It was an early summer night .Dileep did not feel like sleeping .For some unknown reason sleep was evading him. So he slowly got out from his bed and went and stood near the open terrace .Through the window he peered at the smiling moon .Yes he felt as if the Moon was smiling at him .“How silly“. He told to himself. “Will the moon smile?" .But there were ever so many poems written in all languages about the beauty and the expressions of moon. So what is wrong if he felt that the moon was smiling at him? He was wondering why he was experiencing such strange incidents. Yes he was seeing visions in atmosphere. Where ever he looked he could clearly see a face .From anything and everything he was able to form a face that was always the same image .Yes it was the face of a woman .A woman with a deep and soulful pair of eyes. He could make out the disheveled hair as well as a sad looking expression .Although the vision was not so clear .It was definite .At times he felt very restless .But at other times he really felt that it was God's own way of trying to relate to him about something he had overlooked or have not delved in to yet. Dileep was a lecturer in English in a men's college in that city .He was a very soft-spoken person and a favorite amongst the students .He had a way with children.There was seldom any complaints lodged against him.Everyone loved Dileep. He made the atmosphere a better one with his presence. One day his friend and co worker Radhakrishnan asked him "Hey Dileep what is it that you have that we don't have .?":What is the matter with me'' was Dileep`s astounded query .He did not understand what his friend was implying .So Radha Krishnan got a little more detailed." I was telling about your hold in the college .I know you have won every one's heart .But all said and done, you do deserve all the adulations that we as well as all the students are showering on you .It is not always that one get to know a good person like you "With such exemplary words Radha Krishnan paused for more words .That was how it was..Dileep was the apple of everyone's eye. But he was a loner who craved for some love ..There wasn't anyone in this world whom he could call as his own. Because he was an orphan .Once he asked his foster father ,Father Kuncheria,about his birth and also how he chanced to get him .That was many years ago..Dileep was just a college boy then .So Kuncheria did not elaborate on any matters relating to his parents .But he said just his much" Son, I got you from the road, near a gutter. You were sitting there crying .You were just about four years then.’With that words, father tried to walk away from him .But Dileep, although too young to find a double meaning or depth on those words, could still feel that father was trying to evade some truth about his origin and his adoption Somehow he felt it in his gut that Kuncheria was not telling him the truth..But he left it at that .He did not want o anger him .He was his world now .The only relation he had in this wide world. Years rolled by with the subject about his mother or origin ever getting uttered or discussed. Dileep grew up to be a post graduate .He was awarded with a job in the same college where he had finished his post graduation .He was lucky in that sense. Dileep had one private hobby .Private, because he never said about it to anyone other than Kuncheria.Painting. That was his favorite pastime. .He was so fascinated by the beauty of the nature that he was able to absorb the entire beauty in to his canvas. It was on such a painting session that he started seeing an image amongst the foliages and branches. He could even make out the same face -a face of a lady, with sad eyes and soulful look—Wherever he scrutinized for a moment ...It was out of nothing that the image appeared .Sometimes Dileep was apprehensive ..."What was happening to me “He often wondered .May be it was his loneliness getting better of him ..Or was he going out of his senses.Oh God! please don’t let anything happen to my senses" He often prayed..Because for all said and done ,he enjoyed life .He believed that he was sent to earth on a purpose .Yes everyone was sent to earth on a purpose by some supernatural power we called as God ..So according to Dileep, it was the duty of every human being to fulfill that purpose before going away forever.
