Ramnath’s excitement knew no bounds. His packed bags were overflowing with goodies. He checked and rechecked his passport and tickets. The whole of last year he had almost ticked each day off in the calendar and pinched every penny.
As he boarded the flight, his excitement knew no bounds. It had been 3 years since they had met. He had kept his visit as a surprise which made it more special.
The flight bobbed over the clouds. His co-passengers were fast asleep, he couldn’t shut an eye. His thoughts wandered to his son. He had worked hard to put him through his education; he had graduated as an MBA, the only one to do so from their whole village.
The whole village had gathered at the village square to celebrate his success. His eyes glistened with tears of joy.
The flight landed, he gathered his belongings. He called for a taxi. Ramnath had planned to give a surprise; instead the one that was handed over to him almost took his life.
The sky scrapers of Dubai which he had longed to see were of no interest to him. All he could feel was a sense of loss and failure. His life had been turned upside down.
His son had been lying all along. There was no white collar job, no company accommodation and no perks. What he saw were inhuman living quarters teeming with people broken in spirit.
His son had lost his job. The shame had not let him come back home or tell his father. He paid his debts by working in the construction site and sent home the extra cash he made by driving a cab. The very same cab his father had boarded. Ramnath held on to his bags and wept uncontrollably at the passenger seat….. The gulf dream lay buried under the construction rubble….