Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A man of worth

My son virtually drove me out this morning. I have no ill feeling against him. Were I in his position, I would have perhaps done the same thing. He had lost his job he was working for 22 years because of downsizing. He had no special skill. He had a quarrelsome wife and four kids. It was a miserable living and the few months’ salary he got was spent. A worthless old dad with no income was easily dispensable. He asked me to forgive him as he was doing in my best interest. He advised that I join some old age home for poor as I can be sure of some gruel at least instead of starving at his home. He assured he would take me back when things improved. There was a point in what he said though it was unpalatable. I loved my only son a lot. He has always been a good chap and nice to me. But the financial strain compelled him to take this drastic step. But the only thing that hurt me was the caustic remark of my daughter-in-law “what is the earthly use of feeding this worthless old man who cannot bring even 100 rupees a month”
I was sitting in the local temple not knowing where to go and where the old age home was situated. When the sun came down, I started walking on the busy road in search of a place for the night. A few whom I had asked about the old age home denied any knowledge. I had not taken any food since morning except one banana fruit someone gave me at the temple. Someone had dropped a two rupee coin near me at the temple thinking I was a beggar. I was feeling very hungry and giddy. When I saw a tea shop on the opposite side of the road, I crossed the road. I don’t know what happened till I opened my eyes in what I presume was a hospital. I saw several tubes connected to my body and bottles hanging over me. There were doctors and nurses with grim faces talking in whispers. I could see a policeman also at the corner.
Someone said “the patient is showing signs of consciousness and has opened the eyes”
One young doctor asked me “Where do you live? Any son or daughter to send for?”
“No, please do not disturb my son. He is very poor and cannot pay even one rupee. Leave me alone. I have no desire to live” I said
“Thatha, you are not really well. Your condition is very serious. We have an obligation to inform the nearest relative” said the young man
“If you think I will not live, please tell me so without fear. I would like to donate all my organs that are good against whatever payment you can get for them from the needy patients and hand over the money to my only son. I am telling you this in sound mind. I don’t know whether I can sign but you can call the policeman as a witness. If you agree I will give you the address of my son” I said
“Thatha, we are doing our best to make you okay. But we have heard your wishes and will do accordingly if the need arose. Give me the address quickly’ said the young doctor. All the others including the policeman nodded their heads in agreement.
I gave the address and suddenly the whole thing went black and felt weightless. I don’t know what happened till after some long time I saw my weeping son hitting his head with his own hands and his sobbing wife near my cot. I heard the doctor telling him of my last wish and that they have willing patients ready to pay and waiting for the organs like eyes, kidneys, liver etc .I think from what I could hear he will get at least a couple of lakhs besides what the policeman was telling as compensation for what appeared to be the mistake of the truck driver in beating the signal.
I could heave a sigh of relief that I was after all no worthless old man.


  1. Hmm.. thoughtful!

    Are u not writing in ur other blog?

  2. Very touching... It does reflect the delicate financial rope middle class families have to balance ... It is sad that the two most vulnerable groups of the society are inevitably affected by any imbalance - children and old people.... Even then humanity clinging to the last drop of blood [the old man's last wish] gives a ray of hope that things will change... I just things change:)

  3. Once again, a good post.

    Rather than just turning out the father, the son should have left him at old age home if he had any concern for his father.

    parents would do anything for the child's well being while it is not true vice versa ( there are exceptions of course)

  4. This may sound harsh.. But I would not leave the money for my son , if he threw me out of the house due to some problem.

    The father did not throw the son when he was young, Nope I would rather donate my body and leave the money for some not so privilidged kids ...


  5. He is worth a few lacs. But it is very sad . even in his misery he is thinking of helping his son. Poor fellow.

  6. hmmm.. what to write, what to share.. but this is the cruel reality..there are true instances where parents try to give their best, even in penury,their best worth to their children.. Sometimes even life..
    nice one..

  7. Dear Partha,
    Good Evening!
    This is so touching....the bitter truth...the helpless conditions...
    Thanks for the thought provoking
    The readers have a value to carry in minds.
    Please do write something from the new backgrounds!
    Wishing you a wonderful evening,

  8. Initially I thought it was going to be like piece from lage raho munnai bhai…
    But you had something more to offer..
    Nice one…

  9. I remembered Balu Mahendra's movie, Sandhya raagam. I think this happens in many families. You can't blame the son too... though I don't agree that he had 4 children in this age!

    Again, very well written story, Parha Sir!

  10. awesome story. really a very thoughtful story showing the real picture of our society

  11. Its a sad story
    but I liked it very much :-)
    Very well written Sir !!!

    Hugs from us all
    Kareltje =^.^= Betsie >^.^<

  12. I am first time visiting here.. will spend more time on reading up,, so much to read and learn!
    It was so very heavy to read this post, sure, it would open many eyes..

  13. Its true in many families its happening. The human value & joint families everything has been lost. The transition is so terrible. We indians got the influence of the west and changed a lot for the worst. Do not know the situation after 5 to 10 years. We should blame the media to certain extent.