He was a pharmacist. He had spent days, nights and midnights scouring through hordes of voluminous books—the ones that could scare you with their mere size. But through all of this, he was patient. He was a dutiful son, walking on the path that his father had carefully paved.
The 24-hour pharmacy down the gully was theirs. His father beamed at it every day and said, “Look at the beacon, its shining bright on this tiresome night. Some day, it will throw light on you.” He looked at it like the North Star, a faint smile spreading across his lips as he read his name on the board.
On the year of his graduation, the family threw a big party. The son was finally going to hold the torch and follow the dream. And so it happened. He sat by the high chair, raking in the cash. His father was proud that his son was selling “Good Health” to all those who came to seek some help. But soon after, his dream began to fade.
Every day, as he sprung upon the shutter, a part of his heart died. It was the same old day, with a new crop of customers, ailing, and whining about their health issues. His father often gave them a reassuring smile and a list of medicines that they did not need. The good part is that they mistook his salesmanship for unadulterated concern.
Then, one day, he walked upto his dad’s menacingly bald head and squeaked, “I want to be a playwright.”
The world shattered as beads of sweat trickled down his father’s bald head. “After all of this?” The dream had turned into a nightmare in a matter of a few seconds. Over the years, he was disowned, threatened, fired, ignored… but his dream of being a playwright, was never entertained.
One fine day, he asked his dad to join him for dinner. He had to mend their relationship, after all. As they sat at the restaurant, he excused himself to visit the washroom. Restlessly waiting for his son’s return, the father bit into a juicy piece of spiced chicken. A cherry tomato burst in his mouth as he saw his son stand on a make-shift stage in the centre of a restaurant. There was a pop-up play being performed. And he sat there in awe as his son introduced it. It was a letter from a son to his father, being performed by the renowned actor, Atif Ali Rais.
That day, a new dream was born. But it wasn’t a mere store that was a beacon in his father’s eyes… it was him.