That was what was termed as natural death. But losing one’s sanity is something he never foresaw .So he was apprehensive of such a state of mind. But this time Dileep was certain that he was not loosing any senses .He was clearly drawing out a face from all the objects present in the vicinity. Strangest part of it was that every time he made out a face from the atmosphere, it was always the same face..That was what was surprising. Dileep spoke about his strange visions to his dear mentor Kuncheria.It was one evening after the prayer session .The small and not so small children gathered around the chapel for a talk with Kuncheria. A usual routine of that charity home.Kuncheria believed in close contacts with one and all around him there .The children were never made to believe that they were orphans .Often he told them that they were the real children of God. That was why God took care of them through him. Because a father of the church was in effect the messenger of God Dileep waited patiently for the session to get over .Then he slowly went to Kuncheria. Dileep was in two minds as to whether to tell him or not. `Will he think that I was insane `? Or would he just leave it as if it was an illusion that relayed nothing .A kind of virtual and wishful déjà vu.Any way Dileep decided to discuss it with father Kuncheria was walking away from him to his room .So Dileep ran behind him and called out to him`Father…"He called ..."Please wait a moment..I want to tell you something very strange …" Hearing the word Strange "Kuncheria looked surprised.." Dileep spoke about his strange visions to his dear mentor Kuncheria. "What did you say Dileep..What was the strange occurrence that you kept to yourself all these time"? Kuncheria did not hide his surprise."Father…"Dileep was panting from his quick steps."Please come in to my room .I want to tell you something." "Ok." father replied and they both walked towards Kuncheria`s room .As soon as he entered Dileep blurted out his strange visions …"So in effect wherever I look or whatever I do, I am seeing the same face. I wonder whether there is any hidden message that some unknown force is trying to tell me or show me ..."Dileep concluded. .Kuncheria was flabbergasted .He sat in a very pensive mood for some time .Then he slowly told Dileep"Son.I wonder whether it is time for me to tell you the truth about your parents.”Dileep looked up suddenly" What did you say, father?. Why..?Haven't you told me about it already?… Dileep was anxious and looked on imploringly. Kuncheria sat still for a moment as if he was uncertain.Then as if on cue, he asked Dileep to show him in drawing the image that he is seeing on atmosphere .With that words father walked away from him .. Dileep was not able to sleep that night. Father Kuncheria had told him something that was gnawing at his heart
.What was there to tell about his parents ..As if he had not told me the truth or the complete truth He turned and twisted in his bed..Then he slowly got up and went to the window. There was lovely full moon beaming at him from the sky. How beautiful the night looked .Star studded beauty. That was how he saw the sky .It looked as good and decorated as a bride. Then suddenly he started seeing those outlines .The outlines of his vision next to the moon.It was looking down up on him .He formed it from nothing, a kind of dark circle outlined it .When he blinked his eyes once, the vision disappeared for a moment .But appeared as soon as he stared .The moon looked as if it was giving it a clearer form. Dileep ran to his table and took a blank paper and a pencil. Then he again stared in to the place where he saw the vision of that lady. How was it possible to form a face.And that too the same face over and over again .Is there something called supernatural force? Dileep was starting to get frightened..But he had to delve deep in to this matter. So he sketched out whatever he saw there vividly .Then he shadowed it and made it look real .The outcome was astounding .It was the face of a woman with large eyes .There was such a depth in those eyes that, it looked as if it would move and blink .So lively were those eyes the face was striking although not beautiful. A stern face of a sad looking woman .Dileep felt a kind different wave of emotion passing through him .He went to the fridge and took a glass of water and drank it .He felt that he had enough for that night .Even otherwise it was late in to the night .2`o` clock!!!What an unearthly hour to be awake, with an illusion!!! Dileep went to bed and tried to sleep . He woke up hearing the church bell. He looked at the time piece near him .5`o`clock!!So that meant he had slept for 3 hours .That was better than not sleeping at all .He got up and went straight to father's room .Kuncheria was having a steaming cup of tea." Good morning, son..Did you sleep well"? Kuncheria tried to make light of the situation that was prominent between them ."Good morning father..Here is the sketch of the illusion I see on the atmosphere …" Saying thus he showed the paper to Kuncheria. Kuncheria looked at that image for a long time .S lowly he raised his eyes and looked at Dileep, as if he was seeing him for the first time .Then he got up from his chair and came and stood near Dileep .And with some difficulty he chose the words he was about to utter "Dileep I don’t know whether I am doing the right thing .But I feel,I have to tell you this now .Because the picture you have shown me has a strong resemblance to your mother !!"With that Kuncheria looked straight at Dileep ..The time stood still .There wasn't a single sound from either of them .Kuncheria was waiting and so was silent .Then Kuncheria told him the real truth about how he got him."Dileep, your mother brought you to