Raj Kumar Sharma had started his day at work just like any other day.
But as the day progressed, much to his dislike, people kept reminding him that there is some thing special about the day. By noon it was clear to every one in the office including Sharma that today was his last day at work.
Sharma was to retire today from the company he served with utmost dedication, loyalty & commitment for the last 33 years and an unblemished career record. Any body could have been proud of Sharma’s achievements as he had risen from ranks to be a respected member of the middle management team of the company.
Soon the day was over and all of us had gathered in the small conference room in the basement of our office to bid farewell to Raj Kumar Sharma. Each speaker shared his memories about working with Sharma and praised him for the good work that he had done for the organisation.
But Sharma was quite, deeply engrossed in some thoughts. He was not as happy as a man in his situation should have been. As the proceedings were on, the events of last two years, that had rocked Sharma’s otherwise peaceful life, started haunting his mind. How he wished he could turn the clock back and every thing would have been just fine as before.
Sharma’s only son Sanjay, a smart young engineer, employed with one of the leading MNCs, had got married a couple of years back. His bride Rita was a beautiful & affectionate girl, who had impressed every one in Sharma’s family from the very first day. Sanjay & Rita turned out to be an excellent couple and the joy & happiness of Sharma Family knew no limits.
But destiny had other plans. Fate struck it’s cruel blow as Sanjay died barely 6 months after his wedding in a freak road accident, leaving behind grieving Rita, a young widow with all her life ahead along with other family members. Life was never going to be the same for Sharma Family.
It took a long time for them to return to normal routine as it was not easy for Sharmas to come to terms with loss of Sanjay. But life goes on and as they say the show must go on !
Although, it was business as usual for an onlooker, there were moments of stormy silence in the life of Sharmas, which use to often make their presence felt.
Rita had a difficult decision to make. Whether to continue with her in-laws or return to her parents who were more than willing to take her home. She decided that she belonged to Sharmas now and she would stay home. Parents respected her decision.
Raj Kumar Sharma’s chain of thoughts was disturbed by the sound of clapping of hands. May be some speaker had just ended his speech.
Today, when Sharma was about to bid good bye to his professional career, he was missing his son more than ever. For he had dreamt of a tension free & relaxed old age in the company of his grand children. A dream that may never come true !
Sharma went through the formalities of the farewell function in a very composed & quite manner, but broke down when he was asked to say a few words. I remember that all of us had tears rolling down our cheeks when relived some of his most cherished moments again.
But no one knew that Sharma’s best performance was yet to come.
A couple of years passed by. We learnt that Rita had joined a job and was doing fine. I was pleasantly surprised one day, to see Sharma in the office. He looked cheerful and we could see he was smiling once again.
When he explained the purpose of his visit , I got up from my seat and embraced him with a joyous feeling that came straight from my heart.
He had come to invite us to his daughter-in-law’s wedding.
He continued in an emotional voice that he and his wife had been counselling Rita for the last two years to say yes to life and get married again as she is too young to call it a day. The efforts bore fruit and Rita agreed to the proposal.
Her parents were also associated in this exercise and were as happy as every one else in Sharma family. They offered to bear all expenses of the wedding. However, Sharma politely declined the offer stating that it would be his family’s privilege to organise wedding of their daughter.
Rita got married again and started a new life with blessings of all family members. Sharmas performed the “KANYADAAN” ( An Indian wedding ritual in which Bride’s parents offer and bridegroom’s parents accept the bride as their daughter ).
Sharmas were to be alone again as their only daughter was leaving for her new home. But there was a gain in this loss. Sharmas had lost their only son few years back and today they had sort of got him back in their son in law.
Sharmas had indeed done some thing extraordinary, in getting their widowed daughter-in-law married as their own daughter. Some thing that is absolutely uncommon and unheard of in this part of the world.
Raj Kumar Sharma, I salute you & your wife for leading this otherwise orthodox and narrow minded society with an example that surely would inspire many parents-in-law in similar situations to have courage to take such bold decisions and light up some more lives.
With love, care & prayers,
AUTHOR’s NOTE : Above is a true story based on the life of one of my friends. The names in the story are changed to respect the privacy of persons described in the story.
Nitin Kulkarni; a global person with Indian abode; keen follower of human processes; a catalyst in human relations; disciple of serenity, simplicity, & excellence; is on an experiential learning expedition in life. Founder of “PAM”, the “Positive Attitude Movement”, he is also the facilitator of PAM’s universal expression “Nascent Dew Drops” , a free weekly E-zine of inspirational and motivational stories from real life experiences.
His other articles can be viewed on the web page Nitin Kulkarni’s work or can be requested by sending him an email. Visit his web site http://www.nascentdewdrops.com or log on to http://www.topica.com/lists/Nascent_Dew_Drops/ to register with the “Nascent Dew Drops” mailing list ! “Nascent Dew Drops” can also be subscribed simply by sending a blank e-mail to mailto:Nascent_Dew_Drops-subscribe.topica.com .