One night, Guddi heard her mother weeping in her bedroom. Her father was also there in the room but she couldn’t hear his voice. Only heard her mother panting and weeping vigorously which absolutely never happened before. She got worried and knocked on the door. Her father answered, “Come in, Guddi.”
She entered the room and saw her mother sitting at the corner of the bed still shaking with the force of tears from her eyes.
“What happened to Mom?” Guddi asked, looking at her father.
“She is upset dear, she is upset with me,” her father answered in a voice buried with guilt. This was nothing new to Guddi she has seen her mother many times getting upset with her father but she never saw her crying like this.
“But what is she upset about?” She asked again, this time going close to her mother who was still crying.
“I got a job offer love, from a very big company”. Her father said without any excitement in his voice. Guddi frowned as she couldn’t understand what could be wrong about this good news that made her mother cry like that.
“They will give all the facilities with a very high salary,” her father continued. Guddi couldn’t keep patience and stopped her father midway.
“So what is wrong in it? It’s very good news for our family isn’t it?” she said with enthusiasm.
But this time her mother preached in. “Nothing could ever be good about this, Guddi, as your father won’t accept this job. He is more than happy with his soap factory and hardly bothers about us”.
Guddi got agitated with the fact so much that without even realizing, the word fell out from her mouth “Why?!”
For a few moments there was a silence and then her father spoke in a composed tone “Guddi, what do you think about the person who sold out the office I used to work in? Do you think he was a good man?”
She couldn’t understand the purpose of the question but she said “No.”
Her father asked, “Why?”
The reasons were quite clear so they came out at once from her mouth, “Because for his selfishness our family and many more like us had to suffer. A man who could ruthlessly ruin his employees couldn’t be a good man ever.”
Her father gazed at her in silence, a kind of silence which speaks it all.
Guddi remembered all those faces she saw in her father’s soap factory and then she left the room without asking another question to the saint whom she called her Dad.
DEBJANI MUKHERJEE is an MBA in applied management and also a poet and a writer. Her poems, short stories, and articles are published in several international anthologies and magazines.