Thursday, May 14, 2009

Discreet silence

My mind is blank.I am posting an old story written long back.Please bear with me

Ravi and I working in the same office are close to each other sharing even our personal matters.. His rich dad had died some years back. His old mother was living with him. Unfortunately Ravi’s wife Anita had not taken kindly to the old woman. Coming from a rich family herself, she was a much pampered lady lacking in finer sensibilities with a harsh tongue. So long as the old man was alive, things were going on without coming to surface. There were no children to lighten the atmosphere. Things became gradually worse till it became intolerable. Ravi on return from office saw his mother crying almost daily but never had any word of complaint against Anita. Knowing the latter’s abrasive nature, he knew what must have happened. His words of advice had little effect. Ravi being timid in nature, she was domineering. It was about three years ago he discussed the matter with me and we decided that for the peace of the old lady, it was best to admit her in a well to do senior citizen’s home which had all the facilities. When he broached the subject to his mom, she did not mind the verbal torture but desired to be with him. Ravi persuaded her saying that he could not bear to see the indignities heaped on her and that she better go to the home and that he would be meeting her frequently.
Ravi went initially often but this tapered off to monthly visits partly due to pressure in office and mostly due to the taunts of Anita. The change had affected the old lady mentally. She became morose and aloof. Calls would come from the home asking him to come and meet his mom. He went sometimes taking time off during office hours but this also became less. But he ensured that his mom got all the physical comforts. There was a phone call one day informing that the old lady slipped and fell down in the bath room. She had broken her back and was unfit for any surgery due to advanced age. Some complications had set in with her kidneys failing. Her eye sight had also diminished abruptly. She became weak and emaciated in the course of a month. Nursing attendants at the home took care of her 24x7.She was all the time muttering “Ravi, Ravi…” I had gone one day with Ravi. It was a pathetic sight seeing the old lady cringe” Ravi, please take me home from this prison and let me be with you in my last days. Please do not refuse. I would myself plead with Anita” Ravi’s eyes became misty with tears trickling down. He said” Mom, Do not worry. Let me talk to her. I will come tomorrow.” He tried in vain knowing fully there was no chance of Anita relenting. He did not have the face to meet his mom. He did not go. The tricky wife compelled him to take her on a holiday to Darjeeling despite the ailing lady. When he was away a call came from the hospital informing that the lady’s condition had turned serious. I informed Ravi and rushed to her side.
I held the lady’s arm. Her eyes were closed. There was a deathly pallor about her. She was too weak even to open her eyes. She said”Ravi, I am glad you have come. I want to breathe my last holding your hand. I have caused a lot of anguish for you.”
I was perplexed about what I should do. The nurse who knew me indicated that I should not reveal my identity. She signaled that she was in her last moments.
I replied “Mom, do not strain yourself. You will be ok.Just rest and I am here by your side”
Ravi, were you not allright? You said you will come the next day when we met last”
“Mom, I had to go out of India on tour suddenly. I could not refuse. I am here and will not leave you. Please sleep as I keep holding your hand”
“I know you are very affectionate to me. “ She kept quiet thereafter and peace descended on her face. I did not stir from the chair and stayed on by her side. I must have fallen asleep in that position till I was woken up by the nurse telling “Sir, it is all over. She passed away a few minutes back. It is very nice of you to have provided the love and warmth she was yearning for. Thanks a lot for your discreet silence.”
Wiping the tears from my eyes, I moved towards the phone booth to inform Ravi.


  1. A poignant story! Yes, sometimes for the sake of a person's happiness, we need to keep quiet.

  2. Absolutely touching and sad story, Sir.. What a pity that people who care for their loved ones are sometimes not in a position to take care... And be with them in their last moments...

    A liberal dose of love is what the world and everyone in it needs....

  3. that was a touching story..

    sigh!! what 2 say.. kids dont truly know the value and love of parents unless they too reach such a stage.. the earlier 2 realize.. the better..

  4. Had tears in my eyes when I read this....very very stirring and an eye opener.

  5. you know what sir?
    gold never gets rusty!

    though not many, i m sure there still are some Ravis around ...

    often the rat-race gets the better of us and make us forget some things that matter most in our lives ... but 'Ravi' got it right ...

    yeha, i know it s easily said than done... life is like that

  6. I don't understand what sort of person would be rude and unkind to old people?
    Your story moved me.
    I lost my grandma( father's mom) in sept, 2008.But, she was well looked after by my mother and my grand ma loved my mom. When she was in her last moments, she kept calling my mother's name( not my dad's) and held my mom's hand till she took her last breath.So, i feel that my grandma's blessings are always with my mom and all of us at home.

  7. I don't think there is a competition among the ladies about recipe...but share their interest in general thing that they are good might useful to other ppl who are not so good at this see I see cooking as art..don't you?(not everyone's cup of tea)
    I am glad you found my blog amusing...I am like that spirit,open minded,funny...(blabbing huh?)lol
    Thanks for your comment...appreciate a lot for your time.:)Have a gr8 time.

  8. See this is what I call a story!Excellent. I feel that until and unless one feels the emotions ingrained in the story, its never effective enough. Your stories are just great!
    Its just a bit of time that our loved ones demand from us, blaming themselves for being a burden, I am amazed at the ppl who leave their elders in the hands of strangers...every situation can be tackled if we want to tackle it..otherwise giving up is the easiest way out and a very sorry excuse.

  9. I'm wordless...It's painful to read such kind of stories though these kind of things happen often...
    anbudan aruna