Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It was cold and chilly outside. The entire family was huddled around the fire in the living room. Sandeep knocked repeatedly on the front door, but no one opened it for a long time. He had so much tell his parents, he could hardly wait.

Where could everybody have gone on a cold winter night like this?’ he thought.

There was a hidden ladder on the backside of the house that he and his brother had built using rope and bamboo sticks. It hung secretly from the window of their room covered by the foliage of a Virginia creeper. The ladder was visible partially now, the leaves having withered away. Sandeep climbed the ladder and found he could do so easily without any effort. He had never been able to climb this ladder before.

 'Strange', he thought. As he stepped onto his room he could hear noises from below.

‘Everyone is at home? Why didn’t they open the door for me?’

He went down and sat on the last step of the staircase. He was hidden from view though he could hear everybody. His mother was weeping inconsolably.

“You should never have told Sandeep that he was adopted. The poor child must have gone through such turmoil being told at his age that we are not his biological parents. If you could have just kept it a secret, he would never have left home like that.”

“Sarika, forgive me, but couldn’t he ever feel our love and affection for him? Just one truth was enough for him to give up everything? All these years of growing up, all these years of a mother’s love, all these years of a father’s warmth, all these years of a brother’s support, all meant nothing to him? I decided to tell him the truth, so that he would not learn of it from someone else. Did his being adopted make him any less our son than Santosh? Have we ever differentiated between both of them ever?”

“A mother’s heart weeps for her son. I want him back, and I cannot imagine my life without him. Bring him back Sagar. Bring my son back.”

“Pa, I don’t understand who could ever have told bhaiyya that he was adopted. No one told him that all these years. I didn’t know it too.”

“Santosh, let me tell one truth today. Both I and your mother are old now and who knows how long we will live? So I decided to will our assets to both of you. But your uncle was against my decision. He felt that if anyone deserved a share it would be him and not Sandeep since he was adopted. We had a war of words and he threatened to tell Sandeep that he was not our son. So I decided to tell that to your brother myself before he learnt it from someone else.”

“ Pa, don’t say such things. What will I do without you? Bhaiyya why did you leave us and go? ”

Sandeep realized how foolish he had been, listening to his uncle and not trusting his parents. His uncle had told him how he had been adopted because his parents did not have children and when Santosh had come into their life a couple of years later, they had stopped loving him. He had highlighted all the little instances where his parents had supported Santosh because he was their son. When he thought of it now, he realized that it was not true at all. His parents had loved him unconditionally and instead of being grateful to them he had brought tears to their eyes. And now they were at the fag end of their lives. How could he have been so insensitive? He should never have listened to his uncle. He got up and walked towards his parents. He stood directly facing them.

“Ma, Pa, I am so sorry for causing you this hurt. I want to thank you for bringing me into your life and loving me so much. I promise you that I will keep you happy always. I promise you that I will always look after my little brother. Forgive me please, I beg you. I love you all so much.”

He walked closer to them wanting to give them both a warm hug. They seemed to be looking in his direction, yet there was no warmth on their faces, just tears streaming down.

He was about to wipe his mother's tears when there was a knock on the door. Santosh opened the door and saw policemen standing there.

“Mr. Sagar, we have finally managed to break your brother. He has admitted that he had tampered with the brakes of Sandeep’s car and had called up Sandeep asking him to come over to his house so that he would help him find his real parents. We have booked him under Sec 299 of the IPC, culpable homicide amounting to murder. The hospital has finished with the autopsy. You can come and collect Sandeep’s body tomorrow.”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...