“Thank you so much, this is for someone special. I know all of you would have heard tiring long speeches, Disclaimer: Mine is a longer one. So, if you want to leave, or grab a snack, be my guest, but I promise if you listen, it will be worth it. I want to tell you a story, a story of someone very close to my heart. A story of a special little boy and our connection. I am not much of a narrator so bear with me and try to imagine this as you would picturise the flashback in a movie. The story began one year ago. I am your regular, not so special guy (in his 40s, struggling with a midlife crisis) and this is the incident that changed my life. It was a busy day; my bookshop had been doing well. We had a huge sale that day, and I was joyous. To celebrate, we decided to have a tea party.
I had lived in Jaipur, all my life but coming to this tea shop around the corner, was the best part of my day. Maybe the only thing I looked forward to those days. Watching the kids play basketball in the field, was my favourite hobby. A soft ghazal was playing in the background, (I cannot recall which one) I was enjoying my tea, when I noticed a boy of about 10 standing at the counter, trying to decide which cookies to buy. I observed him intently, and almost as if he had noticed, he waved at me. Unsure, I smiled and waved back.
He rushed over to my seat and asked: “Help me na, I don’t know what to buy.”
“Let me see, if you are looking for cookies, the honey almond are the best ones here,” I replied, and waved at the waiter to get some for us.
“Wow, these are AWESOME, thank you.” The little boy was really happy.
“You’re welcome. What’s your name?”
“My name is TK and I live in that biggg red house .”
“Yes, that sure is a huge house.”
And btw cool name TK, is that what your parents call you??
My parents call me lots of names, but they are boring. I never liked them. So I try to make up new names. For you my name is TK and yours is Mr Bond. Do you like yours?
“Mr Bond sure..!! But why is that?
Oh, Mr Bond, coz you ask so many questions. And I am TK coz, SRK is my favouriteee actor, one day I want to be like him, be rich, be cool; so I need a cool name. It sounds cool right? ”
“Haha, that is wonderful. I am sure you will grow up to become like SRK or better.”
“No, no no, not an actor, I want to be a BIGG painter. See now, I am late, my mom will kill me. So, Mr Bond, see you later?”
“Alright, and take these for your Mom,” I said.
Children, I tell you..!!! It is so easy for them to be friends with anyone.
Soon enough, we became friends, I brought him books to read, and he brought me paintings he drew, he was indeed talented. He brought happiness to my solemn life, I looked forward to my time with him the most.
“Why do you sit here? Do you like basketball?” He asked, digging his head in the newest book from his collection.
“No, I come here for the kids.”
“Oooo so you like kids, like me?” he asked.
“Yes, I had a daughter, she would have been almost your age now, but she went too far from me.” I never really talked about her with anyone.
“What happened to her?” he asked his face turning sad as he noticed me.
“She and her mom met with an accident, and they never came back.”
“You mean she is in heaven?”
“Yes,” I replied, taken aback, there was a sense of maturity in his tone like he understood what that meant.
“So you miss them?”
“Yes, I do, and then I come here, and feel happier.”
“I also like it, coz I meet you here. You are my best friend, you know. My mommy says that when someone goes to heaven, a part of them stays with you like a star and a guardian angel, do you believe that?”
“Your mom is absolutely right.” For the first time in so many years, I had felt so good talking to someone. There was a sense of warm positivity in his pictures too, and there was a peculiar detail I noticed. He used to time stamp his pictures along with his famous TK autograph.
So one day, I asked him “Why the time stamp?”
“Can I tell you a secret?” he said.
“Sure,” I said.
“Promise to me you won’t tell anyone.” He asked.
“Ok, boss, you have my word.” I replied
“I can see the future sometimes.” He whispered.
“Really? How do you know.” Surprised and amazed, I insisted him to explain.
“I don’t know it’s weird. Sometimes I see these things in my head. So I draw them. And then they happen. In real.”
“Whoa, so you have a superpower. It is so cool.”
“Yeah I thought so too, you know. But it’s not, my Mommy always said I am special. I felt I will have lots and lots of friends, b-b-but no one tries to be friends with me, they say lots of things, call me n-names, they think I am a f-freak.” He said breaking down.
“Hey, hey people say all kinds of things and sometimes it’s because they don’t have, what you do. Right? You are a little boy, and an awesome artist, and don’t you ever let them take it away from you. Believe in yourself, believe in your talent. Because, if you believe, then you can make it happen. ”
Tears streamed from his eyes and he hugged me. I had never felt so drawn to anyone before. He was my solace.
