‘I’ve to take a final call on this’, he contemplated as he pressed “end call” on mobile screen. Removing the lab coat, throwing it on the back of chair, he reached for car key on table. A loud thud of the closing door reverberated across the lab, as he made his way out. Rushing to empty parking lot, he was soon behind the wheels.
As the car started charting its way on straight road ahead, the meandering thoughts took him hostage. There was hardly any traffic. He was not surprised, for it was Sunday. He heaved a sigh. His project on cloning was at a crucial stage, demanding his close scrutiny. He had virtually locked himself inside the lab since he had reported for work on Friday.
‘Time now to send Junior to hostel. I can’t leave my project at crucial stage to be at his beck and call, every time. He must understand that. Agreed that I need long hours at lab. But have I not furnished him with enough engagements and entertainments back at home?’, he reasoned to self. As the storm picked up in his mind, he shook his head in frustration.
‘Sending him to hostel, will defeat the very purpose of having him in my life. I will miss the golden chance of observing his growth phase.’ This opposing thread of thought was enough to afflict his beleaguered mind.
He returned to present only when he stopped the car in front of the closed shutter of the garage. Victimised at the hands of harrowing thoughts, he had driven the car mechanically. Parking it inside the garage, he stretched his hands and pulled up his sleeves.
As he was about to step out of the car, he saw Junior running to him.
‘Vishnu, why did you not come early?’ said Junior hugging and clinging to his waist tightly. Junior always called him by his first name. Rather, it was Vishnu himself, who had taught it to him. The nanny came running behind Junior and was panting, as she stopped a few feet away from both of them.
‘He saw the car entering garage and then dashed through the front door before I could stop him’, said she with a drag. She stepped ahead with intention to take Junior away.
Raising his hand, Vishnu signaled her to stop. The anger brewing in his mind was oozing through his eyes. Loosening Junior’s grip on his waist, with his feisty hands, he kneeled down and held Junior at arm’s length. Now his eyes were at same level with that of Junior.
The little brown eyes were welled up to the brim. Before Vishnu could reprimand, Junior asked, “Where is my family? Who is my family?” A bolt of lightning struck Vishnu. He was lost for words. Junior held Vishnu by his shoulders and shook his robust frame with feeble force, repeating the question with teary eyes.
Vishnu was crest fallen. He couldn’t look into the eyes that sought explanation from him, for which he had none. Junior by then had hugged Vishnu. Tears from his eyes now were raining on his shoulders.
“During our last class at school, everyone told the names of their mother and father. Teacher said that everybody has family. Where is mine? I have to stick the photos of my parents in the activity book. I have to take it to school tomorrow”, stated Junior sobbing.
“I am your family Junior. I’m your mother and father both”, replied Vishnu, while picking up Junior in his arms. Vishnu was astonished at his own reply. He felt a sudden rush of compassion that he had never felt before. Anger had vanished without making any footfall on the scene.
Junior’s face brightened. The clouds of gloom cleared from the little mind as if they had never hovered around there. The sparkle returned to his eyes. A broad smile flashed on his face. Vishnu witnessed sea change of emotions on Junior’s face, reminding him of his younger days.
‘Did I not look exactly the same as Junior, in younger days? Am I not responsible for Junior’s life that includes emotional well-being?’, he brooded. He recollected the days when he would hold his father’s hand and go with him for a walk in the woods on most of the Sundays of the autumn months. The riot of colours that every tree offered often left little Vishnu spellbound.
He heard the voice of his father in his head, “Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold”
Being a genetic scientist, Vishnu had successfully created a clone of himself. It had fetched him name and fame. He had named his clone, ‘Junior’. For him Junior was just another experiment that he wished to observe from closer quarters. While he was blinded by his passion for genetics, he had lost the touch of humanity, of compassion and of love. Today however, was the day of reckoning. He decided to give life a second chance… for him and for Junior, both.
“Lets go for a walk in woods Junior”, he said ruffling Junior’s hair!
This is my #Post1/ #Week4 for #MyFriendAlexa by Blogchatter. My previous posts so far…
#Post 1/#Week 1: Forlorn Notes #Post 2/ #Week2: Happy Surprise
#Post 1/#Week2: Bringing Up a Teen #Post 2/Week 2: See You soon
#Post 1/#Week3: Two Pairs of Mittens #Post 2/#Week3: Mirror Mirror On The Wall
Linking this post to #FridayReflections by Shalini R of KohleyedMe and Corinne Rodrigues of Everydaygyaan