Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The telephone call

I was reading some spiritual book explaining the Karma theory that our past actions follow us like a shadow through the cycle of births and deaths. I took comfort in the thought that my omissions and commissions in this life can be attributed to the past and there was little that I could have done to avoid them. My mood lifted up when I found myself grinning at .escaping from the personal responsibility for my problems. It was then the phone rang.

“Hello, is it Sarvadaman’s house?” asked a male voice

“Yes, I am his father speaking” I said

“Sorry Sir, your son has been arrested by the police about 30 minutes back and taken to the station. I don’t know where. They would not give him time to telephone you or talk to anyone of us” the voice said.

I was confused and asked him “Any idea why he was arrested? Did he ask you to telephone me? Who are you, Sir?”

“No Sir, he did not ask .He was very perturbed and shaken. I am also working in Telecom department with him. I don’t know why he was picked. You know the intense probe that is going on.Infact no one knows that I am informing you.” the voice replied

“There is something wrong here. My son is a clean chap. I don’t think he is in any way connected with the wrong things happening.Infact we discuss the news daily and he is very much perturbed. By the way, what is your good name and how did you find my number?” I asked

“I am Mahesh Sharma. I checked the office telephone directory and found his name with residence number” he replied

I rang up my son’s mobile number. It was silent and was switched off. I became a little concerned.

“Thank you. Just for confirming that it is my son, can you give me details like how he looks like, to which state he belongs to and such like?”I asked

“He is a tall guy and not very fair or dark. Medium complexion I would say. He wears specs. Will this suffice?”he replied

I was a little worried now and started panicking. I said “Yes your description fits him. I will start right away to find his whereabouts. Thanks for informing. His wife and children would be greatly upset. Thank you again” I said before I continued as an afterthought “You didn’t say which state he hailed from”

“He is a Punjabi from Batinda, Sir” he replied

“Are you sure?”I persisted

“Hundred percent. He has partaken in many Punjabi dramas and programmes in our office” he said

“Thanks a bunch Sharmaji.My son is Sarvadhaman Swaminathan iyer, a Tamilian.I have heard my son telling me that his namesake had joined recently in the Ministry. Please try to find out his number as he may not be listed in the old telephone directory and inform his family” I said as I heaved a sigh of relief.


  1. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
    Karma huh? What about the sins of the father? Have you heard of that one? Where the child suffers from the ills/poor judgments of the father? It is a biblical saying.

  2. I don't know whether this story supports the karma concept or not..... mmmmm.....

  3. Seems to me the story is completely irrelevant to what the father was reading. Right?

  4. it is generally believed the goodness and sins of the parents have a bearing on their children. I dont think it is fair. why should the child suffer for the wrong deed of the parent?

    So in this post if good/bad befalls the son, i dont think the father is responsible.

  5. Nice one.. but is that it? and where is the irony? of Karma and the twist..? or was it ur aim to make us muse like this???

    I liked the first paragraph..
    But Karma as such is not just doing ur duty! but is it not knowing what is ur duty and performing it? just wondering.. :)

  6. story is interesting but what you want to say is not so you believe in karma? does parents karma affects children?

    I believe that karma affects and secondly believeing in karma is not abdicating the responsibility of your deeds..because they are your karma will will reap them tomorrow

  7. The human is so selfish,he just heaves a sigh of relief when he knows that the problem was not his own..the narration is interesting but I think irrelevant to the theory of Karma:-)

  8. The story starts with what the old man was doing or thinking about.He could have as well been listening to Lata's music and trying to identify which film it was from or just cooking a new recipe.But these need not be related to the story.Why should every line be part of the plot?

    Stories sometimes begin with sky being blue and clear, the breeze gentle and the sea calm with none of these connected to story. Nevertheless I could hv said he was reading in the paper a news item on Lokpal bill and the need to eliminate corruption.Then the link would have been seamless.

    Thanks for the frank comments.They enable me to learn from them.

  9. In the first place, like you know, I have difficulty in fully comprehending Karma theory… there is no point in blaming my previous birth for what I am going through now… and what happened to the story down the line??... niway
    This is an interesting story…
    Hopefully his son isn’t in trouble and will switch on his cell soon :P

  10. You are right when you say that each and every line need not be connected in the story.. since the story started with the old man seriously contemplating on the theory of Karma and not indulging in mundane stuff like reading news paper, I probably made an assumption that the phone call would tell me something about Karma:-)

  11. KP! Your basis that you you were just telling what the father was doing when the phone rang, is a valid point.

    However, since you went into it in detail we kind of expected the story to be related to his reading/thoughts.

    The 'detail' here was actually a 'distraction' (for lack of a better word) as it takes away the focus from the plot.

    I am not a better story teller - in fact I can't tell a story from imagination at all. This is just my feedback from reading yours.

  12. Now you have explained it before I commented I could follow what the writer's intention was. After all the writer is the creator and decides how his story should move.

  13. I always believe that whatever we do will affect our children and not us!

    Thank god, the person arrested was a wrong one!

  14. Believe in the law of karma truly!

  15. oh.. I just didn't come into the picture.. late .. I like this karma.. action. . my karma held me up for this one week.. anyways the suspense was held till the end of the story..

  16. Namaste....
    I had no problem understanding where you were going with the concept. It was clear, at least to me. The end just spoke of the man's surety which kind of bordered on arrogance about his and his son's supposed goodness that allowed them to escape the karma befalling the other/namesake and just a tiny bit judgmental of what he feels is someone else's imperfectness/poor decision that brought forth the karma.

    It was the point of my question as it to say what if it wasn't the son's karma that befell him but his father's. The old man tone was presumptuous although his relieve was palatable.