Monday, May 30, 2011

Change of heart

It was raining cats and dogs. I was stranded in a bus stop. There was no sign of rain abating. It was getting dark. I was waiting for any bus as I did not know where I was bound for. A storm was raging in me too. I had told my hubby before I left the house in a huff that I will have nothing to do with him anymore and that he can forget me. I did not take the car as it was a gift from my hubby and not my own. There was no sight of bus for more than 30 minutes. The road was getting flooded. There was none else in the bus stand. . I hated to go back to the house that I had left just an hour ago.
It was then I saw in the distance a figure slowly wading through the knee deep waters with an umbrella and another in its hand. For a moment I thought it could be Rajan my hubby coming to persuade me to return. As it was dark I could not see clearly but it was not the tall Rajan. I was nervous who this could be. The wretched bus was not coming, I cursed. The figure was making slow progress towards the bus stop. I could see now that it was a man but could not make out distinctly.
When he neared, he called “Vinita, come home. Why are you out in this bad weather? What happened? I asked Rajan whether you had returned from office as it is raining heavily. He said rather indifferently that you had and left home by walk without telling where you were bound for. He would not tell me more but refused to go in search of you. Any quarrel between you two? Please come home. This is not the weather to venture out. I got worried about you and could not stay in the house. Please have this umbrella and accompany me home.”
He was nearing 75 and not very strong. Yet he chose to come out when my hubby showed no concern. I was touched by this old man’s concern for me little knowing that he was the reason for my quarrel with my hubby.
I had told Rajan that he had broken his promise by bringing his old man to live with us. I had told him even during our courting days that I hated cooking especially after a tiresome day in office. He had promised that he would put him in some senior citizen’s home. Nevertheless he brought him home immediately after the honeymoon. All my oblique hints and direct requests that he be sent away did not yield any result. Instead he was telling that he being the only offspring was duty bound to take care of his dad in his twilight years. The old man never ate any ready mix food, Pizza, noodles and things that were easy to prepare or buy. I had neither the time nor the inclination to make traditional food that this man relished. To be blunt, the real reason was that I didn’t want anyone besides me and my hubby at my home. Hence the frequent quarrels that reached a crescendo today culminating in my walk out. Otherwise the old man was non-interfering and minded his own business. He never asked for anything and was unobtrusive. He was self effacing.
When the old man virtually begged me to return home in the torrential rain, I could feel a parental concern and genuine affection that was lacking from the hubby. There was a stab of pain when I looked at the emaciated and bent figure half drenched pleading with me to come home. I did not have the heart to disappoint the man.”Papa, why did you have to come in this downpour? Do not worry, I will come with you. Hold my hand as otherwise you may fall down .There could be open manholes” I said as I led my father-in-law towards the house.
Slowly as we treaded a few steps, I saw another figure coming towards us in the downpour with no umbrella. It was Rajan.He did not utter one word but held my hand as all the three of us trudged. But his clasp spoke more words than what he would have uttered.
When we reached home, my father-in-law said ”I do not know what for you both quarreled. But I could not bear your going out alone in the heavy rain and was upset that Rajan was doing nothing about it. I do not wish to get involved in the quarrel between a couple. But I must thank you for heeding my words. Let me rest. I am tired”
When I was sitting in the living room, Rajan came silently to me and said”I have since decided to send my dad to a senior citizen home. I will break the news to him in the morning. You do not have to go away.”
“There is no need for that. I will keep him with us till my end. I will employ a lady cook to assist me. He is my father too” I said with a smile
Surprised at the pleasant turn thanks to the rain, he hugged me tightly and took me to the bedroom in the first floor.


  1. beautiful..its the best story...the way you have brought out the emotions, they are real and touch your heart.

  2. How I wish that people in some parts of the world won't be so quick to bring their elderly parents to a nursing home. But alas! it appears that many are intrigued and convinced by the idea of nursing homes for the aged claiming that they're too busy for the task themselves.

    It is a blessing that in our parts of this same world we still treasure our old and aging parents. The family unit stands strong amidst the onslaught of modern trends and thoughts.

    You are in your usual top form with this piece. Makes for an interesting read.

    Have a good day. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. Hi KP,
    Sorry about my lack of visits.
    Spike's, our dog, illness, quick death nov/dec and being so ill jan/feb to march meant no visits.

    Since then I have been spending more time sitting in my wheelchair I have also not been visiting.

    I just passed by to say hello.
    I hope you are doing well.

  4. Dear Partha,
    A beautiful story!So touching !Goodness always wins over evil minds.Love and care play a key role in building relations.
    Hearty Congrats for writing such a nice story!
    When did I say last?''Partha rocks''!
    Wishing You A Lovely Evening,

  5. Very touching story KP! Makes one cringe with shame on reading this. It also brings out the issue of old age homes in a subtle manner.

  6. NAMASTE.....
    hmmmmmm.... everything happens for a reason and there is a season for everything. This time it was a lesson for them both, for her to be more tolerant and compassionate for him to learn how to yeild even in anger.

    nicely done...

  7. A nice story with a message to youngsters about how to behave with elder people and how to show concern.

  8. thats what rains can do haha...

    i liked the part where he holds her hand... yes that speaks it all...

  9. Simple and well narrated story! Had tears in my eyes when the daughter in law took the old man's hand to wade through the water!

  10. I am glad that she got some wisdom in the end.. but it doesnt happen so easy in real life.I do hope this story changes many hearts.

  11. *tears*...trickled down my cheeks reading this very touching story...

    you cannot blame the wife for feeling such towards the old man...but i admire the old man for being so caring and kind...thank goodness, the daughter-in-law was discreet with how she feels over the old man..

    thanks to the gave her an admirable change of heart...

    and the husband could not be blamed too if he had to bring his Dad in their home...child-button at work...and poor Dad, who came to the rescue had also his parent button working for her...

    in the Philippine setting, we practice extended family, hence we dont really bring our olds to the home for the aged except for those in high society circles, but not even so...

    we live with our old parents and grandparents...

    very touching story, indeed, Kp!

    i am in a new blog address KP and here is the link:

    got some problem with my blogger but my original blog still exists...

    please find time to drop by

    thanks and have a nice day!


  12. btw, ur paras have no space strains the eyes and makes one lazy to read and please use georgia font, looks great on your blog.. :)


  13. Lovely story, so well written. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  14. Wow! .... Such a beautiful story...!!

  15. Hey it reminded me of my father-in-law who ws waiting for me till 12 when i reached home late on a release night