feelings of remorse overcame him and his eyes gave vent to the tears.

The next day, he reached his hometown; a small place on the outskirts of Delhi. The door was opened by the old servant. Arjun found everything just as he remembered it. When he opened his father’s drawer, he found ‘The Bhagwad Gita’ there, neatly placed in the same old wrapping paper. Hesitatingly he took it out and started leafing through it. As he flicked the pages and reached the last page he could not believe his eyes! For, attached there was an Air-ticket from Delhi to Los-Angeles and another one for the return. It was an open ticket, the date was not specified. It was then, that he sat down and cried like a baby.

How he regretted his hasty decision! How he wanted to turn back the clock ten years. How much his father had loved him! How much he would have missed him! But, it was too late! Life offers us many things; they may not come to us in the packaging that we expect. They may be well within our reach, but only after some hard work or effort. If we do not care to look beyond well it’s our loss.