We go through life clinging to it.
We ceaselessly personify it in diverse forms, and persons, and ambitions, and in our daydreams.
Perhaps because we are not strong enough to survive without it.
Perhaps because it is the very food which our souls crave for.
Perhaps because at the end, it is all we have left.
These were the thoughts I pondered on,
as I watched her out of the corner of my eye,
muttering audibly to those voices which only she could hear;
her glimmering eyes looking into the distance.
It had been fours years since her travails all began.
Before then, she had built her world around him.
She had sailed through those early years of widowhood braving every storm, every indignity, every setback.
Because she firmly believed that he would grow up to be like the sun, blazing and glowing splendidly, to wipe out her darkened years.
And then, the last four years happened;
beginning with his arrest and detention on false charges.
And then, she began the frantic battles to save her crashing world.
To recover her last hope.
To save her son; her only child.
Poor and destitute, she was powerless against those malicious forces that held him captive; that threatened to crush her hopes.
And he languished in prison, deteriorating with each passing day.
But she kept coming to see him;
believing that she had justice on her side,
and feeding him the same hope.
Yet justice seemed to elude her all the more.
Eventually she ran out of finances and could neither make those trips to see him again,
nor push for his release.
Her hopes gradually metamorphosed into those voices in her head.
That never left her.
Assuring her that someday, somehow, he would return.
She heard them always
And I did too.
It was an uphill task running around to secure his discharge after I had been assigned his case pro bono three years later.
At a point, I angrily tossed away his case file after a confrontation with a court clerk and walked out,
coming back only after the voice in my head persistently pleaded that I return.
And that voice was always there, urging me all through the tough moments while I canvassed for his discharge.
I remember the profound tears of joy rolling down her face when I met her and broke the news of her son’s release. She was considerably weakened and frail from her struggles.
And while we were at the prisons waiting eagerly as he packed his belongings, I watched her muttering thanks to those voices
which only she could hear.
As I watched and mused on her hopes, my mind also flashed back to that fateful day when I first met him in jail.
Haggard, tattered, morose, he was already losing his mind.
In the course of our discussion, he had said those striking words to me.
Those words that culminated into the voice in my head ringing all the time, as I rallied around seeking his release.
Those words that urged me on during the faltering and trying moments.
He had said,
“My God sent me a message. I keep hearing His voice all the time. He said soon, very soon, He will come by Himself to take me away from this place… and lead me back home to my mother“.
I learn lessons and I tell stories…