Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In lieu of coffee

Sulochana patti as she was known was well to do in her younger days.Her husband was a leading lawyer.Children were considered an asset those days.The more the children merrier were the couple They never felt ashamed of getting pregnant even in forties.No control was exercised.As a result they had seven sons and three daughters. None of the sons distinguished themselves and were all in small positions or as briefless lawyers.Two daughters were married off well before Sulochana pattis husband passed away.By the time the last daughter Sumathi was to be married, the family’s financial position was not sound and she was married to a clerk in a private company.
Initially patti lived with various sons by turn.She was shunted out after a mandatory month with each son whether she was well or not.Patti bore all these indignities with equanimity and never compalined. .In a year she lived about 6 months with Sumathi.She was very affectionate to her mother.She had her own family of four children and they lived in a small apartment.But her heart was generous and her children too loved their patti.The family’s income was scanty and with children studying in schools and colleges, it was a great effort to make both ends meet.Sumathi was coaching children to supplement the income.
Patti’s vision which was already impaired became worse.She had difficulty even in moving about the house freely.Sumathi took her to a big eye clinic of a very renowned ophthalmologist. After a long wait when her turn came, she took the frail old woman inside dodctor’s chamber.The doctor examined the reports of the various tests done by his juniors and examined her eyes.afetr finishing the examination.He told Sumathi that patti’s eyes are ready for operation and that it can be done immediately.He told her I will be away for a month abroad after two days.I can opearte her eye tomorrow if you admit her today.It is minor ahd she can go home the next day..What do you say?”
Sumath asked “Amma, doctor says operation can be done tomorrow itself as he will be going out of station”
Patti asked her “What is the need for immediate operation? Where will you go for such huge amount?.Ask him to give some drops.I will manage.”
Sumathi was embarassed.The doctor asked “Patti, aren’t you Chandru’s mom.I was wondering all along at the familiar face.Now only it struck me you are Chandru’s mom”Patti nodded and said “Yes ,Chndru is my son..How do you know him?”“Patti, have you forgotten Sundararaman.I used to play cricket in your house with Chandru and his brothers.We were class mates.You used to give me coffee .Have you forgotten me?’” asked the doctor
Patti squinted eyes and looked at him trying to recollect but gave up
She said”I have become old.I am also not able to see you clearly.Sorry But there is a vague memory of a very smart boy by name Sundu.”“Patti, I am that Sundu.Don’t worry about money.We will see later. Please get admitted now itslf.I will operate you first in the morning.” He turned to Sumathi and said “Do not bother about the charges.I will see what can be done.Get her admitted now itself.”
Patti whispered to her daughter “I Know Sundu.He was very smart even in younger days.You can pledge my two gold bangles and get the money.Please admit me now itself”
The operaation was done successfully and the bandage was removed on the second day.The doctor asked “Patti, can you see Sundu now?”Patti smiled
Sumathi asked “Doctor, how much we should pay.You had said the charges would be reduced.We cannot afford much.”
“It is ok.I have already spoken to the billing section.This nurse will help you in getting the discharge certificate.I came today only for patti to see me and recognise me.I will not forget the coffee she used to give me.Patti,you will be given glasses after a month.You can have the other eye operated in 3 months.I am to go in hurry.All the best, patti” said the doctor as he left
The nurse toook Sumathi to billing section.The billing clerk gave a bill for nil amount telling that the entire charges have been waived by the doctor.He showed the bill where the doctor had written “All charges waived in adjustment of coffee taken”
Patti and Sumathi were overcome with emotion and stood speechless.


  1. gudd one..just wondering.. how mch magic coffee can do..:)
    do we find such kind hearted ppl in real life..? God Bless..!!!

  2. Namaste...
    Don't like coffee, think the stuff is nasty, don't like the smell either. Glad it works for yah doh, to each his/her own.

    It is a blessing when you encounter sucn kindness makes you believe in the world again.

    thanks for sharing.

  3. Now a days, kind hearted folks can only be read about in books. Rare to find.

  4. Nice story!Have you used the last line in some other story as well, I have read it before ..must be one of your stories.

  5. Oh my the best story of the week...loved it partha.
    i almost had my eyes wet...yeah senti menti i became for a while, then i realised i need to be happy for patti..and now while writing i feel what a fool i am, its just a story rush.
    but for all the efforts and mind put in, u made it come to life..seriously

  6. So Beautiful Touching Post :) :) It Reveals Sundu's Gratitude, Love & Affection Towards Patti :) :) Awesome Fabulous Story :) :) Excellent :) Very Well Said :) :)

  7. Dear Partha,
    hardly any adjectives are left for me to write about your post.:)
    it's really interesting n i love value based stories.i love patti;i love all old people.
    sometime somewhere in life we will get the returns of our was not just the coffee did the magic;the flavour was special that of love,care n smile.
    i must admit,partha the choice of your female names are too good.[any memories to help?]
    once in a while we come across good natured people;life is beautiful.:)
    have a great day ahead,

  8. very touching story Sir.. My mother (who is no more) used to be very generous with my friends and used to always feed them with hot dosai / meals, fresh chutney, tea etc. Even now some of my friends talk about that.. Your story reminded me of her.. thanks

  9. not fair..the coffee smells stale...i want a new story...*stomps and leaves*

  10. hmmm....impressive act! Am remembered of my school friends who used to come home to have tea brewed by my mother, and they sometimes will spend time with grandma also.
    Now, my grandma is no more!

    Thanks for making me remember those days :-)

  11. ehme ehem ... that name 'patti' makes me go no further haha ...

    nevermind ...
    but sir, i think i have read sth similar ... maybe a forign version ... it was titled a paid with a glass of milk ...

    actually it s there in my book..

    nohow, you have your imagination high flying here as usall

  12. dear,
    dicoction was just right...
    a prfect blend...
    here i sit and ruminate...

  13. Thats how some relations in life happen for a divine reason..they may not be the bloodrelations..but they are there fr us every moment in need ..

    :) ..well written uncle..

  14. Nice one Sir, Liked it much. It must have been a delight for both a patient and the doctor to have an encounter like this.

  15. Maybe I need to learn to make some good coffee now. Will come in handy someday:) Nice story, as always.

  16. Wow..people say love n kindness have no place in the society anymore..but love pays back at the time of need...