It happened to me about 6 years ago, when I was in the eighth grade. My father (who I’ll henceforth refer to as Baba) was suffering a major financial crisis. We owed a lot of money to a lot of firms. After weeks of discussions and thinking and rethinking, the elders arrived to a solution- a solution that would put an end to our misery (but give rise to another). They decided to sell the house.
What can I say about it? What can I say about her? Words cannot simply describe the forty-year old magnificent structure that she is. A buttermilk and brown coloured three storey building- she knows more of us than ourselves, she has seen the most in us. A haven that has been our refuge when we wanted to hide from the storm and the rain, and the world. Now, she had to be sacrificed.
The buyer, a Mr. Mahesh Sharma, after having thoroughly eyed the house like she was a piece of meat, agreed to pay a handsome amount for her- an amount that would more than pay the debt that we owed. But could any amount of money be enough to bandage this new injury of having to part with the house that’s seen us through thick and thin like a family?
Within a few weeks of the deal between Baba and Mr. Sharma, we moved to a rented house. After having moved, only once did I visit the old house. It was a mistake. The living room was stripped of the velvet sofas, the bedrooms were bare, and the dining room, which always brimmed with stupid arguments and laughter, was now a desert. Ma was weeping in the corner, and that was the first day I saw that Baba’s eyes were red and swollen. Only the storeroom was yet to be emptied.
The days spent in the rented flat can be described in one word- agonizing. I cried myself to sleep every night in that small miserable room, being haunted in my dreams by the old house- the concrete walls, the marbled floors, the engraved ceilings, those deserted rooms- they were all calling out to me.
Do you believe in miracles? I didn’t, until-
On the day of the registration when Mr. Sharma would write a cheque to Baba for the house, there was no sign of him in the registry office. Baba and Dada(my grandfather) waited for him for about three hours, while the rest of us, in our rented flat, waited with sinking hearts and tight throats for the ultimate news that our house was at last officially handed over to another man.
Mr. Sharma, however, never turned up, and only after a few hours we got a call from his manager saying that he had flown out of the city for a personal business, and had forgotten all about the registration of the house, so could the date of registration be postponed?
I think deep inside, Baba never wanted to sell her, which is why he didn’t think twice before cancelling the deal on the manager’s face. We got a call at the rented flat from Baba from the registry office, and I remember his words- “Cholo baari jayi (Let us go home)”.
And we went home.
After that, Baba, with some (a lot really) financial aid from Dida (my granny), gradually built up his business again from its state of ruin. The healing took years, but we did heal. Also, we have never had to contemplate selling the house ever since.
I hope my message has reached to whoever has successfully read this post till the end. No matter how hard it seems, how deep you sink or how lost you feel- don’t lose faith. Just don’t. Not all of us are lucky enough to get back something we lost, but do believe that that’s not the end. Do believe that there is someone who watches over you, and that you’ll be fine. Nothing happens without a reason. Maybe it’s not always for your happiness, but someone else’s. At the end of the day, you’ll be fine. The wheels will turn, and living will not be so hard.