I Am My Grandfather

The life of a Salesman ain’t easy. Should you be one you will certainly know what it is to be a Salesman. You will know how difficult it is to earn and make ends meet. After a hard day’s labour, and having been abused by my boss for not meeting my sales target, I decided to leave the job once and for all.

By the time I reached home, everyone in my house, except my father who was not home yet, were asleep. It was quite late in the night. I did not have the appetite to eat anything, so I skipped dinner, which my mother laid on a plate in the table.

I lay in my bed, trying to catch some sleep, but sleep seemed quite a foreign thing to me. I shifted a little to the right, and a little to the left. I did everything I could but by no means could I fall asleep. Then I curled and squeezed myself under my blanket, and lay in the bed absolutely motionless, pretending to have fallen asleep.

I heard some noise. The source of the noise was my father. He was in a drunken state, and was blabbering something, as he entered the house. “All sleeping!” he yelled. “Have you all nothing to do but sleep, sleep and sleep?”

I thought his question would fall on deaf ears, but I was wrong. My mother was not asleep, after all. Or perhaps it was the noise that woke her up. “Oh, yes,” said my mother, and sighed a sigh of exasperation. “Yes,” she resumed, “we have nothing to do but sleep, sleep and sleep, and you have nothing better to do than drink, drink, and drink.” An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is the policy between my mom and dad.

My father came to my room; he wanted to wake me up. He pulled the blanket from me and instead of saying Rohan, – which, by the way, is my name – he said Pop, which is the name by which my grandfather was known in the family, who passed away some years ago. “My God! My God!” my father cried, “Pop, it is you. Where have you been, Pop? And where is my son, Rohan?”

I know what it is when a person is fully drunk, so to cut the whole damn thing short, I said, “Dad, I have no time for all this nonsense. Go back to your room and sleep, and leave me alone if you will.” I had a bad day. I was worried about what was going to become of me. The prospect of finding a job was pretty dim; it concerned me a great deal, now that I don’t have a job.

“But Pop,” said my father, “why are you calling me Dad?” I acted as if I did not hear what he had said. Had I made any interaction with him at that point of time, he could have gone on speaking till the morning and he would have tried to find some point in all pointless things. He mumbled something for a few minutes, and then he went back to his room.

My restlessness was gone, and somehow, I slept. I have the habit of rising with the sun, no matter how late I sleep in the night. I went to the bathroom and washed my face. Then I looked in the mirror, and – oh my god! – what an unsettling sight presented itself before my eyes.  It was not my face any longer; my grandfather was staring at me. “Hey Rohan, it’s me, Pop,” he said, and then and there I fainted.


Copyright © 2014 RAMU DAS

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