by KP Gopalakrishnan
Prof. Ramesh felt uneasy in his easy chair. The provocation was the letter received from his younger brother. He had expected the fellow to come up with an appropriate alliance proposal for his only daughter Radha. Instead, he had the cheek to suggest a mere bank clerk as his prospective son-in-law! Vivek, his younger brother, needed to be told that things have not come to that pass. He should be reminded of the old proverb to the effect that "an elephant however famished, cannot be tied in a cattle shed!".
Ramesh, as everybody knew, is sufficiently well placed. He had only one daughter and one son. It was true that his son who was younger to Radha, had not come up to his expectations. The boy failed in pre-university course two years back and didn’t listen to him at all.It would be difficult to find a job for him. However, he seemed to have no interest to take up anything worthwhile! That Radha had only average looks was also a fact. But she was a post-graduate and was now appearing for her B.Ed. Above all, she was the only daughter of Prof.Ramesh.
He wrote an immediate reply to Vivek. In the concluding sentence he wrote "Please bear it in mind that I expect at least a post-graduate, holding an officer status job for my daughter Radha."
That night Ramesh was restless. Sleep was hard to come. He felt that he was harsh on Vivek. Perhaps Vivek's suggestion was based on a more realistic assessment. He felt more and more sad that his son had betrayed his faith. He looked back with satisfaction about his own achievements considering his humble background and the struggle he had to put in.
Radha was only twenty-four and there was no need to get panicky. What worried him was about his son,Ajay. He was still a matter of concern. From morning till evening, the fellow sat at home doing nothing. He was sure that his mother was there always to take care of his needs! Very rarely a word was exchanged between father and son. Of late, he has noticed that Ajay made an earnest attempt to avoid his father.
Next day morning, Radha entered her father's bed room only to find him lying motionless on the floor next to his bed on the first floor. It could be assumed that he couldn't reach his bed after his morning walk. A massive heart attack had killed him before he could get his morning cup of coffee from his daughter, as usual.
Professor could at last find a solution to the twin problems of an alliance for his daughter Radha and a job for his son Ajay!
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