The day the weird uncle kept his word…
Exactly a year back, on this day, May the 24th, I had met the young son of my childhood friend Baisakhi – like I almost always do when I go to Durgapur. The visits are short but always memorable to see Kintu (his name) grow up thru the years. That day after I had left and was speeding down the highway to go back to my parents, I had a call from him regretting that we forgot to high five each other before I left.
You see, that was our thing. When he was very small, I had once visited him and taught him how to high five. And ever since, we always did that. It was a ritual thing. That particular day, I was so distracted by my dad’s failing health, I had completely forgotten about it.
I certainly felt proud that he still remembered that and looked forward to it. I would be his “High Five Uncle”. But I also kicked myself for not remembering it. I was the adult. I was supposed to have remembered it. I remember promising him that I am not going to forget it next time. Or ever.
Next trip to Durgapur and wouldn’t you know? – we missed each other since they were out of town 🙁
A break came this month. He and his parents were visiting US. I was in touch with his uncle (who lives in US) to get an idea of all their US tour schedule. And was waiting for a chance to get close enough during my office travel to make a break to see him.
I got that break today. I was a few hours drive away from where they were. Close enough. Having taken care of office meetings, sped straight down the left lane of the highway. I had to go there, meet him and speed back to catch the late night flight back home.
Moment the door was opened, the high fives flew!!!
The visit was short. They almost always are. It was good to see Baisakhi and Sagar though. And great to meet their sister in law Tumpa. (Missed his uncle Kuntal). But the most exciting part was Kintu’s stories about cars. I have never seen a guy know so much about cars and stats of cars. I am not big into cars but I was a patient listener, I thought!!
The best part of the high fives and meeting him? The crazy coincidence that it was exactly on the May 24th – one full year apart!!!
Perhaps someday, many years later, he will chance upon my blog site and out of curiosity search for his mom or dad or his own name and read this. Hopefully he will realize how every kids’s wishes, likes, dislikes, regrets, loves so profoundly define every adult’s priorities in life. How, while means might be a hindrance, willingness is never lacking every adults’ – father, mother, uncle, aunt, grandparents and so on – innate desire to make a child happy.
And hope he will realize that as weird as that High Five uncle was, he did keep his word… albeit a year later.