This Too Shall Pass (Short Story)

Based on a mushy story in Tamizh making rounds in WhatsApp, running its course quite predictably, here’s my effort, muddying up the waters a wee bit along the way:

Oratechsolve old_people_India

‘Last month itself I had warned you when you sent hundred rupees. Now this letter. This will not end here, I’m telling you again. Once it’s falling roof, this time it’s hospital charges…who knows your dear sister may be behind all this.’

She paused to regain her breath.

‘Don’t forget we have two children of our own growing up. There’s fees to pay once the school reopens, new uniforms…’

‘All right, all right. I’ll write to them. Will you please stop now?’

‘Please do that first thing…One thing you do well is to shut my mouth.’

Silence.

It became the lot of utensils in kitchen sink to bear the brunt.

Normalcy returned over next couple of days helped by the week-end outing with the children – it was the last before the close of summer vacation.

A week later, one evening when he returned from his office,

It was all quiet in the house. The children were heads-down into their books – quite unusual so early in their term. No usual greetings and hugs. He could see through the open door her feet on the bed.   It wasn’t time yet. At the end of a long day he was in no rush to find reasons for the calm. He peeled off his pants and shirt to wear a comfortable dhoti and banyan. There was no coffee on the table. So be it. As he looked around for morning newspaper before settling down in his easy-chair, his gaze fell up on an opened envelope sticking out from under a magazine on the table, quite unsuccessful in its attempt to be elsewhere aided by the draft of the ceiling fan.

As he picked it up, he knew it was his mother. It was always so ever since his father’s fingers had turned stiff some years ago. Schooled up to sixth grade before going off to her in-laws’ house, she could write though not tidily.

He sat on the straight-backed chair never designed to suffer its occupant for long, and read:

Dear Son,

We’re sorry and concerned to hear about the sickness of our dear grandson. The young lad still has a long way to go. Tell bahu (daughter-in-law) to give him lots of vegetables and fruits and milk…of course she knows.

Don’t spare any expense in getting him treated. Along with this letter there’s a check for five thousand rupees. Hope it helps. If you need more let us know.

Do not worry yourself, this money is legit. You know we had this small patch of land at the back of our house, the one we had willed to you? Luckily for us, we could sell it at short notice to be able to send you this check and keep some for treating your father. Our neighbor had his eyes on this land for long. He was good enough to pay all of ten thousand readily across the table.

Your father was very much against it. He doesn’t understand. You needed the money right now and we needed it too. He maintained it was worth many times more – it could even fetch as much as a couple of lakhs, if we wait a little longer. But, how could we? You sounded so helpless. Of course, he could be right – these days freehold land prices are suddenly shooting up unbelievably.  He says our neighbor unfairly knocked us down for a pittance knowing our urgency.  I had to press on him very hard to go ahead with the deal. Last couple of days, he isn’t even talking to me. Don’t worry, he’ll come around. I hope you too don’t think I’ve erred.

And don’t lose sleep over his health. Now we the money to pay the doctors.

Once again, take good care of the child. We’re sure you’ll. Do keep us informed. And tell us if you need more, we’ll manage.

Yours affly,

Amma.

The letter slipped gently onto the floor from where it took off to the far corner, greatly relieved, its job done.

Feeling like a loser, though he wasn’t sure what was it about, he got up to make some coffee for himself. He needed it.

He’ll come around.

 

End        

 

 

 

Image: oratechsolve.com

Advertisements

Don’t Mess With Her!

psicoactiva.com conversacion-pareja1

Man: ’25 years ago, I lived happily in a 2 bedroom flat with no A/C. The TV was black and white. No washing machine or fridge…with a beautiful 25-year-old girl.

Now…I’ve everything – a 4 bedroom flat, centrally air-conditioned, big flat-screen TV in each bedroom, 2 large fridges, 2 cars…and living with a 50-year-old woman☹’

Woman: ‘Even now nothing is lost, dear. Find a beautiful 25 year-old girl for yourself and you’ll have your happy days again, I assure you.’

End

 

Via: WhatsApp and image from psicoactiva.com

Timeless Words

Boy playing soccer gdj

‘Hema, where is Raju? We don’t see him these days. Is all okay?’

‘He is doing fine, Vidya. It’s just that he is unable to go out to play.’

‘Why so? You said he is fine.’

‘You remember three months ago, he was lost not knowing his way back home?’

‘Yes, I do. Luckily no harm was done.‘

‘Thanks to WhatsApp. We had sent out a message with his photo. A good Samaritan had seen it and finding Raju all alone in the park he was good enough to bring the kid back.’

‘Truly, technology has its advantages. And our belief in humanity vindicated. Surely Raju now knows his way to the park and back.’

‘Yes, he does now.‘

‘So why are you not letting him go out and play with other kids?

‘That’s not it.’

‘Then?’

‘Every time he goes out, some chap getting our message and spotting Raju ‘helpfully’ brings him back here, sometimes, kicking and screaming.’

‘Uh-Oh.’

End

 

 

 

 

 

Source: WhatsApp (via Nimmi) and image from openclipart (GDJ)