' A Comeback of Sorts






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A Comeback of Sorts
By R Bhandarkar

July 28, 2014


"Now here's our little Aadhi, take good care of him hereafter.''

"Now what's it..." asked Swetha coming out and just about seeing her husband's back fade away.

Their son, Aadhi aged 9, was at the door. The time was 7.20 pm. Seemed like as always, Santosh had picked him at 7 pm after his tuition classes and dropped him back.

"Take good care of him hereafter''? It was unusual of her husband to say that, mused Swetha...Did he really?

"Papa hardly spoke to me on the way back, he was in a hurry,'' went on Aadhi once inside. 

"Never hugged me nor asked what happened in my class and did not even kiss me today," he complained.

He did not like being picked up late by his father and was petrified that his father would not turn up at the teacher's every day. He needed a reassurance daily.

Swetha too found it odd that Santosh had left the way he did. 

"What's for dinner?", "What do you want me to bring home today?" were his usual querries after coming home, picking Aadhi. Might have had urgent work, Swetha thought.

Her thoughts for a fleeting second went back 16 years, the day they were married. It would be their 16th Wedding Anniversary on August 15th. The day our country got Independence, I lost mine - Santosh used to tease her often. Theirs was a late marriage of sorts. She was 29 and Santosh 35 then.

Aadhi, their only son, was born 7 years later, not before many visits to the doctors, temples, fulfilling of vows, and in short, great longing. Santosh absolutely doted on Aadhi and had taken on his entire reponsibility. Aadhi initially had problems speaking and the troubles Santosh had taken to bring him on track had memerised Swetha. She had heard of motherly love, but 'fatherly' and of this kind was before her eyes to see. Reassuring Aadhi was his hall mark and he never broke a promise given to him.

Aadhi is lucky and so am I, she thought.

Once in the kitchen, Swetha was thinking of a new recipe, when the door-bell rang.

There was a police constable at the door holding Santosh's driving licence.

Yes? she said.

"Madam, This DL- does it belong to your husband? Bike No- Ka 19 M Z O123?"

"Yes" - Shwetha replied and just about spotted 3 or 4 people from the neighbourhood behind the policeman.

"I'm sorry Madam, there's been a terrible accident near Mannagudda at around 6.40 pm. A lorry has knocked down Mr Santosh and there's absolutely no hope of......your neighbour, Mr Ranganath here is witness....'' the policeman blurted.

"Whaa ...What ?'' wailed Swetha..... Wait......she screamed after a second. He had dropped Aadhi here at 7.20 pm and you say he met with this horrific accident at 6.40 p.m?

"Aadhi, Aadhi" Shwetha screamed...

"Madam - I was passing by and saw this accident happen. Did not take me long to see that it was Santosh. In fact I phoned the police and arranged for the ambulance.....'' Ranganath was saying but Swetha was far off.

''Yes Mamma.... Did you call?"

"Aadhi, Aadhi - Who brought you home Aadhi?" Shwetha barely managed to ask.

"Papa of course! Who knows my teacher's place otherwise to pick me up? but but...He was not his usual self..." Aadhi replied.

Shwetha slumped.

All the local dailies carrried the news of the accident the next day. The accident had happened between 6.40 and 6.45 pm. The doctors had tried their level best to revive Santosh but could not.

The end had come at 7.21 pm.







READ 'EXCLUSIVE ARCHIVES'
Comments on this article
R.Bhandarkar, M'loreThursday, August 14, 2014
Thank you so much Madam Anita. Was realling wondering as to what could be the reason for your 'missing' from the special columns! Assured now, I too am eagerly waiting for your next.
Regards
RB.
Comment on this message     

anita britto , mangaloreWednesday, August 13, 2014
So beautifully written - was totally engrossed until the last word - apart from the story line which was narrated with such panache, the suspense was thrilling. Glad I didn't miss reading this - was out of town for a month and am enjoying catching up with all the exclusives.

Thanks, Mr. Bhandarkar for this brilliant piece - am sure every reader could identify in a strong way with elements in your masterpiece.
Comment on this message     

R.Bhandarkar, M'loreMonday, August 04, 2014
Thank you, Madam Lucy, for your kind words of encouragement.
Comment on this message     

Lucy Rodrigues, Moodubelle/MumbaiMonday, August 04, 2014
Thank you Mr. Bhandarkar. Nice and very touching. Wishing you all the very best. Keep it up.
Comment on this message     

A.PRABHU, BloreSunday, August 03, 2014
Bandu mam ,
Always welcome you took me back decades when i read a short story No come backs... A different type but with suspense revealed in the last line and a movie Murder by natural causes
thanks for the wake up.
Comment on this message     

R.Bhandarkar, M'loreSaturday, August 02, 2014
Thank you...PPP Kadri.
Comment on this message     

