Posted: October 6, 2012 in STORY
Tags: , , ,

Mark saw his best buddy’s body burning in the flame. He is going to miss Swamy badly he thought. Then he saw Swamy’s  son Krishna looking at his direction. Mark suddenly broke the eye contact and looked away. As it was late people were leaving one by one. Swamy’s son walked towards him. Mark didn’t know what to do. He knew fighting, accusing, blaming is common in death ceremony. Mark held his breath and his grip on his walking stick increased. If he was little younger by now he would have ran he thought. Krishna stood in from of mark and said “I don’t blame you for what my father has done to me. It was his decision”. Mark nodded his head in the not knowing what to do.

Mark was shocked when Krishna told him that it was his father wish that he do his last rights. Mark had seen the pain in Krishna’s eyes. He stood there watching his best friend’s lifeless body on the pile of wood. He was overwhelmed seeing his buddied last desire. When he had the set the fire he had said prayer in his own way.

Krishna’s sudden question interrupted his rail of thoughts. “How you are going? Should I drop you?”. Mark coughed and said “the driver will come and pick me up. Anyways thank you”. Krsihna nodded his head and stood beside Mark. Mark was not good with modern grown up guys. May be it was because he never had a son. Unlike other father he didn’t feel he is missing something in his life as his daughter was everything to him.

It was almost half an hour and there was no sign of driver. Mark looked at the watch impatiently as it was getting dark. Krishna said “looks like your driver is not coming. Come on sir, I will drop you”. Mark slowly followed Krishna towards his Audi car. He smiled looking at the beauty. If Swamy was alive he could have taken him for a long drive in the car. He wiped his tears remembering his lost friend. Krishna started the engine and Marks brain started remembering the days with his buddy.

Mark was around 66 when he joined the old age home “St Xavier”. By professional he was Techie. It was his own decision to live there. He lost his wife years ago. It was his loneliness who made him join old age home. His daughter had begged him to stay with her in her house but Mark had denied the offer without thinking twice. He had taken two sharing room. He was scared like kitten thinking about his roommate. When he was young before joining the hostel he had similar fear. He smiled thinking only the age changes but not the feeling.

When he joined he had taken his favorite 6 inch flat screeb tv, laptop and full length mirror. When he had knocked on the door a middle aged man had opened the door with a question mark on his face. Its then Mark had introduced himself extending his hand. Mark took 5 long minutes to understand that the person staring at him has earing problem. He started coughing after repeating his name ten times from top of his voice. The man who stood in front of him ran inside and bought glass of water. Mark drank the water and looked the man wondering whether he made a mistake coming here.

Mark stood there wondering how to communicate when sister Flavia came to his aid. She was young and pretty. Seeing the nun the old man ran away and came out with his hearing instrument. Mark hid his smile seeing the old man. Sister Flavia said “Swamy this is Mark your roommate, you both will be sharing this room.” Its then Swamy extended his hand towards Mark and said “Nice to meet you Mark , I am Rama Swamy, you can call me Sawmy”. I am retired Bank employee Mark smiled seeing Swamy’s missing teeth. He smiled thinking how his artificial teeth made a good impression.

When Sawmy saw Mark TV he said “I already have one..” Mark interrupted saying “come on dude I can’t watch my Pamela in that freaky small TV”. Swamy said “who? News reader?”. Mark laughed and said “hahhh so what we got here? ancient master piece? Pamel Baywatch queen, Don’t you watch it?”. Sawmy adjusted his earing instrument and said “I watch only news and cricket”. Mark sat on the bed and said “ha you are really true Indian old citizen. Good for you”. Swamy stared at Mark not understanding what Mark is talking.

Mark said “you are in FB?”.

Sawmy said “I have few in FD”.

Mark said “I will be having tough time teaching you all this”.

Mark opened his laptop and sat on Swamy bed and said “you are in 2012 year and you must have a FB account else people think you are grandfather of Adam”. Sawmy adjusted his spectacle and glared at Marks laptop. He almost fainted seeing the picture of a lady who was holding a gun with tag line “I am gonna kill you”. Mark patted his desktop and said “that’s her I was talking about. You must watch her in action. She’s awesome”. Swamy stared at Mark. He was sure that Mark is perverted old man.

Mark started to explain about Face book. He explained briefly about how you can find school friends, upload pictures. He showed his granddaughters picture and said “that’s patty, computer freak. She’s in 1st standard and she has 200 friends in friend list. Can you beat that?”. Swamy said “god save this generation, wonder what will happen”. Mark then created a FB account for Swamy . He started unpacking his things while Swamy started exploring FB.

First name he typed was “Krishna Swamy”. His eyes were misty when he hit the search button. He didn’t say when he found his son. He touched picture of his son and closed the laptop. Like always he hid his pain and helped Mark in his task.

