Beyond The Obscured Clouds
|(Pic Credits: quotefancy.com)|
A chirping sparrow flew towards the old banyan tree and sat in his nest, cozying against the settling evening. The tree had stood in the farm since ages. It had withstood rain, storm, unimaginable natural calamities and atrocities of time as well. So primordial, that tree now formed the soul of the farm. It had witnessed everything. The warm gentle breeze flew southwards and the sunlight had toned itself down. The faintly visible crescent moon was now hanging desolately in the blue eastern sky while the sun was gently sinking towards nothingness.
The farmer was now done with his day's toil and was packing off his belongings. He put the tiffin-box in his rag satchel with the insecticide container latched onto his back. Then he went to get the bullocks, who were busy grazing, munching on the soft green grass. He bought both of them near the cart and started to fasten them to it. The bullock-cart was now almost ready as he loaded the stack of hay he had harvested throughout the entire tiresome day. The sweat beads glistened on his forehead and fell upon the arid soil, dissipating away without a sign.
Just then a black sedan pulled over across the road and a plump looking man stepped out of it. He looked dapper in his navy blue suit and was fiddling with the car keys in his fingers.
"Hey", he shouted.
The farmer squinted over towards the road and saw the man. He unloaded the insecticide container on the cart and kept his rag satchel beside it. Then he started off with heavy steps, in the direction of the man who had arrived in his car.
"Have you got the money?", the man asked, unperturbed.
"No. Not yet.", replied the farmer.
"I had already informed you. Today was the last deadline. I can't help it now. You should've have paid your dues on time.", the man spoke irritatedly.
"Yes. I know. But I tried my best. You know it has been an awful year. The rain gods have also been terribly miserable.", replied the farmer.
"I know that. But you see, I can't help it. There are orders from above."
"Could you please give me some more time?"
"See, if it were in my hands, I would've helped. But it isn't. There are strict orders. Even I've got a family to feed."
"Everyone's got a family to feed."
"I'm sorry. I can't help it. Tomorrow, we'll take over the farm. I've heard the boss is planning to put on a factory here, in near future. Look at the bright side, you can try for a job there! And after all these years, what good has this farm done to you?"
The farmer glanced at the farm over his shoulder, then looked into the man's eyes and said,
"This farm is like my child. I can never give up on it. Sometimes, your child may disappoint you. But that doesn't mean you just give up on him and go get a new one. And then, you talk about looking at the brighter side when you folks are snatching away my own child from me.", the farmer's voice stirred while speaking.
"I could've helped if I could. But I can't. You got to abandon the farm tomorrow. The bulldozers will arrive early in the morning and boss doesn't want any problems. He hates it. So, I'm advising you, leave the farm gracefully and try not to cause any problems."
"Everyone could've helped if they could. But, when it really matters, very few will. That's the ugly truth. Anyway, I assure you I'll not cause any problems. You can peacefully take over the farm tomorrow.", saying so, the farmer started walking back towards his cart.
"Okay then. I'll take your leave.", and the man opened his car door jauntily. This had went much smoother than he had thought. He effortlessly put the keys in and turned on the ignition. Then he went on the road as the brown cloud of dust rose like smoke behind him.
Meanwhile, the farmer trudged towards the well with the bucket, to feed the thirsty bulls. He threw the bucket in the dry well. It had very little water left in it, so he kept tugging on the rope to fill the bucket and drew the bucket of water with his scrawny yet strong arms.
He took the bucket and poured the water in the giant bowls. Taking the bowls near the bulls, the farmer watched intently as the bulls started gulping down viciously and happily quenched their thirst.
The farmer was now gazing morosely at the small fluffs of white barren clouds. Solemnly hopeless. He knew that the rain gods aren't merciful. The ashen blue sky was now as ashen as his heart. He could feel it; he knew it. It was about time. Time to go home!
He untied the bucket rope and walked towards the old banyan tree. He made the noose and wrapped it around the strong branch. He made sure that the knot was strong. He then went towards the barn and got the old wooden stool. He kept it near the banyan tree and stood on it.
The farmer had one last look at the ruthless sky. And then, it ended. The old banyan tree still stood there. Silent and motionless. Just as the farmer. The struggle was over. The sparrows flew off from their nest. Along with them, departed the soul of the farmer and the broken spirit of the tree itself.
A dark black cloud appeared out of nowhere and submerged over the picturesque sky. For the wild sky finally roared at last and wept ferociously at this appalling misfortune. But then, it was too late...