PPP, KadriSaturday, August 02, 2014
Nice..
Comment on this message     

R.Bhandarkar, M'loreSaturday, August 02, 2014
And Yes!...before I forget...My sincere thanks to the 'picture illustrator' here!It's his/her
grasp and mind reading of the author, that makes the stories here more special! This picture here in support of my story is awesome and almost tells the complete story! Kudos daiji team and keep up the good work!
Comment on this message     

R.Bhandarkar, M'loreFriday, August 01, 2014
Thank you all dear readers and supporters of writers.Like Richard
from Doha had once written that support is what 'keeps writers going'.
To dear Madam Nancy ,Sundari(!)and
Sir Richard, I want to tell a few things:
1. I pick up my son everyday at 7p.m. from his tuition classes.
2.I have had two 'close shaves' on my way to pick him.
3. This was written in one go after
the second close shave.
4. As to what would have happened 'in case' is where I have let my imagination come in.
John D'souza Sir...I maintain that there is something to learn from your comment that will help one lead his/her life better.Thank you so much for writing one here and being encouraging.
A. Prabhu Sir thank you for your words of sincere encouragement.Some fathers are never able to express their love
toward their children. Coming from such an environment, I have decided to be expressive and my does that lift the child! I wish every father be expressive.
Dear Chris, Thank you finding my story crisp.It's from support from
writers like you, DR. Anand and Geeta Pereira , Dr Pamela and Reine, that I have picked the nuances of 'crisp writing'. They are perfect role-models.
Zeena thank you your support dear and I can really see you smiling.
'Stay,make a comeback of sorts and win ultimately' all you dears.
Comment on this message     

zeena, mangaloreFriday, August 01, 2014
Very nice article R Bhandarkar sir..:)
Comment on this message     

Reine, MumbaiFriday, August 01, 2014
Ive read similar stories before whr apparently d dead soul comes bk to fulfill responsibilities or at least to wave a last goodbye..if nothing den to make d loved one realize that they were important..but the way this has been penned is amazing..simple and profound together..thankew to give me a piece of good read..kudos!!
Comment on this message     

Pamela.Pinto, Wellington, NZ, KuwaitFriday, August 01, 2014
Mr. R. Bhandarkar! Must admit this is the first article I've read that was penned by you (and I shall continue to read the rest - I promise! :D ) Thought I'd tell you, how engaging this short tale was. It encompasses an opening with the regular introduction, a sense of intrigue with what must've happened to Santosh for behaving that way with his son, a quick flashback with the struggles the couple experienced, a jolt of warmth with the affection of a father, a sudden jounce of suspense, tragedy and bewilderment. This was all wrapped up in a moment of 5 minutes of my reading. Tell you what - better than a 2 hour long movie. No nonsense drama! Absolutely loved it! :)
Comment on this message     

Dr.Anand & Geeta N Pereira, sakleshpur/kadriThursday, July 31, 2014
A short story with three main characters, skillfully playing their roles to the hilt, right to the very end. Brilliant in conception. Pleasure to read and we are looking for more in this web site.
Many thanks for your valuable time .
Comment on this message     

Chris, MangaloreWednesday, July 30, 2014
Bhandarkar Maam,

One of the best articles I have ever read on this forum. Very crispy article perfectly written. Wish you all the very best and keep up your good work.

Thank you once again.
Comment on this message     

Richard , Doha Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Good suspense , kept me glued to the article till the end. A ghost story with a difference is it not Dear Mr.Bandarkar ?
Comment on this message     

John DSouza, Mangalore/QatarTuesday, July 29, 2014
Bhandarkar mam, your article is a much needed pill for serious disease of today
A good bhandar of valuable knowledge, experience and wisdom is a treasure
You have offered a well researched precaution to face the unexpected in life
Mobiles have become the part of our body being a prime utility for the fast life
To give instant information, tension, pressure, energy, excitement and depression
Automobiles on the other hand are expensive, polluting and life taking facility
These comforts together, damage humans both physically and psychologically
We are living the uncertain life with full of insecurity, surprise and suspense
Perhaps a Comeback of Sorts is physical, imaginary, guess or a dream
Disconnection of life is so miserable that no utility can help A Comeback of Sorts
Your articles and comments with knowledge and experience are appreciable, thanks
Comment on this message     

A.Prabhu, MloreMonday, July 28, 2014
Reminds me of a song 18 yellow roses........
But a fathers love will
never fade away....
Good bandu mam good !
Comment on this message     

Sundari Ashoknagar, MangaloreMonday, July 28, 2014
Bhandumam, inchala unde?. Eerena barepina shaili edde undu. Congrats and all the best for many more to come.
Comment on this message     

Nancy, BelmanMonday, July 28, 2014
Bandhuji....

Kasalo Misther????? Then who ped Aadhi at home? "Athma"
Comment on this message     

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