me, when you were just two years old. .It was rainy night and all were asleep early .But I was not .I was reading a book. it was then I heard the anguished cry or rather a call of a woman .She said nothing .But gave her child to me and said "father I am giving my son to you .So , at least he would get a better life .Please do take care of him ."With those words she ran in to the rain and disappeared in to the darkness…… Dileep was astounded and hence was not able to speak Slowly his eyes began to well up and he choked "father but how come I got these illusions ?I don’t at all remember ever seeing her ""How can you ,son" you were just two years old when she gave you to me "But some unknown force is calling .May be she is yearning for you .May be it is that motherly instinct in her that is doing all this magical work .Yes ,Dileep ,there are so many untold facts out there .We are just puppets of that force .Just flow with the tide .." Kuncheria stopped his verbal rambling and looked up and he held Dileep close to his heart for a moment. Then with out looking back he walked away from Dileep. Days and weeks passed by with nothing significant happening about that incident .Dileep stopped his private hobby completely. He wanted to paint nothing .A kind of disinterest dawned on him whenever he took his brush and paint .If at all he brought himself to paint something with an added effort, then the image of that lady ,his mother came alive in front of his eyes. Many times he asked Father about it .But Kuncheria was certain that it was the face of his mother .Because it was seldom that a mother would walk up to him with her own newborn and then ask him to adopt him .Because she was a destitute. From one angle Kuncheria was able to justify her actions .May be she wanted her son to be happy and healthy and secure ,though he was kept away from her .Even if she would never find her again .Because that was the custom of that orphanage .The children, when once given for adoption ,would loose all touch with the person ,who had given the child there .Even if it was the child's parent .Because the moment it was absorbed to the orphanage ,it looses the relationship with the outer world .It would be the manager of the orphanage who would decide ,where the child should belong to. But in Dileep`s case it was different .It was his own mother who had brought the child to the orphanage .Kuncheria was surprised and angry at the same time but he showed no ill will because he was able to view the entire incident from another angle .A desperate mother `s anxiety to bring up her child well. It was a kind of sacrifice. It was quite accidentally that a puppy was stranded at his door step on a rainy day .The puppy looked so pathetic and cold .It was wailing uncontrollably .Dileep felt a kind of empathy for that puppy .He saw himself when he looked at that puppy .It was also destitute.
Probably, it`s mother too might have kept him here to be looked after well . With these thoughts he took the puppy in his hands and went out to stroll in the street .It was the wee hours of the morning and that part of the village was asleep. But Dileep was in a mood to walk through the rain .So he put on his rain suit and an umbrella and went out with the puppy .Soon the puppy began to wail. On hearing the cry, A young girl came running from the other side of his house ..."Sir…Is this house yours?" She asked..We stay just behind your house. There, near that big building."Dileep stretched himself to look at the place she pointed to. There was a long building with many windows and doors."What is that "? He asked "It is an ashram for the poor. This puppy belongs to our madam .I work there .It ran away from my hands while I was trying to lock it inside the room."She stopped and extended her hands for the puppy .It was the first time that Dileep was seeing such a house there .May be he had never noticed it .But he felt it as a very strange thing .He boasted himself to be very observant .Then how did he miss this dilapidated looking building. He went with the little girl to that place .Not because he had wanted to deliver the puppy personally to the madam there .Just out of some curiosity. Because this was a place which was so near to his house .Still he needed a puppy and a little girl to show him it was there .Strange-.Very strange indeed .!!Any way he decided to see the madam.
The little girl asked him in and said "Sir are you sure you want to see our madam .She is not a very happy person .She is always sad and so very angry .We seldom converse with her ."Dileep grew more curious ..."Why do you say so? She is the madam of this place .isn't it? Then it is but natural that she would show her airs around. Otherwise you people won't obey her."Dileep`s Justification did not hold good for a long time .Because the girl told him that she was not actually the madam of that place "Sir ,,we call her madam because she is quite old -Nearly sixty years .. She is the senior most here .This institution is run by another management .We are all just inmates .The management is not all that concerned about all of us.”She sighed." We are lucky if we are able to get a square meal a day .I work here three days a week .Actually I am not an inmate here. But I have a lot of sympathy for all the inmates here.”The girl was too precocious for her age .That was the thought that swept past Dileep on listening to her .Any way he decided to pay the` madam` a visit .If possible he had wanted contribute a certain amount to that charity home .Because he knew best ,what it is to be a destitute.. The girl took him inside and went to a dark and dingy room and called "MadamSaraswathyAmma,here is a gentleman who wishes to see you .Actually he had found your puppy .Here it is '' girl stopped