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the caregiver - my mother

by manohar naidu

Maya Kapoor as Sanjay knew her for the past two years, after her marriage to Aditya, was educated, ambitious, straightforward, fond of socialising, picnics and enjoying life to the fullest.  Her father had died when she was schooling and she was brought up by her working mother. Though her life was not difficult financially due to father’s family pension and mother’s earnings, but frequent sickness of her mother did put some stress on their finances. Maya was still in college and wanted to do an MBA and ultimately get settled into a good job.

Source of income reduced when her mother retired. So to help with the family finances, Maya managed to get suitable job in multinational bank; however that required long hours of working and long commute.  This forced her to rent a room at a girl’s hostel near her place of work. She had to leave her mother alone at the care of a servant maid. Her relatives, though many, were busy with their extended families. Managing well between her bank and college work load, she as a responsible millennial could meet her mother’s requirements to the extent possible.

On one weekend, during her visit to mother, she could feel that she is not her  usual self.  An irrelevant use of words, unable to remember names of relatives, repetition of same topic again and again, indicated initial signs of dementia which might ultimately lead to Alzheimer. Old age, medication and sedentary lifestyle was telling on her. She loved her mother dearly and did not disclose her concern to avoid worrying her mother. But she had decided to wait till next week end and speak to near and dear ones. On next Wednesday Maya got a call from mother’s servant maid that the house was locked from outside for the last two days and she had not told servant maid or other neighbours about her before leaving the house, which her mother used to do normally.

Immediately she excused herself  from the office, accompanied with a friend, left for her mother’s house, about twenty kilometers away, in a cab. During the journey she discussed what she would have to do in case of a Medical emergency.  On reaching home, she opened the door with duplicate key with her heart pounding with fear and prayer to God for a safe welfare of dear mother.  There was nothing unusual in all rooms.  No sign of disturbance or theft was noticed.  No written note was found.  Perhaps one bag and some clothes were missing.  Queries with immediate relatives or neighbours did not give any lead or information. She filed FIR at the nearest police station  along with copies of photographs with relevant details as desired by authorities for missing persons . She tried all possible methods but neither she or the police could get any information.  She was feeling guilty but she was hopeful that her mother will come back. Three months passed still there was no trace of missing mother.

Aditya Kapoor was Sanjay’s childhood buddy. They do not remember how many  times they fought on silly, stupid pranks but it was like something written on the sand alongside oceanshore to be erased with next cool watery waves of vast sea. Aditya was as cool as cucumber in his conduct and temperament. He was a great help to Sanjay in  English vocabulary during  school days. Aditya doesn’t remember much about his parents but was told that they were construction workers. 

One unfortunate night, when infant Aditya’s parents were sleeping along with him, in the makeshift temporary hut near the construction site, the building collapsed due to earthquake of high magnitude. Aditya  was rescued alive from his mother’s bosom but she and his father died due to  concrete column hitting their head.  Later, he was taken care by Sanjay’s father Raj Kaushik, a noble construction supervisor of the same site and he became one of the family members of a couple along with Sanjay.  Sanjay’s mother Shreya shared their childhood equally, with bedtime stories. making them sleep, left and right on her bed till they were asleep. Due to sheer hard and honest work coupled with genuine politeness towards his co-workers and clients, Sanjay’s parents  established their reputation of reckoning in the society as reliable,sincere and candid real estate builder. Business increased so also social activities which was already imbibed into them spread.  Aditya and Sanjay grew together. Aditya became IT professional with distinction from a top ranking university of India and Sanjay specialised in business management from US University of  repute.

That day, they all four were returning from a very happy pilgrimage in their car, driven by the driver.  Happiness was cut short by rashly driven drunkard driver of a truck by colliding head on with their vehicle, killing Sanjay’s father and the driver. The innocent happy family had to see all that pain and sufferings based  on one person’s poor choices. Sanjay’s mother Shreya was heart broken.  It took months for her to recover from shock.  As per  will, the property was distributed equally amongst Aditya, Sanjay and mother.  Later, both together opened United Digital Networking company  with equal partnership, which flourished within six months to the mother’s blessings and happiness. The entire interest and profits  of  her share of property was being spent in charity and welfare of  underprivileged community. Later she went to a distant Ashram near holy Ganga in Varanasi  to spend and devote her time  physically with inmates of needy.

Story continued here.....