It was night 7.00 o’ clock and was prayer time. Swamy was praying in front of several gods framed photo when Mark emerged from bath room singing some song. Mark didn’t stop singing even when he saw Swamy praying. He sprayed his deodorant and took out his night clothes. He smiled seeing his teddy bear print pajama suit. It was Patty who suggested him that they both should have similar pajama suits. Swamy said angrily “Mark will you stop singing, cant you see I am praying”. Mark said “to whom? These lifeless statues? If they were listening to your prayer you wouldn’t have been here”.

Swamy removed his spectacles wiped his eyes and said “yes, I wouldn’t have been here. But you see I was destined to be here. My son doesn’t want me. He is happy with his wife and son in US.”. Swamy was very disturbed after seeing his sons FB account. Mark walked towards Swamy and put his hand around his shoulder and said “Come on buddy I didn’t mean to hurt you. Don’t think about your useless son and cry. You have life and money just enjoy. I will teach you to do that. Now wipe your tears”. First time in his old age Swamy felt good. Even though he didn’t like Mark he felt Mark knows how to be lively.

After dinner mark took out his Jack Daniel and poured him a stiff drink. He offered Swamy but Swamy denied politely. Mark said “live life Swamy, at least when you are 70 try something you never tried”. Swamy glared at Mark and Mark shut his mouth.

Swamy was able to find his school friends in FB. Now most of the time he spent on laptop and watching all modern stuff in TV. He started to like Mark. He still remembers how happy he was on Christmas.

Mark’s daughter Clera had come to Old age home to taker her father home for Christmas. It was Mark who requested Sister Falvia to grant permission so that he can take Swamy along. Swamy eyes filled with tears and he hugged Mark. Swamy said “my son never came to see me. Taking me home is out of question. Thank you Mark.” Mark hugged Swamy and said “chillax Swamy, I am taking you home only on one condition you will have a peg with me”. Swamy smiled and said “i will have two pegs”.

Marks daughter was very nice. Patty called him grandpa too. He was very happy. Mark had taken him on his yeszdi for a ride. They both shopped and bought new clothes. Mark had gifted Swamy a trendy jeans. Swamy smiled looking his reflection in mirror and said “I cant wear them, i never wore jeans”. Mark had said “its time you started wearing them”.First time in his life he felt so alive and happy.

It was after 2 days when Mark was riding the bike he got heart attack. He was in ICU for 2 days. Swamy prayed to god to save his best buddy. When Mark opened his eyes he found Swamy dozing in the chair. Swamy said “How are you Mark”. Mark had smiled and said “what you thought I will die? I cant..My Pamel wont let me go”. Swamy had smiled listening to Mark’s silly talk

Mark was discharged and his daughter took him home. Swamy missed his buddy. To be alone in the room it was painful for him. Even he had started watching Bay watch. Even though it was old TV show he started liking it.

It was after one month Mark came back. As a welcome gift Swamy gifted Mark one walking stick. Mark hugged Swamy and said “missed you man”. They both shared a special bond

Mark knew that Swamy missed his son. He tried contacting him but his effort went in vain. Whenever he went home he took Swamy along with him.

It was one late night they were playing cards when Swamy held his hand to heart. Mark didn’t waste time to call the ambulance. Swamy’s condtion was very critical. Sisters informed his son Krishna and he came down to see his father. Mark felt like punching him right on his nose. When doctors came and said “Sawmy wants to talk to Mark”.Krishna’s face fell. Mark stopped in front of Krishna and said “you came bit early, looks like he is not yet dead”. And then he was gone. He didn’t stop to see Krishna’s reaction.

Swamy held Mark hand in his and said “Looks like I am the first one to go and I am happy for that.”. Mark had said “stop it swamy, now we are even. We still have many things to do. Next Christmas will go to LA and meet Pamela”. Swamy said “ohh Mark I don’t want die we are going to meet her”. Mark paused for a while and said “Krishna is here, should I call him in?”. Swamy looked away and said “No Mark. When I die I want to see your face not his. Marks eyes were filled with tears. With a low voice he said “don’t say that Swamy”. Swamy continued “you taught me to live, you taught me to enjoy my life, Its you who taught me to chase the loneliness. And my son taught me nothing he gave me misery and distress.” Mark didn’t say anything. He just sat beside his bed and held his hand in his.

Mark wiped his eyes. It was his last talk with Swamy. Krishna stopped the car in front of the old age home. Krishna said “don’t cry Mr. Mark. We cant bring him back”.

Mark said “You will never understand Krishna. May be one day when you are old you will. May be in this same old age home!!!. Thank you for the ride anyway”. With that said Mark got down from car walked towards his room. Mark looked at the sky and said “soon we going to meet again Swamy!!”


  1. @dy says:

    Good one SNL …., loved the flow of ur narration , its almost the story in every house. LONELY PARENTS..:-(


  2. navee says:

    Routine Old Indian story!! But touches everyone as we are sentimental!! I love the narration about FB and FD 😛


  3. Kishore Unhelkar says:

    Nice to read it here in your words


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