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Dream Job

by Lakshmi Menon
(Bangalore, India)

Pankaj was the only child for his parents. When he was 6 months old he lost his father in a train accident. He was a government employee. Subsequently his mother Malathy got a job in the same office on compassionate grounds. Malathy had not studied beyond SSLC and she got a post based on her qualification. However, Malathy had no complaints as she knew that her salary would be sufficient to bring up her son and for her own survival.  Malathy was very fond of her son and tried to give him the best education she could afford, making several sacrifices on her side.

Over the years, Malathy got promotions and got a decent salary. She wanted her son to become a lawyer. To her utter disappointment, Pankaj was not a hard working boy in his studies and he took several years to complete his BA degree.  He believed that with his qualification he could get a government job in his mother's office, if she died while in service.  There were only two more years left for her retirement and she was very upset that Pankaj is not making any serious efforts to improve his education nor finding a job.  Pankaj had a girlfriend who was a student of his college. She pestered him to find a job and marry her soon, before her parents fixed her marriage with someone else. Every time he asked her to wait for some more time so that he would obtain a Govt job. 

As the days passed, Pankaj reached home often drunk in the night. On such a night, his mother, who was waiting for him without food and sleep, would ask him, "Why are you drinking like this, my dear son? What is your problem, son?"
 "You' problem,... mother," he said vaguely.
"Me?" asked the shocked mother while trying  to hold him when he was walking unsteadily. "I'll kill you!" he said lying on the bed. "I need to get a government job soon." Malathy was aware
that he wouldn't get a government job easily, and he was not interested in finding a job in any private office. The only way he can achieve his dream job is after his mother's untimely death while in service. She tried several attempts to make him understand that he can do well in private companies if he is prepared to work hard or venture into a small business, but her words could not help her son in any way. 

On one or two occasions in the office, Malathy had shared her feelings about her son  with her close friend. She had listened to her friend  sympathetically, and hoped that one day Pankaj would understand it.  

It was a  hot Saturday evening. Malathy made her son's favorite sweet -unniappam, and waited for him, but he didn't turn up in the evening. He reached home by 10.30 pm, fully drunk. She didn't question him for his late coming in such a state.  She served dinner for both of them and called him.
"I don't want any food. I already had. I am full, you can have your dinner,” said Pankaj by patting on his tummy.  Malathy's heart broke seeing his condition. She quietly closed his door and walked to the kitchen.  

The next morning the neighbours were shocked to know that there was an accident in Malathy's kitchen and she had severe burn injuries.   Pankaj carried his mother to the hospital. The doctors tried their best but they couldn't save her. After a few hours  Malathy closed her eyes peacefully.  The police closed the case as accidental death caused from the gas cylinder leakage. After a month or two, Pankaj got his dream job in his mother's office. Everyone talked very highly about his mother and felt sorry for her loss. 

However, a question remained unanswered  in Malathy's friend's mind and she didn't want to discuss it with anyone - Was it really an accidental death? Or was it an attempted murder? Or was it a planned suicide? 


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May 11, 2024
Well written
by: Your Name: Kiran Jhamb

Some humans are really bad at being human
Please ignore the suicide angle. As a writer one has to be objective, but it is high time we stop glorifying motherhood.
Good story.

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