Valencia drives forward from the right and crosses…….. Rrroooonnneeeyyyyy!!!!! Scores with an absolute thunderbolt of an header!!! And Manchester United have done it!!! Again!! They have scored with the last kick of the game!! Now nothing can stop them from getting crowned champions again!! Sir Alex has done it…. Again!!!
BEEP….. BEEP….. BEEP… Damn the alarm bell. I was in the middle of my perfect dream. United has just won the Champions League beating Real Madrid. Why, why did the alarm had to go off, I thought to myself. It should have at least waited till the trophy was handed out. I cursed the alarm clock some more. I looked at the time with my half opened eyes. 9:15 a.m. SHIT! I was late….. again. I was in for it today. I have been late a lot these days. I wouldn’t put the blame on me, at least not all of it. I got up, did my usual every day routine and got out of my flat just in time for the 10:00 am fast local.
11:55 am. Aah!!! Just in time. 5 minutes late and I would have had a earful today. I made my way to my cubicle and as luck would have it bumped into my boss. Though he didn’t say a word but the look on his face said it all. I sheepishly sat down on my chair trying to avoid eye contact with him. The morning, or should I say what was left of it, went by as usual, the usual morning coffee, catching up with my colleagues, going through the paper. For everyone’s information, I worked at Excel Ad agency. quite a boring job to be absolutely truthful. In the afternoon our boss called us in for a meeting. After 5 minutes of hustling everyone settled down in the meeting room. My boss proceeded to announce that we were given a new assignment.. We had to design an Ad campaign for an NGO, Pratibimbh, regarding child abuse. The moment I heard the word child abuse, something happened. You can call a flash from the past. Fear, anxiety, sadness. I don’t know what exactly but something took over me for those 10 seconds and clearly left me shook up for the rest of the day.
6:00 pm. Time to leave. But it wasn’t the same like everyday. Something was different. Something was wrong. And the worst part was I didn’t know what it was. I caught my usual 6:30 pm Thane local. Luckily I got a seat by the window. I was quite tired today, emotionally as well as mentally. I rest my head against the window, closed my eyes. I let the air gushing in from the window play with my hair. I let myself go.
There I was. A 10 year old kid sitting and crying at ‘my spot’. The place where I found peace, the place I went to whenever I felt like running away. It was another one of those nights. My Dad had come home drunk, out of his sane mind. He beat me up for no reason at all and when my mother intervened he didn’t spare her too. I just ran out of my home. This time I was sure I was going to do it. I was going to run away for forever. I ran went to the abandoned building which was ‘my spot’. I went there for two reasons- one because it was a secluded area. I could be in my own world. Second because beyond that structure one could see the whole city. Watching it gave me hope and strength that there was just more to life than what I was running from.
This blatant abuse was not new from me. Difference was that earlier I was a spectator. Now I had become a part of it, physically. I was 8 then. My Dad was always a drunkard. He had a violent streak about it. He used to beat up my mom every other day. I used to cry whenever it happened. As I grew up I thought why did my mom still stay with my dad. She was a grown-up. She could go away unlike me. Each time I cornered her with this question she only replied with a heart wrenching you don’t understand, you are still a kid. I felt miserable at those times. I couldn’t do a thing about it. I couldn’t right the wrong. At first when my dad started abusing me I didn’t what to do. My mom always protected me and afterwards always consoled me saying it was going to be all right. I always asked her when? when will it all go away mom? She could only say, with tears rolling down her cheeks, pretty soon my son, pretty soon. Initially she was the thing that kept me going. She was the reason I made myself believe everything’s going to be fine in a few days. She was my strength.
Two years passed. The abuse reduced. I finally started believing the horror was on the verge of ending. But then the unthinkable happened. My mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and three months later she passed away. I couldn’t even cry as I saw her going away from me. I couldn’t imagine a life without her. Fear, sadness gripped me within its clutches. I didn’t know how I would manage. I couldn’t run away because my mom had made me swear that I wouldn’t run away. I couldn’t dishonour her after all the things she had done for me.
The thing I feared most became true. My dads abuse went to a whole new level. I got beat up everyday. Some day I felt so much anger, disgust, contempt that I felt like retorting back to him. But I knew I was no match to him. In addition my mom had told me never to let these negative feelings get the better of me. I was a bigger, better person than these. This stopped me from doing anything that would fill my life with regret. I had reached my limits. I had to find a way to cope up. That’s when I made my imaginary world.
My world had me and my mom living alone. There was no dad. And there was no reason for me to include one. Because I had never seen a loving dad. I made this world my safe house. Now I never waited for my dad to abuse me. Whenever I knew it was going to be one of those days I just went to my spot before I had to face my dad. I looked at the vast expanse of the city and then towards the sky. I knew mom was watching me. I went into my world. I lived my perfect life there. I was happy there.
Next Stop…. Thane… I opened my eyes. I had just lived my past in my present. I was no longer restless. I was at peace. I relived the things which I was trying to forgot and to a certain extent had forgotten. I got down as the train came to halt at the station. I got out of the station and as I exited I looked up into the sky still knowing that my mom was watching over me. I knew I had made her proud. I had beaten my past and moved forward. I no longer needed to visit my world. I was free………..