เล่าสู่กันฟังในวันว่างๆ (โดย รุ่งอรุณ ผลินธร)
April 13th is a Songkran Day or Thai traditional New Year. It is the day of reunion Thai families. Most Thai people travel back to their hometowns, to visit and to spend time with their families during Songkran season; this year starts from April 13th to April 17th. Meeting the love ones back home is the wonderful feeling and the most happiness moment of life.
It doesn’t matter a luxury home or a poor junk house, it is the only place that I always feel warmth, safety, and a lot of love under its roof whenever I go back home Oh! Home sweet home! It doesn’t matter how far away, my heart always at home, and always want to be at home.
There are many Thais (include myself) who live oversea and far away from Thailand and can’t be back home on Songkarn Day. Homesick is the most suffering time when thinking back home. The memory of Songkarn Day in my childhood comes to visit me again today.
“Ta Hoy” the old man about mid-seventies, who lived alone in his small shack. His place was not far away from my parents’ house. Ta Hoy lived on his small income from odd jobs that people around that area hired him to do like cut grass, pushed water cart from small pond to people’ houses, and took the herd of buffaloes to the field. If on the day nobody hired him, he liked to stop by our house and my Mom let him to clean and sharp all kitchen knives and garden tools. Ta Hoy did a great job and his work and all knives and tools turned out very nice. Besides some money, Mom always gave him some homemade food to take home.
Every year on Songkarn Day, while most people went out to have fun outside their houses, but Ta Hoy dressed up in the clean clothes and sat all day in front of his shack like he waited for someone to show up, but nobody came to see him all day. Mom told me that Ta Hoy waited for his two sons to visit him, and he hoped that they would come home on Songkarn Day as same as the other families. When the night came, Ta Hoy lighted a small lamp and kept on his waiting.
On the last Songkarn Day of his waiting arrived. That day Ta Hoy brought two big ripped papayas to our house. Mom was surprised because he never did like that on Songkarn.
“Papayas from my garden, I always save for my two sons to come back on Songkarn Day, but this year I don’t have to save these papayas any more. I hope you like to eat them.”
Ta Hoy left after he gave us those ripe papayas. My parents invited Ta Hoy to joint dinner with us to celebrate Thai New Year, but Ta Hoy politely refused and said he had to go to the field.
On the next day afternoon Ta Hoy’s body was found in the small pond. No one knows what happened to Ta Hoy, but there was no prove of murder either.
Farewell Ta Hoy, the most lonesome man who waited for unreturned sons on Songkarn Day.
(In Thailand, “Ta” is a pronoun to address the senior man, who is about grandfather age. We don’t just call his first name, but used this word before his first name.)