A surge of brilliance flashed through the old man’s head and lasted for about a minute and again he was empty, barren. His thoughts were a mess and he couldn’t go on writing what would surely be his last song. The subject of the song was a person more or less like himself- ageing, heart-stricken, extremely talented and ultimately very lonely.


So, in order to rid himself of loneliness and its brutalities, the subject would try and get involved in more social activities but then again, all these social activities gave him no delight. Quite bereft of joy was this seventy something year old embittered subject. But if the old man were to compare their despairs, he was far more depressed than his subject.
But, this wasn’t the time to compare himself with his subject. He had to finish writing the lyrics to the song as soon as possible. His mind floated back to when he was young and in his popular rock band. Handsome, talented and intelligent, dressed in leather pants and jacket, and with hair that was a curly golden halo, he was the definition of a rockstar.


With two albums under a major record label already, he was only twenty-two and headed for stardom. He was at the peak of his career and miles away from his hometown. The new place offered him all he could dream of. This was where he met the woman who would later be his wife. This was where he would provide his fans with four superior albums. This was the place where he would give birth to his son.


As the years passed, he split from the band and went solo. The fans didn’t love him any less. He made six critically and commercially successful albums in a span of ten years. But, on the flipside, with this unendingly increasing fame and stardom came a lifestyle filled with excesses. Like any other famous ageing rockstar, he was lured into a world filled with beautiful young women, alcohol and nightlong drug parties. At the age of forty-seven, his twelve-year marriage came to an end. This worsened his drug habits and pretty soon he had to enter a rehab where he spent two years. He never fully recovered. Even after leaving the rehab, he had his drug lapses. Also, he started drinking obscene amounts of alcohol, which always left him either extremely melodramatic or rage-fueled.


Pretty soon, his life came to a standstill and with no friends and family left; he migrated to a small town where he struggled to revive his musical career. But as hard as he tried, he found it impossible to pen songs. Even when he did (which seldom happened), he was always dissatisfied with the result and ended up getting angry with himself and tearing the paper to pieces and quite often hurting himself and crying like a child. His worsening self-destructive behavior caught the attention of the media and he became a media-victim for a long time.


Most of the times, he missed his wife and son. He hadn’t seen them for almost twenty years now. He always tried to get information on them and through a source was informed that his son was planning on making a career out of writing. He had already published a collection of short stories, which was published by a well-reputed publishing house. He was very excited on hearing this. He sought out and bought his son’s book. He read the stories very carefully, scrutinizing every detail. The stories were fun, snappy, witty and had a perfunctory breeze about them.


He longed to meet his son and have a long, long talk with him. He dreamed of him, and in his dreams they were a happy family. He sought out the address of his family but lacked the courage to meet them. Afterall, it had been more than twenty years and he couldn’t be expected to turn up just like that after such a long time. He was a tortured soul- unable to get what was totally undeserving of him, yet something that he wanted really badly.


Another ten years passed and he lived those years in the solitary confines of his room. He had an extremely bad liver due to the amount of alcohol he consumed. The doctors had warned him time and again to stop the habit and he entered rehab again but as before, it didn’t help him. He was seventy-two now and felt himself dying by the minute. He couldn’t stop drinking no matter how hard he tried. He had no one to support and take care of him.
A couple of weeks back, he had been approached by a low budget filmmaking company to write a song for their movie, which surprisingly was about a battered and down-and-out ageing singer. He was positive that their approach was strategic. Although initially he refused to do it, he finally accepted, thinking of it as the last song he would ever write.
So here he was, still struggling to write that final song. Although he was extremely tempted to write about his own life (which he suspected the film company wanted him to), he thought of the idea as far too self-indulgent and instead volunteered to fictionalize his character. Also, he thought of dedicating this song to his son who was now rolling with fame and who had become one of the celebrated new breed of writers in the country. He had requested the film company to let him dedicate the song to his son in the credits section and they had had no problems with it.


It had been almost a month now and his song was almost complete. Lately he felt he had been doing better than before and he toiled hard to finally complete it. The film company loved his song and guaranteed him that it would prove a major hit. The movie went on to grab several major awards and his song (which was one of the highlights of the movie) also won numerous awards. The filmmakers informed him that his son would be present at one of the upcoming award ceremonies and he was speechless. They encouraged him to meet his son but he was scared. But then again, he had dedicated the song to his son and maybe the latter would have a soft spot for him.


He did get to meet his son at the ceremony. But, there were no dramatic father-son moments. They simply hugged each other formally (though in the old man’s case, he was continuously crying in the inside). He kept glancing towards his son every chance he got that evening. He had never felt prouder; both of his son and himself in his life. He knew he didn’t have many years to live now but he had lived a lifetime in these moments.