By Arbind Kumar
Horror voice transfixed the colony. A couple standing at his door hurriedly rushed to the three stories building sensing odd incidence. As they got to the gate of first floor quarter, they shrieked. They became blue; an old age person in undergarment was sitting on the floor keeping both hands tight so as to balance him. Other old age lady was vainly trying to get him on the bed and was screaming in horror as if another ordeal might come in the form of necessity of getting ageing and ailing person to the hospital again.
Visiting lady ran to the upper floor and inquired about the son of ailing person. Seeing the son, she said in loud voice, what are you doing here? Your father has fallen down on the floor.
The son ran and even jumped two or three steps. Within minutes, he came in the room and shouted, what is this papa? Why did you get down from the bed? If you had fallen down, what we would do? Why are you doing all this! Please.
Son thanked the visiting couple and said how I can leave for the job in USA in such a condition.
‘My father is not cooperating. I am also looking for a nurse but no one is ready to attend. Money is not the problem.’ son said in chocked voice. Son’s mother sat down on the sofa and was breathing deeply as if she had climbed the hill.
It is only two days since Gangadhar got back to his rented house from hospital. There is not any problem in living here, though, he feels distraught. The main reason is 8000 rupees money that he uses to pay as rent. His wife scolds him saying, ‘He did nothing in his life. He did not get a house. Why does he feel disturbed? He never accepted others advice. And now in this age, in feels guilty of the past.’
Such regular accusations made Gangadhar more alone rather feeling calm and composed. He feels as if he lost all money he had. Apart from this, He always happens to be in havoc thinking police is running behind him because he did not file an income tax return over the years. Advocate uses to come at his door step reminding if he doesn’t file IT return, he would be lodged in jail. All this made him a patient of depression.
One day, Gangadhar inquisitively asked his wife, ‘what are you doing? First of all tell me, where did you keep your ornaments, valuables, money and other precious things?
Wife responded calmly, ‘do not worry, I have kept all those things at right place and there is a little chance of getting anybody there.’
Gangadhar said repeatedly, take care of all those things. Nowadays time is not good.
Wife retorted, ‘do not worry all is safe.’
Visibly shaken Gangadhar sat down on the bed and laid down seeing straight at the roof. Gangadhar is not interested in politics, social, cultural happenings. All this does not have any meaning for him. There is not a single friend in the colony that visits him and asks about his health. Originally he belongs to cultural Maratha Brahmin family. Religion is in his blood, custom is his life.
Getting early in the morning and after ablution he used to sit down on small wooden table and performed rituals and prayed the God Ganesha. During this he used to wear single dress without stitching. It is four months since Gangadhar insisted on performing all that he was doing before. He feels that he betrayed the God.
Cultural ingredients have overwhelmed him. His forefather had drifted from Nagpur to Allahabad (Prayagraj) many decades ago. Among seven brothers, he is the youngest. Six brothers passed away. He has two sons, Elder was in Indian oil corporation company and younger one is working in city bank in USA.
Six years ago, misfortune struck, his elder brother become ill and in medical test cancer revealed. During treatment he passed away. Thereafter emotional fabric of Gangadhar has broken down.
Elder son is green card holder is USA. He works in city bank, his wife works in Municipal Corporation there and son is working in a private company. His son is employed in a private company.
After 35 years of government service, now at the age of 87, he is surviving only with his wife. His nuclear family has completely broken down. He does not have his own house, Sense of belongingness haunts him. With tearful eyes, he speaks up, Have mercy please let me allow getting in another world….
(Writer is Journalist, story writer and soft skill trainer) M.N 9424753979.
(A tale of ageing person-1)