May 5, 2012
Ted was pleasantly surprised to receive his sister Sarah’s call from Dubai early morning on a Saturday .
Ted was the eldest amongst the three children. After completing Masters in Computer Science, he was well placed in Toronto and settled with his family. His second sister Jane, a doctor by profession was settled in UK with her family while the last child in the family, Sarah who was also the darling of the family was settled in Dubai, married into a business family and managing the business with her husband.
Theirs is a very fortunate family, for their parents, Julian and Eric Pais, though both of them were from down to earth and average family, had slogged tirelessly to give their three children the very best in education and values, resulting in all of them settling very well in life.
While Pais family had to travel all over India during their working days, they decided to take their retirement at their hometown in Mangalore, where they were nicely settled and enjoying the benefit of the hard work and intelligent investment that they had done, in the form of real estate and fixed deposits. Money was not their concern. However, as they were ageing with grace, their only concern was, they could not have their children or grandchildren with them.
With the hectic schedule that the present generation has to go through, from bringing up children, their education, office work, running the house and family commitment, it is next to impossible that any time can be made available to spend with parents. This was one issue that was bothering Julian and one fine morning in early March she expressed her feelings to her husband:
Julian: It is more than three years since we last met Sarah and I do not remember when we met all three of them together?
Eric: You must understand, raising the family along with business or work commitment is not so easy as it used to be.
Julian: That I understand, but is it not the duty of the children to meet their parents say at least once a year. Is it asking for too much? I do not want them to stay with us. But spending some quality time say for Christmas would have been so nice. What do you think? How many more years will God keep us in this world? May be five or ten or fifteen? After that even if we are alive it is going to be a life of vegetable. Our children must realize that we will not be there for them forever. While God has helped me in all aspects, he has deprived me of the joy to be with our children. Oh God…(last resort of woman – even at 65 years of age they know to cry and that is what she did).
Eric was restless when he saw his wife crying but being a man he could not cry or at least not in front of any other person, be it is his wife of 38 years. He shouted at her:
Eric: Listen, if you cry like this I will go my own way. I do not want to stay the rest of my life with a cry baby like you! You are spoiling my peace of mind too!
And that ended the conversation as Eric left the place.
Ted: Hello Sarah, how come you are calling me early morning today ?
Sarah: Have you heard the news from the Old Man?
Ted: You mean Dad?
Sarah: Yes same old man. I am ashamed to call him Dad.
Ted: Hold on Sarah. Don't be nasty on the person who has brought us to this earth..
Sarah: Wait until you hear out what I have to say. I bet you will lose your temper.
Ted: Cool Sarah, tell me what happened?
Sarah: That Old man called me this morning to say, he has applied for a divorce since he cannot stay with Mom any more (cry).
Sarah: He also said he has found another woman more compassionate, loving and understanding
Ted: What? Has he gone nuts that S...
Sarah: That man does not even care for our feelings? What will happen to our status in the society, how am I going to say to all, that my old man of 70 years of age is getting married…(more crying).
Ted: What will happen to all the money and estates that he has. I do not think that D….. has kept any thing in mum's name. I knew he was a smart man. But he is proving to be a smart cunning A……..
Ted turned red within minute of this conversation. He continued -
Ted: Have you spoken to mum?
Sarah: He warned me. She does not know it yet and he intends to tell her by this month end. He said he is going to have a final discussion with his attorney today and by the first week of next month everything will be finalized.
Ted: What? How it is possible. That quickly…?
Sarah: You know that old fool has got lot of money and in India money does wonders. It is not like here in Dubai or in Canada.
Ted: That is true. I cannot believe this Old B is getting divorce and going after another. Shame. God save us. Have you spoken to mum? I think you should have called after all, she needs lot of compassion.
Sarha: Yes I have called. But how can I ask her directly? But when I asked her if anything had happened between them, she said Old man had started acting strange since a few days.
Ted: Oh! That’s it. Now I am convinced. Have you told Jane?
Sarha: How can I? Do you think it is easy to share this kind of news? I hope you will do the needful.
Ted: Yes indeed. I understand. Alright. I will contact her. But listen, we must do everything in our power to stop this. You are in Dubai, if required we may have to take the assistance of underworld people to eliminate this man.
Just one call was good enough to shatter the otherwise peaceful and joyful life of three families - of Ted, Jane and Sarah. They could not comprehend that such a thing could happen. Who would take care of their mother at this advanced age? What would be her mental status when she gets legal notice? No, they could allow this to happen. The least they could do was to be with her during this terrible divorce. All three of them decided that they needed to be with their mother when this old man was going to ruin her life.
As per the plan all three of them with their respective family members, descended into Mangalore, and by end of March, all of them could give moral support to their mother during her ordeal.
It was indeed a pleasant surprise for her mother to see all of the family together as she opened the door at midnight. Joy and tears welled her eyes and she started praising the Lord for this Mercy. However, how could the children rejoice for they knew too well what was in store for all of them the next day. Being late night it was easy for them to go to their respective rooms and rest.
Next morning as every one sat down for breakfast, the only person who was making noise was Eric. He was running after grandchildren, making michief as if he was ten years old. "This Old fool cannot fool us any more," Ted thought. He decided it was time to confront.
Ted: Dad….No, Man.. is it true, that you are doing what you were planning?
Eric: Absolutely, in fact I have already done what I was planning
Ted: What? You have already got divorce? No, it cannot be possible, you did tell Sarah…
Eric: Wait! Who said anything about divorce?? Listen Julian, I think your son is gone after you. Acting nuts.
Ted: You just said you have done what you had planned
Eric: Yes, I did.
Ted: You did what?
Eric: To bring all three families of my children together and present you to my loving wife as Easter Gift…..(Smiles)
Ted, Jane, Sarha: What???????
Eric: You see my children, your mum was very sad that she does not get any time to be with you. Also, she was wondering when she would get you all together. With advancement of age how many more years we can live? Is it not better that you spend some time with us as we are …….
Ted. Jane, Sarah: Stop Dad….. we are sorry for the way that we……
Eric: No need of apologies. In fact I was expecting this. However, when your mum was so upset, I asked myself how I could make her happy, how I could bring smile back on her face. She was almost doubting God... Can you believe that! That is when the idea came to me. Little bit of white lie, I thought would work and indeed it worked – All three of you are here, imagine our Easter Joy. I don't think any other children would have given the joy that you have given to your mum and me. Thank you for that!
Ted, Jane, Sarah: Thank you dad, for only you could have made it possible . Happy Easter!
Eric: And one more thing!
Ted, Jane, Sarah: What?
Eric: You know what is coming tomorrow? Correct?
Ted, Jane, Sarah and Julian: What????????
Eric: April 1st… So can we all celebrate April Fool's day in our house…with so many fools around. Cheers!
- 'Tell My Mom I Love Her...',
- Salute You Mangalore City...
- What’s Life Without Clean Humour?
- Dubai: True Story - Sir Please Help Me
- Kuwait: Those Six Days of Unforgettable Agony..