Sunday, March 29, 2009

Seattle Calling

When Devi's parents set off on their journey to their only son's destination, Devi was overlapped by mixed feelings. On the one hand she was excited and happy, on the other hand she was niggly and jittery. She had her reasons for all these emotions that she harboured. Her parents are elderly (septagerian and sextagerian) . It 's their very first foreign trip, the first halt being London and then to Seattle by a different flight. That's where her brother , their son, lived.

Devi's brother has been in the states for more than six years now. Her parents have not had a glimpse of him since the past four years. They have not even seen their grandson who was born there. The infant is more than two years now .

In this empty span, her aged father fell ill many times, was hospitalised in the ICU once and suffered unending bouts of depression. He sometimes became vocal about how much he missed his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Her mother seemed tougher . She had resigned to the fact that since they had given high education to their (brilliant, highly ambitious, always an academic-topper) son , who of course had struggled in his salad days, deserved to enjoy the best, now that he was working with Infosys , a much sought-after company, savouring a very enviable position.

"But does the best always lie in Uncle Sam's country?" Devi pondered.

For in the heart of her mother their was a burden, an emptiness which she would always shield with her smiles. None could ever gauge the enormity of her vacuum that sometimes enlarged and burst in the form of migranes, acidity, fever or temper tantrums. Devi tried her best to allay her void. She would pay them annual if not bi-annual visits. Being a mother, a wife, a daughter -in-law and a teacher had clipped her own liberty considerably .

In India, a daughter is a daughter . A son is a son. Their roles are seldom allowed to be reversed.

All Devi could do was to cajole her brother mildly, to show up, with his family, at least during vacations. But it did'nt work. Her parents were cautious not to go overboard with their actual feelings when he periodically spoke to them on phone. They must have nurtured some inexplicable fear themselves. Fear of losing that fragile touch .

Therefore the news one day that her parents were flying to their son's place , sounded great to Devi. She was happy that their parched eyes would now get a glimpse of their loved ones. But the flight ? Could they take it? The long tedious journey, could they endure it ?

But what can love not do ?

Devi was on tenterhooks still. She enveloped them with Reiki's protective energy , being a third degree reiki channel, plus a reiki practitioner . She further prayed to God for their safe landing. Her joy knew no bounds when the plane finally did touch the grounds of the Sea-Tac International Airport.

Her brother had come to the airport to receive them with his wife and son. Enroute home, sitting in his son's red sedan, her father called Devi , with his grandson on his lap, ecstasy in his voice and peace in his mind, " Bapi , amra thik -thak pounchhe gechhi ( Sweetheart, we reached here safely. )"

"Sneha nimnagami ( Affection always flows from higher order to the lower order)"- So says a popular Bengali adage. How true indeed it is, for profoundly had Devi's parents expounded it !