Note: Please don't get afraid by the length of the story. Read it casually and I believe it can hook you up :) Never fear the length but do fear the content!
“Here are the pills you asked me for, I bought them yesterday”
“Did you get the right ones? Rastordin-350mg?”
“Yes, it’s Rastordin-350mg only, see it yourself”
“Okay, pass me the water bottle, I need to take one”
“Are you sure that you should take the pill early in the morning on an empty stomach?”
“Son, it’s me who has a brain tumor, not you”, saying that he popped in a pill and took a long sip of water.
“Whatever... by the way I need two thousand bucks right now”
“I told you yesterday, did you forget? I’m going fishing with my friends and I need it for some gear”
“At six in the morning? Are you telling me the truth son?”
“Believe me dad, I am”
Father’s the stingy bank ATM’s, that give us trouble at the times we need them.
“Here, take it and spend it carefully. Remember I’m keeping an eye on you”
“Sure dad, I should be off now, bye”
“Bye and come home soon”
“Sure”, that’s what I told him. But not alive.
Money. Those little pieces of green paper with the Midas touch. The most powerful weapon in the hands of any government, the 15 centimeters of promissory note can bring peace and also can wipe out the entire human race in one long sweep. Money. The single largest contributor to pain, misery, love and hate. In short, money the ultimate sin. Like a wolf draped in sheepskin, it plays with you, toys with you, pleases you and finally destroys ‘the you’. You just become another product Lucifer’s wrath, you become soulless and callous. But it’s this money which can get you a wife, a degree, respect, power and whatnot. And I wanted them all.
Today morning he seemed a bit jumpy, but he was like this since the past one year. Somehow I could feel something wrong but I wanted to play the game along with him. He asked me for two thousand bucks early in the morning and the truth was painted on his face. He lied. But I couldn't say no, I wanted to know what was going on. So I decided to play along.
There was this glow on his face when he took his money, but I noticed that it faded out as quickly as it appeared. Maybe just another day, I thought. But I never ever dreamed that it would be his last day on the earth. As he stepped out of the house, he looked as if the earth shook underneath him. He gave me a ‘sorry’ look as he fell down. And even before I could reach him, I sensed the worse. My son was no more. He mumbled something before he hit the ground. And it sounded like “I love you, Dad”. I rushed forward and quickly grabbed his hand. I couldn’t find his pulse. I left his hand and it dropped dead. But what caught my attention was a paper envelope in his other hand. He clenched the envelop tightly in his fist and it took quite some effort to pull it out. And on the front side of the envelope it was written in thick, red ink, “To Dad”.
A Week Ago:
It was two in the morning and I woke up for the usual session at the john’s. In the dead silence of the night, peeing in the bathroom for a man of my age can be quite disturbing. The eerie, sharp sound of the bodily waste touching the water is like a shock to the senses. My everyday routine involved this at two in the night with the same old sounds. But tonight, I heard something different. Was it the door? Maybe. This time I could hear footsteps. God! I slowly slid out of the bathroom and on my way to the hall I grabbed the aerosol can on the shelf near my bed. I tiptoed to the hall and peeped at the door from behind the curtains. I could see an outline struggling with the keys. I reached for the switchboard from behind the curtains and switched on the lights. And without a second thought I hit the knob on the aerosol can. Acrid spray diffused out into the air and a fair amount hit the intruder.
“Dad! Stop, it’s me. Stop!”
“I have only one son and he’s sleeping in his room right now, who are you?”, age certainly takes away some energy and especially when it’s about waking in the middle of a good night’s sleep, it shows.
“Dad!, it’s me, see!”
I threw the cockroach killer spray aside.
“Son, oh! Are you okay?”
“I am you fuck… Oh, sorr… sorry dad”
“Are you okay?”
“I am… I am..”
“Where are you going?”
“I’m not going anywhere dad, I was coming in”
“Friends place, now please don’t ask me questions, Mom will wake up, now give me a minute I need to wash my face”
I grabbed the envelope and shouted for help. Dr.Dixit a middle aged neurosurgeon was on his way out for his morning jog as he heard the frantic cries for help by his neighbor.
“What’s it Mr.Saran?”
“My… my… my… Son… Doctor, hurry!”
Dr.Dixit quickly made his way to Saran’s house. As he entered the compound he could see Saran’s son Aravind lying on the floor and Mr.Saran was doing a CPR.
“Saran! What happened? Let me take a look.”
“He…he… collapsed, just like tha...t”, by then Saran couldn’t stop his tears. He cried.
Dr.Dixit held his ear against Aravind’s chest, it was as silent as it could be. He reached for Aravind’s hand and by the feel of it he knew the truth.
“I’m sorry Saran, Aravind’s no more”
“Let’s call an ambulance, just in case, wait let me call, which way is the telephone?”
As Dr.Dixit headed for the telephone Saran opened the envelope. And it had one paper folded into two. With his hands trembling he opened the letter.
