Wednesday, August 25, 2010

True repentance

The body of Nataraj had been taken out of an ice box that lay in a corner and laid on the floor.There were rose garlands and wreaths of multi coloured flowers placed on his body.The hall was filled with many grieving friends and relatives.The priest had commenced the ceremonies for final departure.Smoke was coming out of an earthern pot from a corner. Nataraj’s only son in a wet cloth was standing by the side of body with tears from his eyes and complying with instructions from the priest.Nataraj’s wife was seated in a corner sobbing much in sorrow surrounded by ladies trying to comfort her.The atmosphere was grim and heavy.People were in tears.

When I entered the hall I could sense the derision and hate from the looks of relatives and close friends of Nataraj at my coming there.I wish to narrate here in brief about my close friendship with the deceased and how we fell apart.We were very intimate friends but became business partners when we started our business.He invested his brain and me my brawn.We were in service on small salary working for someone.It was Nataraj who suggested that we start business on our own.The idea was solely his,what to make,how to make and where to make.We invested our entire small savings and took loan from bank.Production and marketing were his area.I looked after finance, administration and dealing with government.The business took off very well much beyond our expectations.We grew in a short span of three years and recovered the money we had invested and our income grew month after month.

It was then devil took In my greed,I siphoned off each month by fudging accounts some portion of our income to my wife’s brother.When he came to know of my treachery and deceit he was more shocked than disappointed with the loss.He decided then and there to part wanting to deal no more with me.He took his share of the small net worth and never spoke to me again.

I repented for my mistake and sought his pardon many times only to be rebuffed. I had requested him to join again and take control of finances also..But he did not relent though he never made good in life thereafter.Life was comfortable but not luxurious for him.If my business grew to such a phenomenal size this day, it was all because of the seed sown by him and the start he gave.

The ceremony was over and the body draped in new shroud was ready to leave for the crematorium.A few friends spoke eulogising the nice qualities of the departed soul and stressed on his integrity and fairmindedness in all his dealings .I felt it was an oblique reference to my dishonesty.As I rose to speak, I became aware of the air of embarassment and unpleasantness in the hall.The tension in the faces of Nataraj’s wife and son was clear.

Nevertheless I spoke in slow voice.”I am aware you might be wondering why I came at all here and why I rose to speak after the bitterness in our relationship caused by me.Though we broke up I had always considered Nataraj as my close friend and have the same regard for him as when we started working together.I did a grievous mistake and caused a betrayal of the immense trust he had in me but repented sincerely for it and sought his forgiveness.But he would not accept me after the incident.I wish to divulge on this occasion that I still considered him as a partner and set apart his share of money each year in a trust of which his wife and son are the sole trustees.I have no connection to it.It has considerable amount and engaged in charitable activities.

I had hoped that our bonds of friendship would be cemented further as we had a girl and boy.If God wills the two families can still get together again.I would request Mrs Nataraj to forgive me and accept me back as a family friend.”

Having said that I wiped the tears from my eyes only to find that all eyes which had contempt and scorn initially had softened.I could see some faint smiles .The heaviness in my heart that I carried had vanished and I felt lighter than ever.when Nataraj’s wife beckoned me to her side and said”Do not worry.He always mentioned that you were a good person and whatever you did was just an aberration.Do not grieve.”


  1. Repenting and making amends for the mistake committed here is laudable.

  2. Touching indeed!
    All our religions preach something similar-the moment we truly repent our sins, we are forgiven.

  3. I agree to all Chitra says..if he only repented, it wouldnt be enough but making amends makes him eligible to forgiveness.

  4. One who repents is human for sure..beautiful story!

  5. agree to everyone... but certain acts of stupidity and repenting is of no use... a small proverb in tamil " a person who never learns at 5 , will never learn even at 50"..!

  6. love all ,hate none...the true manthra of human life..
    every thing happens for a it hatred,misunderstandings,love...
    prayers n wishes

  7. to be able to forget and forgive means a lot...