My father was lying infront of me but I couldn't touch him, feel him, speak to him or worst - hear him. I was about to set fire to my beloved father's pyre. Being the eldest, I stood closest to that stack of wood that now covered him. Everyone around me was crying and wailing and mourning. Hundreds of them had gathered – all in tears and shock. The brahmin pujaris were chanting their mantras mechanically. Somewhere nearby Shubham was trying to control his own grief to support mom, trying to calm her. I was standing in white clothes as required by tradition with a burning plank of wood in hand.
I torched the pyre. Went round it with an earthen pot of water. Just the way you see in films. Many of the surrounding eyes were not on the pyre, but on me. But my eyes were fixated on the orange yellow flames. I could feel the fiery, hot flames. The heat was reaching my skin but right now my senses were as good as dead. While the pyre was burning and flames were rising high, there was a fire rising in me. One of his many wishes was that I should do my MBA from a top B-School like Harvard or Ivy League. But a lot had changed overnight. I now couldn't leave India for MBA. I stared hard into the flames. Not a single drop of tear in my eyes. I resolved and promised him then and there that I'll get into a top IIM. Thats the least I could do for him in return of all the good he had done for us.
Later that night my mom said to me and shubham, crying ofcourse, how worried she was about us and now how our future was gonna be. I then told her, my voice firm and cold, about my promise made to dad that morning. A week later I researched about all top Indian B-Schools and created a ranking of colleges customized as per my needs. When I returned to Pune, I put up that list on the wall in my room. I decided to do MBA only if I got a college from that list.
FMS was on the top of that list.
Over 2 years later . . I'm in FMS.
Dreams do come true.
Even after you are no more. Like my dad's dream.