Thursday, May 15, 2008

An eye opener

-by KParthasarathi Thursday, May 15, 2008
I stopped the car when I saw the flower shop. I was on my way to meet my sweet heart whom I have been dating for nearly a year. She was turning 23 this day. I ordered a bunch of 23 large red roses to be made into a fine bouquet. As I was waiting, I saw a young boy around ten years bargaining with the shop assistant. I heard him telling “I have only 10 rupees. Can you make a small bouquet of roses for that amount? “
The assistant told him ”Sorry. The minimum we make is for Rs.50/. I can manage a small one for Rs.25.What you have is not adequate” The boy pleaded “Today is Mothers Day. I assure I can pay the balance in two months. Won’t you please help me?”
The assistant said a bit harshly “No credit. We are busy in the morning with customers. Please go away without disturbing.” With tears trickling, the boy moved away.
I called the boy”Hey, come here I will get for you a bouquet for your mom. I am glad you are a loving son and remember the occasion to surprise your mom. She should be happy to see the bouquet. Please wait.”
Meanwhile the assistant gave me my bunch of 23 roses beautifully arranged and a small bouquet for the boy.
I asked the boy to get into the car telling him that I would drop him if his home was not far away. The boy got down after a short distance before a small house. He said “Thank you, Sir. My mother is actually no more. She passed away last year. I used to get her from the adjacent gardens a few red roses on Mother’s day. She loved roses very much and would feel very happy. This year I thought I will get her a bouquet. Thanks to you, I can place it before her photo.”
My thoughts went to my mother in an old age home. She was past eighty with dimmed vision and reduced hearing. She used a walker to move about. We are a family of six sons and three daughters. Yet none of us were willing to keep her at our homes after my father passed away. Till then they lived separately. My mother is a fine lady, soft spoken and talked very little. My dad was not a rich man. He left behind his house which we sold and out of the proceeds paid the deposit to the old age home and the monthly subscription. She did not depend on us financially. The daughters- in-law were all working and no one wanted an old lady with them. This arrangement suited fine though my mom’s willingness was never ascertained. We went to meet her initially once a month with wives. Gradually the wives stopped accompanying my brothers. I am the youngest and not yet married. The visits by everyone became gradually few and far between.Eversince I started dating, I could also find no time. It is almost a year since I met her.
The boy opened my eyes. I rushed back to the flower shop and got a large bouquet of roses and other flowers. Along with my fiancée I bought some dresses for my mom and went to meet her. She was greatly surprised and was immensely happy when I introduced my fiancée. She had her face brought very close to her to see her and said ”She is very charming and cute. You are mighty lucky. May you tie the knot and live happily.” On our way back, my fiancée remarked “God willing, we shall keep her with us once we get married. We can employ a helper to attend to her needs.”


  1. A very touching write up.Brings out the irony of mothers' day being celebrated by one whose bereaved mother is kept alive. And on the other side are those who treat their mothers like their 'buried' past when she's alive in some distant old age home with no one to even cater to her needs in her twilight years. It makes me think that mothers' day celebrations are surreal when in 'real'ity it is doomsday for the same with the lack of consideration by the kith and kin almost equalling it to an ungrateful stance and borderline brutality.

  2. A fine piece of writing...
    Simply touching...

  3. Parthasarathi,

    Yet another writing that makes one think. Having lost my mother, I can
    understand what the boy feels; and the man has chosen the right person to marry.