Then one day he didn’t come. I asked at the shop but nobody seemed to know anything. This was so unlike him. For the next few days, this continued. I got restless. I went to his house and got no answer. The house was open, but there was no one inside. I decided to have a look around.
I found his room, in the right to the entrance.
There were paintings, everywhere of people, of birds, of things he loved the most. There was the painting of the tea shop and there I was, sitting in the corner watching kids play basketball.
Then I found another of the two of us, him at the cookie stand and me watching him. This was the day we had met.
Then something caught my eye, I saw his painting of himself lying on a hospital bed, stuck with various machines. This couldn’t just be his imagination. Anxious and nervous, I kept rummaging through his stuff, until I found a sealed envelope addressed to me.
Dear Mr Bond,
I hope you get this letter soon. Thanks for being my friend. But I was not a good friend to you. Good friends don’t keep secerts secrets. I was a bad friend, I did not tell you something. I am really sorry. I said I have a sooperpower sooprpower and you believed me. Thank you. But Mr Bond, I don’t have any sooperpower sooprpower. I can’t see the future. Mommy says I have a really bad disease, it is called Canker Canser, and I may not celibrate my 11th birthday. Mr. Bond, my only dream was to be like the other normal kids, and grow up, have lots of friends, and be the cool famous TK. The other kids didn’t play with me, they said I was weak and fragile. I felt left out, I had no friends. So, to become cool, and to make friends, I made up a sooperpower. And it gave me you. I am sorry that I hurt you. I did not tell you these things, coz I knew, you laeave me too. I want you to have all my paintings, as a sorry from me. You’re my only friend Mr Bond. You made me cool and special, I feel I am going to haeven happily because of you and my parents.
P.S: Don’t forget when I go, I will become a super shiny star, and I will see you, from the sky, I will be your angel.
A tornado of thoughts ran across my mind, struck with agony and disbelief my worst fear was: what if this had already happened? What if I am never going to see him again??
I was just leaving the house and found his parents coming from the hospital, they were in tears. I got the news, TK had left us. They were devastated, I came home utterly shattered and shaken.
I read and reread the letter, but I did not have the courage to accept what just happened. Finally, one day, while reading the letter, it came to me, there was a purpose for me here, I went back to his house, talked to his parents and collected all his paintings.
A few months later, on TK’s 11th birthday, we organised an exhibition of his paintings, and it was a huge success. His paintings were loved by various publications of children’s magazines and books and he became a famous name, so famous that today, I am here collecting his young achievers’ award. I am proud of you TK, you were a cool friend. Some people are beyond superpowers, they meet you and change the course of your life. There was a void in my life from my past and he was living through one, our paths connected through pain, and we became inseparable. This award is the reflection of what true devotion brings, TK loved drawing, he put his heart to it. A boy of 10 and such zeal, optimism, and sheer talent. We were destined to meet, he became my greatest strength, and I feel I was brought into his life, to fulfil his wish. Thank you so much for loving TK, a wonderful boy and a wonderful artist. He did not know it then, but he really had a superpower. He could see the future, and he has become THE famous TK. ”
Excellent. And so nicely written. Made me visualize every little bit of it(which rarely happens by the way).
Thank you, thank you 😀
Wow , beautiful ly written, very touching
Thank you Mommy 😀 😀
An amazing story that compelled me to just unplug for a moment and think about my purpose of coming across different people in this journey. Although, nothing so meaningful happened with me till now but I think i also need to solve this puzzle (if i could)😜😁
P.S. Numerous accolades on the way for the writer in near future…Keep writing😊
Thanks, keep flattering me, I’ll be spoilt..!!! And about your purpose, it will come to you, keep looking..!!!
Wow this amazing. Full of emotions of all sorts entwined in a story that really remind us of beautiful thread, ( Friends and relationships) that binds us and keeps us motivated, mostly in times of agony and gives us the strength of overcome the vicissitudes of life. The innocence of child is beautifully portrayed and the transition from innocence to maturity is quite visible.
Great story Mauli.
Hey, thanks a lot, I am so glad you liked it..!! Keep reading for more..!!
A very touching story which is beautifully written 👏👏..loved it
Thank you so much Mahima, love that my friends find the time for reading my stuff no matter how busy they are… I’ll make sure that it’s worth your time..!!!
Wow, amazing, the words and the way you presented it. Loved it. I am so impressed with your skills. It brought tears in my eyes. Wonderful write up.
Thank you very much Ma’am.. so happy that you loved it ❣️