In a small fishing village in West Bengal, there lived an old fisherman named Bimal. He resided alone in a humble hut by the Hooghly River. His wife had departed from this world many years ago, and his only son served in the army, far away.
Every morning, as the first rays of the sun pierced the horizon, Bimal would collect his nets and paddle his aged boat into the embracing currents of the river. He fished not for joy or leisure, but for sustenance. The river was his source of life. Yet, he loved the river, in the way one might love a stern but truthful companion.
One day, an abrupt storm surged in from the north. It came without warning, allowing no time for retreat. Bimal’s boat was tossed like a leaf. He battled the waves and the wind with all his might, but his boat overturned, casting him into the icy water.
When he regained consciousness, he was on the riverbank, drenched and shivering. His boat was shattered, his nets destroyed. He had lost everything. He gazed at the river, his old friend and foe. It was tranquil now, as if it had forgotten its fury.
In the following days, Bimal mourned his boat as he would a family member. But he did not despair. He went into the village, worked any job he could find, saved every rupee. He collected wood from the nearby forest and shaped it with his skilled, weathered hands. Gradually, under his dedicated care, a new boat began to form.
His son returned from his service, marked by war and tired. He discovered his father in their hut, the new boat almost complete. His father looked up, his eyes still full of life, and smiled.
“You’re back,” Bimal said simply. His son nodded, observing the boat. He had braced for hopelessness, but found tenacity instead.
Together, they finished the boat. And when it was ready, they carried it to the riverbank and looked out at the river. It was beautiful, vast and relentless. Bimal turned to his son, placed a calloused hand on his shoulder, and said, “Life, my son, it goes on.”
And so, the next morning, as the sun rose, Bimal and his son pushed the new boat into the water and paddled out into the river. The river greeted them, and life, as it always does, carried on.