26th January 2022
“Lovely home. Congrats and good luck.”
“Hope this new home brings you happiness and prosperity.”
The wishes kept pouring in, as the guests and visitors continued to drop in for the house warming party.
She looked around the house, at her family and then at the photo adorning the huge wall in the living room.
They had captured it on the day their house was about to become a home. Their smiles said it all. The house they’d spent years dreaming about and saving for, was finally a reality. It was a moment from two decades ago, yet it told the story of the moment, and not what came after.
“It’s a beautiful family photo. The children are so small. But why does it have the Indian flag overhead?”
Before answering, she couldn’t help look at her family with pride.
“You saw the flag but you didn’t see the date on the photograph. It was taken on 26th January 2001…”
“Oh, but wasn’t that the day when…?”
She just nodded and didn’t elaborate. There was no need to.
“Hey, mom. Come, it’s time to cut the cake.” She excused herself as she joined her husband and two children.
The siblings proudly handed over the house keys to their parents.
“It took some time, but here’s your dream home.”, said the brother-sister duo with a wink.
The surprise had been worth the wait and their hard work.
Amidst scattered laughter, loud applause, and cheering, the cake was cut. A slight delay in achieving their goals didn’t dampen the couple’s happiness. And it definitely added to their pride as parents.
They might have failed to give their children a good home in their childhood. But they had been successful in raising them right because the children were now ensuring good adulthood for them all.
Note: This microtale is a memoir of the tragic earthquake that shook the state of Gujarat on 26th January 2001. It led to immense loss of life and property.
Though it is a fictional tale, it laments the loss that was very real. It provides hope that today, twenty years later, things might have started to look better for those who lost their families, their dreams, and a lot more that day.
Here’s wishing the readers of A Rustic Mind, a very Happy Republic Day.
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