Monday, February 11, 2008

The retribution

-by KParthasarathi Monday, February 11, 2008
Aswin was born to his rich parents nine years after their marriage. They had made innumerable visits to holy places and done the pujas ordained for begetting an offspring. The baby was however not good looking with a flat nose, wide nostrils, thick and unruly hair, and a slouching mouth. He had an unusually big and round mole on the chin. To the parents he was however a bundle of joy. The astrologers who were consulted spoke high of the favourable planetary positions and foresaw a great future and life of happiness and prosperity for the baby boy. A nanny was appointed to take care of the boy.He grew into a chubby boy, playful in disposition and well mannered. His birthdays were celebrated with pomp and gaiety. But the happiness did not last long.
One day when the nanny had taken the five year old boy to a nearby park, she met her friend from her village. For a few minutes when her attention from the boy was distracted by the conversation, somebody had taken away the boy. Nanny made a frantic search hither and thither in vain. The parents lodged a complaint with the police fearing someone had kidnapped the child for ransom. There was no call in the succeeding days making any demand. All efforts to trace the child did not yield results. The parents were totally shattered. Months and years went by with no trace of child. The mother fell sick unable to bear the loss and after brief illness passed away. The father became a recluse losing all interest in life. His brother and his wife with their three children moved in to take care of the man. They were not in good financial circumstances and this shift was a welcome change for them.Aswin’s father one day committed suicide after leaving a will with his lawyer that his brother would be the guardian of the missing child and efforts to trace the child should be continued. If the child remained untraced for fifteen more years fifty percent of the money would go to his brother and balance to charitable causes.
In a twist to the events, the police found a blind boy aged around nine or ten with a flat nose and a circular mole on his chin begging outside a temple in an adjacent state. They found out that the boy was abducted, blinded and his tongue cut partially by a group of beggars. He was forced to beg attracting passers-by by his guttural sounds. Such a pitiable condition evoked the sympathy of the pilgrims who gave alms generously. The boy’s uncle identified the boy and took him home, gave him a warm bath, new dresses and good food. The child appeared in a dazed condition, made no gesture or sign except thro the quivering eyelids. The uncle patted the boy affectionately and made him sleep in a comfortable bed.
His cousins were amused by his pathetic sight and mimicked him by blinking their eyes. The aunt, a wicked woman, had not taken kindly to the turn of events. Whenever the uncle was not at home, she ill treated the boy.Aswin was a butt of the practical jokes of his cousins who pinched and hit him hiding themselves away from his reach. They put all sorts of dirty things like pebble, wooden pieces and scraps of paper on his food plate. When the boy started crying the aunt would scold and beat him for his noisy behavior and take away the plate and the food without replacing it. He was made to sleep in the attic on hard floor. He became a victim of hatred and cruelty. Handicapped as he was, he could do nothing. The uncle knew the harsh treatment meted out but being timid and henpecked could do little.
One afternoon when his cousins and his uncle were away, Aswin managed to come out of the house. He wished to escape from the torture. He did not know the front or rear side. He started walking towards the swimming pool at the rear. There were no barricades. The boy knew no swimming. He continued to walk unaware of the danger before him. His aunt who saw him from balcony came rushing down on the first impulse of saving him. Suddenly she stopped when the thought of the fifty percent share of wealth occurred to her. She made no noise as the boy proceeded towards his watery grave. She saw the boy struggling before giving up and quietly retreated to the house. Little did she know that a pair of eyes of a kindly soul from a distant house was watching accidentally her wicked act through binoculars and that retribution was soon to follow.


  1. This story made me ponder in amazement and horror about how wealth blinds humans out of their basic compassion and attain a cold blooded stance. This is increasing at an alarming rate in reality where own family members go to any extent for monetary gains and inherit property. Gone are the days where aunts/uncles can be trusted blindly as they tend to view their nieces/nephews a threat to their own children. Unconditional action seems to fading away like smoke especially those who are in the family business scenarios. It makes me think whether its money that has the evil side to it or the power to display the vile side of humans? Whos to blame: money or people?

  2. the uncle was very much a sinner. if we are not trying to stop a wrong, we are passively contributing to it.
    good post