In his eighties still very active in a shrivelled frame, he was in the temple serving the devotees. Sunken eyes that are bright, lean frame still agile with tennis, sharp mind reciting stotras from memory, he lit up when he saw me.
A family friend of many decades and meeting after nearly a year, we enquired eagerly about each other’s families. His son was about the same age as me, another engineer who went to US for studies and later assimilated into the busy world of capitalism. When I enquired how he was and if he had come down recently, he said “Well he is busy with work and life, it is been nearly a decade since I have seen him”.
Not knowing how to react I gently enquired if he talks to him over phone, to which he said “Yes he does, but he does not talk to me as my hearing aid poses a challenge. He texts me infrequently though”.
He reminisced his lovely old teenage days with my dad and blessed me and my son with Theertham (Holy water) and Shadari (“Sadagopan” really, the Lord’s feet) and continued on to serve others in the temple. He was a realised soul, detached yet possibly bonded, his eyes deep radiating peace, quietly mindful, a calming presence in today’s busy world. Did he miss him when he saw me? He continued on, another blessed day at the temple.
Time quietly passes, leaving only memories on an invisible parchment. Good memories of yester years still remain vivid on a canvas hidden deep inside the mind. A creative take of a father in his golden age who has not seen not heard the voice of his son for many many years.