Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The return of the prodigal son

Vatsala was in a very happy mood as she was having her dinner with her husband Raghavan. She saw him nibbling his food with disinterest.Something obviously bothered him.He had not spoken one word since the evening when they got the call from Bharath their only son.He was lost in thoughts though she could not comprehend the reason for his being so at this happy moment.

Bharath who was brilliant in studies had got into IIT like any other talented boy.But their joy was short lived when he fell into bad ways from the end of third year.What started as fun and experimentation with some of his hostel mates soon pushed him deep into the depths of drugs.He never realised the self destructive nature of the addiction to his life and career.He started doing many despicable things which he would not have dreamt off like stealing, misappropriating the semester fees for drugs and even selling himself to women for the much needed money.Things came to the knowledge of parents and all their pleadings were of no avail.He sank lower and lower till he was expelled from the institue.He never came home and no one knew his whereabouts.
It was almost two years since their only hope of brightness and cheer in their lives was lost into the quicksands of drugs and unrealised aspirations.Their life was enveloped in sadness that held out no sign of redemption
It was in such depressing time that when Vatsala heard Bharath calling”Amma, I am coming back in a day to be with you all.I am a changed man.Please tell appa that he need worry no more and should forgive me”. Her heart leapt with joy that he had turned a new leaf and would be back with them soon.
She could hardly speak filled with emotion. “We are waiting for you all these two years.Where are you and when will you reach home? Have one word with appa,” she said but the call was cut.When she shared the good news with her hubby, his face was expressionless neither exhibiting joy nor sadness.
Vatsala asked him” Why are you bland faced like this? Aren’t you happy that our son is coming back and is a reformed man now?”
Raghavan smiled wryly and said”I am pleased no doubt.But I would prefer to wait and watch before I burst into raptures like you.Drug addicts do not change that easily”
Bharath looked haggard with sunk and bloodshot eyes, his speech was not very clear and there was a marked deterioration in his personal appearance.Luckily in his conversation with the parents after the dinner, he gave the clear impression that he was in no denial mode or in rationalising the problem he had. He was fully aware of his addiction and determined to get out it however tough and long it might take. His parents assured him that he can lean on them for encouragement, treatment and support.They were grateful to God that he had learnt his errors and aware of the mess he made with his life.
Two days later they left Bharath at home alone as they had had an appointment with the doctor in the morning.When they returned by 2pm,he did not answer the bell.Worried his dad used his key to enter and called him in vain several times by name.They found the show case open and the large silver bowl missing with the synthetic flowers strewn on the floor.He ran up to the first floor to see the almirah open and things thrown about.He found that Rs.50,000 he had always kept in cash for emergency missing.He found a costly watch also gone from the dining table.
He sank on the chair with chin cupped his hands.Vatsala worried asked him” What is wrong with you, honey? Where is Bharath? Where would he have gone? I am worried.Should you not report to police about the theft?”
“You are a fooliish woman.Can I report to the police against my own son? Let the money and things go.I am unable to bear the pain of deception.Bharath came here pretending to be good only to knock whatever things he can lay his hands on for buying his substance.He will not come back. He has not changed a weebit.I am greatly disappointed and a defeated man.I wish I had not set my eyes on him again,” Raghavan said sadly
It was then they heard the door bell.Vatsala rushed to open to find the tired Bharath waiting.As he entered Raghavan said”Stop there.You are not welcome in our house.We showed you lot of love and affection despite your errant ways only because you promised to mend your ways.It is hardly two days since you came and you have already displayed your mean and cunning nature in stealing from your own house for the wretched drugs of yours.Please go away and leave us in peace.”
Vatsala said “Don’t be rash to conclude without knowing his version.Do you think my son would have stolen and yet come back home.He is sick and needs our love and affection.I am disappointed with you and your impatience.”
The telephone rang then and Raghavan heard the Inspector of police telling him
“Thanks to the prompt information of the theft given by your son in person, we could nab the thief.The vital clue was the silver bowl and we rushed to the local pawn broker to find it there .It was then easy to nab the culprit, a regular thief, and to recover the money also.Please come to the station.”
Raghavan ashamed of himself started profusely apologising amidst sobs to his son even as he clasped his hands saying “Bharath, Please forgive me for suspecting you initially.”


  1. Dear Partha,
    Good Evening!
    It's a nice story!I love stories with happy ending!Kind words and love bring out the changes.
    Keep writing!

  2. It seems terrible to me
    when your child is addicted to drugs :(
    I have fortunately not experienced.
    But I would also NEVER betray my child..... Never !!
    I would do anything for my own children :-)

    Fantastic story KP
    For some people is this story reality ....

    Have a nice evening
    Anya :)

  3. i seriousl dont know wat to say! thankfully a good finish!

  4. I dont blame the father at all...your parents bring you up, provide everything that you need in life, and this is what you give them...its their good fate that their son has changed...many dont and leave their near and dear one to suffer forever!!

  5. Nice story! Glad it had a happy ending

  6. I feel sympathy for those parents who lose their children for such evils like drugs, alochol and all..Indeed, there r a big group of satans out in the world all set to destroy ur happiness by destroying ur kid's life...uhmm...

    Wish, such things just disappeared from this earth and people can live with no tensions in their heart when they let their kids go off from their eyes...

  7. And it is never good to make abrupt conclusions! We need to hear their side before making judgments!

    As always it is packed with morals!

    Keep on sharing your beautiful stories!

  8. I feel, many parents are suffering such a situation where their children are addicted to drugs. The very thought scares me.. All what we can do is to pray for those parents and the children to be out of these before much delay..

    nicely narrated.. :)