The Secret of a Dying Old Man

Last month Sandy paid a visit along with his mother to his eighty-year-old maternal uncle. Sandy had a distinct impression of his uncle in his memory from the days he used to visit him with his mother. His uncle was a handsome man with sparkly eyes, a well-sculpted face, and, most importantly, full of life and youth at that time. But on the hospital bed, his uncle looked nothing like the person Sandy remembered. He was now a skeleton of bones with dull eyes.

“Time is indeed a powerful thing,” Sandy said to himself.

Doctors had declared that his uncle had only a few days left. Near and dear ones had gathered to bid him farewell.

 A young girl said to his uncle, “Can I ask you something?”

He nodded his head in a yes.

She said, “I have asked you this so many times before. But you have always avoided answering this question. But at least tell me now. You have remained unmarried your whole life, and you have never revealed why?”

Sandy was present in the room at this time and listening carefully to this conversation. He also wanted to know the secret behind his uncle’s lonely and dry life. He waited in anticipation.

Girl, “C’mon, you can tell us now. It won’t come to haunt you after death. Didn’t you ever desire for love and family?”

Uncle, “I very much desired love and a family to call my own. And I searched and searched for my whole life for a perfect woman.”

Girl, “Are you saying that you never found a perfect woman? In this whole world, there was not even a single woman who could match your expectations?”

Uncle, “Oh, no. I found her. I found a perfect woman for myself. A woman I wanted to grow old with and have a family.”

Everyone in the room was listening to this conversation attentively. There was pin-drop silence in the room. Everyone was curious to know what went wrong?

Girl, “Then what happened? Why didn’t you marry her?”

Uncle, with a sad face, “Because she was looking for a perfect man.”

Sandy wrote in his diary, “Today I realized that time is a powerful entity. But there is something more powerful and dangerous than time. And that is our insanely inhuman expectations. When life is so full of expectations, then there is limited to no room left for love in life. We have become so rigid with our expectations that we have altogether forgotten that we have only a limited time to live and love. Search for love, not for a perfect man or woman. And when you find someone ready to be with you through your thick and thin, then love that person in all their imperfections.
Let’s opt-out of this rat race of being perfect and let this idea of perfection remain confined to the material things only. Love and only love can make your life worth living.”

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