Arun got a call from his mother one day, saying, “Mr Khanna died last night, and the funeral is on Wednesday.” Old childhood memories flashed by his mind as he heard her. All the boyish pranks, he had learnt from his old neighbour, Mr Khanna; all the time he had spent with him hearing stories and learning carpentry came back to him in a trice. He mumbled, “Oh! I’m sorry mom, I thought he must have died years ago.
“Arun, after your dad died, Mr Khanna, tried his best to fill the gap in your life.” “Yes mom, I’ll be there for the funeral.” Arun took an early flight on Wednesday, and was in time for the funeral, which was a quiet affair. Later, he visited the old man’s house with his mother. Everything was just the same, as he remembered it. Suddenly he stopped, and said, “Mom, the box is gone.” She asked with surprise, “What box?” “On the top of his desk, there was a little gold box, he never allowed me to open it, he said, it held something very precious.”
Soon, Arun returned home. He found a note in his mailbox saying. “A parcel, waiting for you, at the post office, need your signature, please contact within a week.”
Arun claimed, from the postmaster, a shabby looking cardboard box, which looked like it had been mailed a 100 years ago. The letter attached, said, “Please mail to Arun Bhalla, on my death.” A small gold key was taped to the letter. With trembling hands he opened the packing, and sure enough the gold box was in there! He turned the key in the little lock, to find a shiny gold watch inside, along with a note, “Arun, thanks for your time! –Sanjeev Khanna.”
“The thing he valued most … was … my time.” Tears sprang to his eyes as he held the watch close to his heart. Then he called his office, and told his assistant, “Cancel all appointments for the next two days, I need to spend some time with my son, Oh! And by the way Anchal …. Thanks for your time!”
Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.