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April 21, 2010

There was a heavy spattering of pain, sorrow and relief in the air. It was also on everyone’s face except Arjun’s. Against the backdrop of soothing Sanskrit slokas, sporting a spotless mundu, he along with others, were carrying the lifeless body of his father to the cremation ground. He had not shed a tear nor had he felt any pain at the loss.

His sharp chiseled features coupled with a pronounced jaw looked like it had been carved out of stone and the only sign of life in that otherwise placid face was the fact that his eyes kept constantly flickering around, always taking in everything that was happening around him, never missing a thing. It was a trait that he had developed a long time ago thanks to years of always being on the defense.

He was as stoic as he could ever have been even when he had a volcano raging inside him. Actually, he had had that raging fire inside him for most of his life. It was something that he had gotten used too as he grew older and he had even learnt to channelize it positively.

Earlier in the day, he had gone through the rituals like a zombie as a mark of respect because he firmly believed that the dead were entitled to have their last rites; even his dad.

As they all kept trudging along the archaic path, he could not help but reflect on his relation with his dad. The truth was that he never knew the man. Whenever he looked at his dad today, he only saw a stranger; a stranger who bore a striking resemblance to him. It was ironical that he would now get reminded of that person all his life whenever he would look at the mirror.

Fate has its twisted sense of humor,” he thought to himself.

His dad had been the “black sheep” in the family. He had deserted everything behind; his job, his life and his family in pursuit of his quota of alcohol. Arjun, all of 24 only remembered meeting his dad a few times in his entire life.

And those meetings were anything but comfortable. There always existed an uncomfortable silence between the two; Arjun always waiting to get out of it and his dad always wondering if his son was judging him.

Arjun could still vividly remember the last time he met his dad over a year back. He had tracked his dad down to a bar in town and told him that he had landed a job in faraway Bangalore and that he would be leaving Kottayam shortly. Surprisingly, his dad had then requested him to have a peg to talk about things and even more surprising was the fact that he found himself accepting that offer. That night was probably the first time in his life that he actually bonded with his dad, not as his son but as another adult.


By this time, they had reached the cremation grounds and things went along as prescribed by the pundits. As the last leg of the rituals was underway, Arjun felt sad that he would never get the chance to ask the many questions that he had always wanted to ask.

As he was about to light the funeral pyre, he had one last look at his dad and said, “The debts of all our previous lives always have to be repaid dad; by you and by me as well”.

And suddenly he felt a wave of calm besiege him totally destroying the pent up anger that he had built up all his life and he felt at peace with himself for probably the first time in his entire adult life.

All the others kept watching along totally ignorant to the fact that not one but two souls had been liberated that day………………

22 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2010 3:11 am

    Whose soul is being liberated in the video?
    OG: ROFL! 😛 no ones…………
    I just love the song…. about a son singing praises about his dad…….
    “thandai” is an archaic usage for father in tamil/mallu

    Very well written…Keep it up!
    OG: Thanks bones!!!!

  2. April 21, 2010 3:17 am

    I liked it. . I’m quite new to your Blog and i gotta say, that i felt something enchanting in this post. . I can’t point my finger on it but i loved its magnetism. . Have a nice day.
    OG: Thanks so very much!!! savvy………..
    I have kinda semi retired actually from blogging :mrgreen:

  3. April 21, 2010 5:10 am

    Thats really a good read.
    OG: Thanks uma 😛 😛
    Actually I loved that line – two souls were liberated that day. Its true. And I’ve seen it happen in real life too.
    OG: seen it happen in real life? interesting………. 😛
    And its good that Arjun got liberated that day, otherwise, he’ll be feeling bad abt all the time lost, in which both of them could’ve bonded well.
    OG: yeah 😛 😛
    Whaat ??? Semi-retired ??????
    OG: I thought I had semi retired from blogging some time back ………. 😛

    • April 21, 2010 5:13 am

      BTW, what does the title mean ????
      OG: I think the original meaning is “debt from past life or the karma a person has reaped by his/her actions”.
      in common mallu usage, the word is used to signify “duty”

  4. April 21, 2010 5:57 am

    When you read something that stirs strong emotions in you, i guess its best to not try and put that in words.

    Ezhuthukaranne njaan namichu!
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛

    • April 21, 2010 7:09 am

      @ reply –

      🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

      • April 21, 2010 7:13 am

        😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

        just when i thought i will have nothing to pull ur leg on, on this post… che! incarnate devil with writing skills… 😛

        • April 22, 2010 6:34 am

          Sigh, ende comment-addi ki orru velleyum illa…

          tries to decide if its better revenge to post an inconsequential comment here for apoopan every single day
          OG: u stated the truth……. nindae commentinnu oru vella ella mole 😛

        • April 22, 2010 2:58 pm

          comment is only as good as the post 😈 👿
          OG: good one devil 😛

  5. April 21, 2010 7:46 am

    Ezhuthukaran OG is now coming too far and in between.. 🙄

    But better than the retired OG! 😉
    OG: hahaha 😛 yeah 😛 maybe 😛

  6. April 21, 2010 11:17 am

    Inganey edakku edakku vannu oro kadhagal ezhudi manushyanmaarey njettippicholo !!! 😀 😀 😀
    OG: as vadivelu would say “naan shock aaytan” 😛 😛 😛 yeah dude writing what the heart wants too now

  7. April 21, 2010 12:02 pm

    Beautifully written, Ezhuthukaran OG!
    OG: Thanks Smithus!!!

  8. April 21, 2010 1:35 pm

    Easily one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve read in a long time 🙂 You’re getting very good at this, OG. Semi-retirement ain’t for you!
    OG: Thank u !!!!!!!!!! 😛 😛 😛 if it is that good, then semi retirment is for me 😉

  9. April 21, 2010 6:04 pm

    liked the feel of it…

    kollam 🙂
    OG: thanks aliya !!!!

  10. April 22, 2010 2:35 am

    touched a chord 🙂
    no more words need be said…
    OG: hahaha 😛 thanks!!!

  11. April 22, 2010 8:17 pm

    Beautifully written OG. I knew this would be special. Dont ask me how but I did.
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛
    A wealth of meaning in the words. A special write, this one OG.

    You must have been a storyteller in your previous birth. For, you keep one enchanted from beginning to end.

    Loved reading this friend.

    Even if you write once in a while you make it worth it.
    OG: thank you so much indy!!!!!!!!!!!! this means a lot 😛

    • April 22, 2010 8:18 pm

      Just so you dont get too serious Apoopan
      My ‘awesome’ language skills on display 😛

      valare upakaram 😀
      OG: OMG, one more phrase learned and ticked in the list 😛 😛 😛 😛 ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I came ze moment I read ze mail O Friend 😀
      OG: YAY!!!!!

  12. April 25, 2010 12:11 am

    OG, I had tears reading it. I’m glad that Arjun is “free” now and move on.
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 This is just a story sols 😛 😛

  13. April 28, 2010 5:50 am

    I simply loved it! Deep, profound and impressive. It touched me
    OG: Thanks Ritu 😛

  14. April 28, 2010 12:11 pm

    lovely read OG here after a long time and stirred something in me
    OG: Thanks monika 😛


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