and Saraswathy Amma slowly got up and turned to face Dileep .Dileep was dumbfounded. He was not able to believe his eyes .My God..What Am I seeing..He was looking straight in to the live replica of that vision he saw often-The woman with the soulful eyes and disheveled hair-.The woman who had almost always occupied the entire thought process of his And what was it that Kuncheria had told him on seeing his sketch. That it was the image of his mother .So, was this Saraswathy amma his mother????Dileep felt his head swirling He did not know what to do or say..Saraswathyamma looked .She was also a bit surprised at seeing Dileep`s dilemma. She gave him a wan smile and then closed her eyes .Looked as if she was meditating. Dileep mustered up all his will power and asked her "Madam,.why are you so sad .I feel as if you are trying to cover up a lot of misery .Is there some thing you want tell, but does not have the will power to say it ."Dileep was trying to extract the truth or at least that is what he felt .But Saraswathy amma disappointed him when she said that she had nothing to hide .She told him that she was born a destitute and was living thus."You know son it was by some quirk of fate that I chanced to land up here .For that I am thank full to God .Because however measly it is here ,I am safe ..I do have some company too in these girls …"She concluded .But Dileep was tenacious .How could he leave her just like that .She was the image he had found amongst the atmosphere .She cannot be anyone other than his mother .Kuncheria too had confirmed about her looks .So he went on "Madam .Didn't you ever have a family .I mean,a son or a daughter or a husband?" "No, I had no one "She was stern and looked final. Dileep bid them goodbye and went out of that room .He knew there was no use trying to make her tell those facts which he wanted to hear. But on second thoughts, he felt that it was all a kind of virtual reality. May be she was indeed a destitute, with no family .But something prompted him to take up that matter seriously. Dileep went straight to Father Kuncheria and told him the entire incident .He was out of birth by the time he finished.Father listened ardently and then said to him."Dileep,I have a picture of you as you looked when your mother brought you here .I shall take it with me and visit that lady .She must be trying to evade the truth . Next day they both went to that orphanage .Kuncheria had a picture of baby Dileep with him. He felt a kind of relief setting in .He foresaw a reunion. It was inevitable.. The charity home where Saraswathy amma stayed was so dilapidated that, one felt so sympathetic. On reaching the entrance they saw the same little girl sitting there reading a book. Dileep went to her and asked her to take him and Kuncheria to the madam. Saraswathy amma was reading a book in the dimly lit room. "Madam"Dileep called. Here is person to see you .It seems he knows you.”Dileep waited for any reaction from her .Nothing happened..Kuncheria was standing there transfixed .Even after so many years, he remembered well that face .A mother who was discarding her only child at his door step. How can one ever forget that anguished face .Kuncheria went near her and called "Saraswathy amma 'Do you remember ever having seen me? try to remember .You had come to my door step with a four year old baby "Nooooooooo!she screamed ..It was not me..You are highly mistaken, father..I never had a child."But her eyes kept wavering..Kuncheria was certain now .So he took out that picture of baby Dileep from his pocket and showed it to her."Now tell me dear, don’t you remember this face? Saraswathy amma looked once at that picture and started sobbing inconsolably.”I am a sinner..Yes I gave away my own flesh and blood to the charity..But father, I had Wanted the best for my son .That was why now..Wait..Why are showing me all these? What has happened? How did you both find me? what made you show me this picture .Remember father, I am the most unfortunate of all the mothers alive .See what God has given me for my sin ..I am a wretched woman with measly means. But what of my son father? Tell me father what has happened?"' There was no stopping Saraswathy.Her motherly instincts had never left her .Even in those adverse situations, she had wanted only the very best for her son.. Tears ran freely down her cheeks..Those sunken eyes had the same sparkle although it was hidden behind so many worries. Dileep was watching all those emotion laden scenes. He said nothing .It was not appropriate to say for or against anyone .He just looked on. Kuncheria went to Saraswathyamma`s side and took her hands .Then he slowly brought her to Dileep`s side .Saraswathyamma stopped her sobbing and looked imploringly at Kuncheria. “Dear, do you see this young man here?”Kuncheria was speaking to her as if she was a child."Yes father what of him?". 'Saraswathy amma was finding it hard to speak “He is none other than your son Dileep.It was he who found you" .Kuncheria left the sentence in the middle and slowly moved away ... That old woman `s face began to bloom as if that of a teenager .She started smothering Dileep with kisses It was a heart renting scene. No words were able to make up for that touching scene. Dileep came to his senses first .He disentangled from her embrace and took her across the long corridor towards his house..Kuncheria wiped his eyes off that threatening tear .He was happy.. On the way towards his house Saraswathyamma asked her son …"My dear, how did you find me ...You were too small to have even remembered my existence .Then how come you found me?"“Mother 'Dileep said "It is a long and strange story .I shall tell you about it all some other time. Saying thus, he walked happily, holding his VISION in his arms.