It was heartrending to see dad lying in a semiconscious state with several tubes stuck to his fragile body.
An extremely soft natured man; he was a kind of father; all growing boys would look forward to bond with. I secretly wished to epitomize him always.
With his modest salary as a worker in a printing press in Pune; he provided enough money to mom, to run the house and also funded for my education.
Adversity came in the form of a pink slip that was handed over to dad along with many other workers, during my final year of graduation. With six more years to serve, dad was devastated at being retrenched.
In the hope of getting some financial support to start a small venture of his own, dad left for Mumbai to meet a friend. When he returned he was a changed man. Lady luck had spread her benevolent wings over us. He had won a lottery and had purchased a printing press in Mumbai.
Unfortunately, soon after this, dad’s health began deteriorating. He handed over the responsibility of running the printing press to me. Work was excellent and there was a copious flow of money. Sadly dad’s health conditions weren’t conducive enough to make him cherish these accomplishments. He was sinking slowly.
The work in the press was getting better by the day.
One fine morning a gentleman came to have some banners printed for inauguration of a food corner.
“You must be Mr. Dushyant’s son. He had purchased this printing press from me four years before,” he said.
I could not restrain myself from asking, “Pardon me sir, but dad had told me that you had to sell it in a hurry due to some financial crunch. Hope all is well now.”
“I needed the money urgently to operate upon a 12-year-old boy who accidentally dashed against my car and suffered skull injury.”
“How did that happen?” I asked.
“The boy had been earning a livelihood polishing shoes and had apparently purchased a lottery ticket with his meager savings, to try his luck. He approached a man reading a newspaper to check the results printed. The man said that his number was not in the list, but the next moment he sprinted with the ticket on him. Realizing that he had been duped, the boy ran after the man in frenzy and got hit in my car. It was not my mistake though, but I took it upon myself to treat the boy who is an orphan.
It was too late and pointless searching for the scalawag, when I learnt all this from the boy. God will not spare him for having cheated a poor kid.
The boy has fully recuperated now, and will be assisting me in the food joint that I am starting. Please do come,” he said.
With his retreating figure, the honest image of my dad that I had formed melted into lies in my tears.
Photo By: Unsplash
This is an entry for #TheLie #Five00-8, a room8 writing event –in 500 words.
Check out the event guidelines here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/room8/thelie
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