Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The change of heart

-by KParthasarathi Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Audikesavulu is a leader of some high rank in a political party. A school drop out, he involved himself with a political party as a low rung worker and rose in ranks steadily by sheer hard work and loyalty to the top leader. He had never changed his political colours and has been with the same party since inception. He was elected to the Corporation council many times, the legislature a couple of times and was a minister for a short period. He has held chairmanship of many state government institutions. Over a period of time he has become rich through what political opponents consider dubious ways owning agricultural lands, house properties in the city and village, a flour mill and a couple of cinema theatres. It is difficult to know the real wealth of such men as they are held in several benami names. Being influential party man, there was always a crowd of hangers on. Being only in his late forties, the talk was that he had a promising future in the party.
A thorough family man he had two sons and two daughters. The elder son Manoj is a bright boy, studious in studies and had finished his B.Tech from IIT. He had also acquired a PG diploma in business management and was selected by a leading IT firm. A good chap with right values in life he detested politics to the chagrin of his father. He had a strong conviction that politics is not for honest and sincere people and that the political system has been so corrupted that good men abjured politics. His father has been nursing his constituency like a pocket borough and wanted his son to stand for election. The two daughters and the other son were young. He felt that service to others fetched no riches as politics did. But Manoj declined despite persuasion from his mom and other friends of his dad. In fact he wanted his father to come out of politics and involve himself in a NGO to lift the poor people of his village and surrounding areas from poverty. He dared to ask him once that except for improving the financial circumstances of his family what substantial work he had done for the people of his village or the district. He had not got any schools or public health centres or even small industries for his area. He has been only amassing riches. Manoj said his conscience will not permit him to be a part of the defective political system and would like to get as far as possible from it. Audikesavulu was disappointed at what he considered as a foolish response. The boy rubbed salt to injury when he remarked that amongst the colleagues and college mates his political connection is no plus point but a subject inviting snide remarks. Audikesavulu became wild in rage and hit the boy abusing him of being an ungrateful wretch and a drohi. His wife joined in support of the Manoj and said neither she nor the other children are happy with politics. Manoj left quietly but was not seen from the next day. All attempts to trace him failed. He had not reported for duty. Weeks passed without any information about his whereabouts. His mom and his siblings were crying all the time. The police despite strenuous attempts could get no clue. Audi was full of remorse.
It was then the Chief Minister called him one day and proposed that he become a minister in his cabinet. What should have been a sweet music to his ears did not interest him any more. Audikesavulu kept silent prompting CM to remark “What is the matter, Audi? I thought you will jump with joy at the recognition of your long and hard work in the party. Come out with what is bothering you.” Audi started sobbing and touching the feet of CM requested him to forgive him for declining the offer. “I wish to retire from politics and involve myself in social work for the remaining years” he said. CM laughed and remarked “Are we not serving people already? I know you are an intelligent and hard working man. I can wait for a week.” Audi replied politely and firmly “Forgive me, Sir. I have made up my mind to retire from politics and go back to the village. Wherever I am, my loyalty and respect for you would remain undiminished.”
The news was splashed in the news papers and TV channels. It was then Audi received a phone call from Manoj. “Appa, you have made me proud by your decision. I am on the final stages of starting a NGO along with some class mates for the amelioration of the poor. We need your guidance and would like you to be the founder chairman of the organization. We have chosen a few districts for our work. Money is no constraint. We need only dedicated and hardworking volunteers. My friends along with me would meet you this week end. Please tell mom not to worry. All will be fine very soon.” As he put the receiver down, Audi’s wife entered to see the peace that had descended on his smiling face.


  1. Articulate, Mr Parthasarathi...

  2. Thanks madam for visitin my blog and for the feedback

  3. So, the son teaches the father. Reminds me of my childhood-inspiration Manoj.
    Good choice of words.