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The Expected

Lakshmi, I am going to the office, will you come here?” “Ah! I am coming” It was the daily routine of Mr. Ramamurthy. His wife has to see him off when he leaves for work. “Ah! Today will be the last day isn’t it? I won’t disturb you any more, in the morning” “Stop talking like this. If not to work, every time you go out I will stand before you” and she smiled.

Ramamurthy was getting retired that day. He had served the electricity board for 56 years. He had got his daughters and son married with the money he earned. Today his son was a software engineer working for a huge company. His daughters were both teachers and he could give them good amount of dowry and get them married. He was a proud man, relived of all his duties in life.

He took his old scooter and started it to drive to his office. That evening he got back home with a garland made of rose and a suitcase in his hand. He was surprised to see his daughters and son at home. As soon as he entered the house, his grandchildren went running and hugged him.

“Thata must be very tired don’t disturb him” said his elder daughter. He saw Lakshmi sitting in a corner of the room. Her face told him everything; there was something bad waiting for him. He went and sat on the chair and so did his daughters and son. “Appa, my company is planning to send me abroad, I require some cash for it” said his son. “Appa, you know that we are constructing a house isn’t it? There is some budget constraint in it, I require some money” And he turned to his little daughter and asked you also need money right? “Appa, I have to pay school donation for your grandson”

He understood that they had all come to divide the retirement settlement that he had got and they didn’t come for soothing him on his retirement day. He opened the suitcase that he had in his hand. It had 6 lakhs. He dived 2 lakhs for each of them. As he did so he remembered his colleague’s words, “Keep this money in the bank it will help you for the days that you will live until your death. Nobody else will help you other than this money.” Within a few hours, all of them left not even bothering to thank him or talk few soothing words. Lakshmi sat in the same corner she didn’t speak even a word. “What Lakshmi, are you wondering what would we do for our future? Your husband has no earnings now and no job, no money.”

She smiled and said, “This was expected. I know about you very well. You only know to love selflessly. You will give everything that you have to anyone who asks. And when it’s your own children who asks, will you say no” and she smiled. She gave him a bank passbook. “I saved some money from the money that you used to give me every month, and I saved it in a bank, without your knowledge for all these years. I know there would be a day when you would require this.” She coughed, “I am diabetic and I will not live for many years more. From the day of our marriage till now, I have done all that I could to keep you happy, after I die our children will not help you, so I wish to help you with this money.”

Ramamurthy had his own saving and he never used even a rupee from the account that his wife had maintained. After few years that account had nil balance, he wondered how to make ends meet. That night, Lakshmi silently passed away in her sleep, all the money that was in her account was transferred to him as he was the beneficiary. The next day Ramamurthy used the money that his wife had saved, for her funeral rites. It was only then he released there could be so many relations on earth but only those who loved you true would help you in your last days. That evening he told his son, “Son I will not live long. When I die withdraw money from this account and use for my funeral, my wife’s soul will rest in peace” as he said tears rolled out of his eyes.

Contributing Story Teller  Leena Bose, I am a creative writer. I have a triple masters in Literature and Mass communication. I love to write and I started writing at the age of 16. I am a freelancer for Women's Era, a Times group magazine. I love challenges in life and also my profession. I am a go-getter and believe in teamwork rather than be a one women army.

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