Road to Heaven and Hell – the philosophy of a retired Army Officer

Heaven Hell
Heaven Hell
Colonel Ramaiah (retired) starts his morning walk at 6 AM sharp. He starts from his home, a three storied building, in the posh DD colony, abetting the sprawling Osmania University campus, walks slowly till he reaches the gates of the campus and then walks briskly on the  pavement of the road that leads to the other gate of the campus. In all he covers a distance of eight kilo meters to and from his home. Before embarking on his daily sojourn, Colonel Ramaiah ( retired) sips the mug-full of South Indian filter coffee made by his loving wife Seetamma. 
Colonel Ramaiah (retired) is seventy years old but looks like a middle aged man. He is sturdy, his face radiates an inexplicable glow,he has broad shoulders, his hair is still black without the artificial tinkering with colors and he wears a moustache that he cared for, next only to his wife. 
Seetamma is the Itihasik Seetamma who has devoted her entire life to the service of her husband and children. An ideal couple, we hardly witness. She is well short of seventy, with wrinkles on the face showing her age. Her hair grayed early in life, as she struggled hard to educate and settle their three children in good positions abroad.
The day 6th January, 2016 was no different in the lives of Colonel Ramaiah (retired) and Seetamma. It was a bright sunny morning. The Moon who till then was singing lullabies to the world with borrowed radiance slowly vanished into the West soon after the Sun, the punctual servant of humanity and all things living, appeared in the East with blazing rays to wake up the world from slumber. The white night turned the plate and became dark red. A mild Southern wind was blowing carrying the frangrance of early morning dew and flowers in the garden of Colonel Ramaiah (Retired). The world was peaceful like the serene mind of a just born baby. Budding flowers dancing in their own places looked like a teen aged girl who wore the  saree of her elder sister first time in her life. Birds started singing solo and duets. The world was still in a camatose stage and looked like a lazy servant, who, hearing footsteps of his master still sat lazying “Let him come, then I shall see”. 
People living in posh bungalows are enjoying the cool air- conditioning in their houses. Middle and poor classes woke up early unable to  bear the heat, sweat and biting mosquitoes. Milk vans started arriving with the sound of horns and polluting smoke. News paper vendors sat on the pavements making bundles of  news papers of the day. Small shops catering to the colony residents opened shop. Early morning daily shoppers thronged the shops to buy a milk sachet, a news paper, a cigarette, a coffee or tea with buscuits. Mothers of babies and toddlers came out to buy chocolates and buscuits for their small ones to keep them in good humor until their daily chores were finished. Teen aged students were cycling their way to the early morning tuition classes. Here and there parents were waking up their boys and girls to prepare them for the tuitions. Teachers woke up early to get ready for the day’s gruelling tuition sessions. In all the world was hesitant unable to decide whether to sleep or wake up like a night duty security guard closing and opening his eyes. Back in the backyard of the bungalow of Colonel Ramaiah (retired) a cuckoo bird sitting pretty on a mango tree sang “Coo, Coo” announcing arrival of spring. A crow sitting on a neem tree shouted “Caw! Caw!” as if admonishing the cuckoo bird that spring was far away and it was too early to sing Spring songs. The cuckoo bird flew away from the garden and settled on a mango tree in the neibourhood. The crow defected to the mango tree. “Must have been a politician”, thought the cuckoo bird and again started singing “Coo, Coo”. 

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