Wednesday, February 25, 2009


by KParthasarathi 28 Feb 2009Add Image
Raghav was rummaging an old box of his in his home at San diego.He was to leave for India in a week’s time. His wedding with Anupama was fixed. He found in the box the Sri Vishnu Sahasranama book that was given him by Raju uncle when he was ten years old. He had preserved it carefully as a priceless possession. His memory took him back to those days in Chennai. It was like a pocket note book costing less than a rupees those days. He gave the book free to all the boys and girls in the colony. They would assemble at 6pm sharp to recite the slokas.After some days they did not need the book.Raju uncle was a disciplinarian and would get upset if someone came late. He gave them candies, raisins or plantain fruits at the end of the session daily. Uncle had a soft heart behind the hard exterior and helped lot of poor children with tuition fees and books. His contributions to charitable causes were never spoken about though his wife used to confide to Raghav’s mom. Though he had a son in high position in the North, he never left Chennai. Uncle never as a rule spoke about himself or his kind acts.
He decided to invite personally Raju uncle soon after reaching Chennai .He had lost touch with him after his dad was transferred out of Chennai. He studied in Delhi, did his IIT and left for US for his MS and doctorate. It was only a fortnight back, he chanced to get his email ID from a friend who was also in the Sahasranama group. He wrote to him immediately wondering whether he would remember him. He narrated one specific incident when not a single boy or girl had turned up one day for the Sahasranama recitation due to torrential downpour save Raghav in drenched clothes. He still remembered uncle chiding him for coming in the rain and fetching a towel fondly to wipe his head of water. He praised him the next day for his steadfastness and devotion. Uncle promptly replied that he remembered the incident and his face. Raghav exchanged a couple of mails and had also announced his ensuing wedding. Uncle had wished him well and had mentioned that he was looking forward to meeting him with the invitation.
Raghav had landed that morning. His parents had already arrived from Delhi. There were lots of relatives already assembled.Raghav wished to meet Raju uncle that evening itself. But he could not as his parents wanted him to accompany them for some shopping. The next morning he took thoughtfully the invitation, the gifts he had bought for uncle, bought some sweets and went to the old colony where he had lived more than fifteen years back. The houses all looked the same except for some additions in the front. When the car stopped outside the block where he resided and he got out with the entire gift packets in hand, he saw a cluster of people standing outside. It looked ominous though there were six flats in the complex. He approached one gentleman and asked him which was Raju uncle’s flat though he knew very well. Seeing Raghav well dressed with sweet packets and invitation on hand, he said “Don’t you know Raju passed away last night? It was a massive attack and the end came immediately. May I know who you are?” Raghav replied that he was his old student and wished to know whether his wife was there. The gentleman said” Yes, she is very much there. Poor mami, she is devastated.”
Raghav returned to the car and left all things in it. When he went up he saw mami sitting by the head of Raju uncle.He looked very much older but the features were still the same sharp ones he was aware of. He went to mami and said with tears streaming from his eyes “Mami, I am Raghav.Do you remember me. I had told uncle that I would be meeting him. I wanted to come last evening itself. It is my bad luck that I missed seeing him.” She replied “Even last evening he was talking about you. He even wrote something on a piece of paper and left a sealed envelope for you on the table. When I asked him what it was, he brushed aside my question and only asked me to hand it over to you. When I said you could yourself give, he kept quiet. It looks as though he had a premonition of things to happen.” Mami cried inconsolably even as Raghav tried to console her. After some time she went to the table and handed over the envelope, which Raghav put in his pocket.
It was on the second day he remembered the envelope. There was a small note with a five hundred rupee note. The letter began
”Dear Raghav,
I am afraid I may not be able to attend your wedding. Please accept my best wishes and the token gift.I still remember your young face with your drenched clothes that evening long backYou made me happy that evening…..


  1. Very emotional story. Raghav's respect for his Guru and the Guru's love to his students is so beautifully brought out.

    But why do you kill the characters in your story Mr.KP.

  2. Thanks Lakshmi for the kind comments.I had to kill Raju uncle to get an emotional story.I will make amends by writing a 'happily lived ever after' type in my next.

  3. Deeply touching story sir. The emotions are so well brought out. I loved it. Both the characters are really admirable! Well done!

    Have a cheerful day ahead!

  4. What a wonderful and touching story. It teaches a lesson never to postpone visits as it may result in never being able to see them again.

  5. There are relationships that we cherish for a life time.Your story strikes a cord with one such relationship. Beautifully written:)

  6. We should always follow our gut instinct. The story is very emotional, touching and nice.

  7. Thanks dear friends for your comments

  8. touching and it has a hard ending.. its emotional and a lil sentimental :)

  9. A beautifully wriiten story. It brought tears to my eyes. I never thought I would be the type to cry on reading a story...
    The charatcters in your stories remind me of my own amma, appa and my other family members. Since I am living away from home, as an MBA student, these stories are precious to me. :-)
    Thanks for writing them.