I can’t call you dear anymore. Because you’ve lost the respect yourself. By the time you are reading this letter I’ll be resting in the lap of God looking at you cry for me from heaven. Money. That’s what made me do it. It was your fault dad, your fault all the time. The day you first joined me the plush school at the city center changed my life. I was becoming a person I could never become. When kids of my age flaunted their cars and money, I was sitting in a corner longing for them dad. I became the odd one out. I always prayed to God to make you rich, but you were too lazy to work. And what can a professor earn anyway? You’ve told me that knowledge is more valuable than all the riches added together but one can’t flaunt knowledge dad. At least not in my school. You took the wrong decision. You must take the blame for what I’ve become.
They say the best things in life free. They are not dad, they are not. A cigarette is not free, neither a girl is. What’s really free anyway? Money can buy everything dad, it can buy happiness, it can buy people for your funeral, it can buy everything. It cannot be used to buy love but it can be used to attract love. You wasted your time dad, I wasted mine too but I at least tried. I wanted money badly and you didn’t have any to give me. So I decided to earn it myself Dad and I started to gamble. Because knowledge is worth nothing. I won a bit here and bit there but I lost it all last week dad. All of it. I lost seven million rupees dad, seven million. I couldn’t believe I lost it dad and in a fit of anger I stabbed Nassir dad. I’m telling you this because the night you’ve caught me you thought me of a murderer. No dad, I’m not a murderer dad, I’m just spoilt. I’ve stabbed Nassir six times in his stomach and before I could stop he fell down. He’s in a hospital now, battling for life. Now the owners of the gambling den demanded 20 million rupees from me, dad, twenty million. Where could I get that money from? I planned to rob a store dad, do a heist but when I knew about your ‘richer’ side, I wanted to nick you off.
You are a miser dad, a real miser. All this time you had money with you and you let it rot in the bank. Lucky that I found the documents for your house at Sagar nagar and I decided to sell them at the underground traders. I had to pay the money six days ago and hence I had no time. I got twenty million, dad, the whole of it. But as I was selling the documents illegally I couldn’t get cash all I could manage was a cheque and you ruined by your Baygon spray war tactics. I planned to encash the cheque the next day dad and you blew everything away. You thought I was a murderer. You thought that I was a criminal? You accused me of bringing down the family’s name. You know what you didn’t have on me? It’s trust dad, if you believed what I said that day, I wouldn’t have been dead by now dad. You murdered me. You tore the cheque dad. You tore the last chance for me to escape death. You killed me you selfish bastard. You killed me. Now that I’m dead, they’ll come after you and destroy your pride in public. You will be reduced to nothing dad, even the wind won’t blow your ashes away. I died gloriously, but you will die like a dog. You’ll be the one who let the family name down.
Then Dr.Dixit came out shouting, “Mr.Saran I called the ambulance, they’ll be here in five minutes.”
Abhinav Saran, Assistant Professor in Delhi University’s Statistics department couldn’t digest the contents of the letter his son wrote to him. He could feel a searing pain in his chest, he could feel the nerves contract and there was a blinding pain inside his skull. The tumor and the diabetes.
“Saran, are you all right? Saran, look at me, Saran, Saran?”
But Abhinav Saran slowly slipped into the oblivion; he could see the doctor shouting his name. I’m dying. He lifted his hand and threw the letter in the doctor’s lap.
“Saran? Saran! Oh God!”, Dr.Dixit checked for a pulse and it was what he feared. His neighbor died before his own eyes with a heart attack and he couldn’t help him.
The ambulance came a few minutes later and the paramedics declared both the father and son to be dead.
Dr.Dixit still couldn’t understand what happened. And for one second he stared at the letter on his lap. Saran wanted me to read it.
Dr.Dixit took the letter and started reading it. He could understand the battle between the father and the son. But it was the last part which baffled him.
But dad, I have an escape planned out. I want to prove that I am a good son. I don’t want to let you down in the public, dad. I don’t want to ruin our family’s prestige. I mixed 250mL of Cherithromycin in our water tank and our AquaGuard doesn’t purify it Dad. It’s very potent and odorless and kills within 15 minutes. The water with which you are going to the pills in the morning has the quart of Cherithromycin in it Dad. And don’t worry about Mom, as you slept early yesterday I had the chance to sneak in a few drops on Mom’s dinner. She relished it Dad and kissed me good night. Last night you were sleeping with a corpse Dad, Mom will be waiting for me in heaven. At least be a nice father in heaven. See you there. But remember, I never let you down.
P.S.: I know that you can’t make it till the end of this letter Dad. But if you are reading this, it means you are not going to be dead. But if it’s not you reading the letter, then the person reading this letter can find two thousand rupees in Jacket’s pocket. Please do arrange for a decent funeral for my parents and me and bless us peace, as we’d have escaped the mortal sins by now.
“Throw it away
'We'll make the great escape
We won't hear a word they say
They don't know us anyway
Watch it burn
Let it die
Cause we are finally free tonight”
Note: The above lines are not mine but they are the lines from my favorite song "The Great Escape" by the American punk rock band "Boys Like Girls". Of all the 10 editions of Blog-a-Ton this one's got the best topic. Hope you enjoyed my story! And the drugs Rastordin and Cherithromycin don't exist :)
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