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  • Category: Creative Writing

    The old man and a flower

    It was seven in the morning. The door was not opened. The very old man who lived alone, generally woke up very early in the morning. He stayed in the flat alone. He was a widower and his children were settled in faraway places. The man who was almost ninety, was very active compared to his age. He brought milk in the morning, carried out other house-hold activites, watched television and read newspapers.

    But his work started in the evening. Every evening, he himself taught the children of the adjoining slum. He not only taught them, he used to purchase books, copies and other essential items for those children. He even paid school fees of some of them. His own children used to visit him once in every year, but he was not very attached to them. The residents of the housing society had been habituated to this routine for more than fifteen years or so. The old residents of the housing society knew that the very old man was a top-level officer during his working life. But that had been a quite long time ago.

    On that day, the old man did not open the door. The maid-servant and the cook came, rang the bell but got no response. They reported the matter to the office of the housing society. The president of the society came, and in the presence of the police and other residents, broke open the door.

    What they had anticipated was true. The old man had left for his heavenly abode at night. They called a physician who gave the death certificate. The president reluctantly contacted the old man's children (afterall overseas calls cost a lot!), but they refused to come at such short notice. They requested the housing society to perform the last rites of the old man and also asked to lock the flat.

    The next morning. The residents of the society assembled before the flat. Some of them were angry, some of them were dejected. Wasn't it a nuisance? Couldn't the old man die at least during holidays? How could they miss the office? Everybody happened to have important meeting on that particular day!

    The body was kept on the ground. The final journey to the burning ghat was going to commence very soon. Suddenly a breeze blew. There was a 'Kathali Champa' (Ylang Ylang Vine) tree on the compound. The old man had planted it many years ago. A single flower landed just on the old man's feet. The tree, on behalf of the society, paid the last respect to the selfless old man.

    The final journey started.
  • #597831
    The last para was so moving and impressive that I felt like feeling the scene in front of my eyes. From this I could understand that even the nature would pay respect to those who loved and cared it.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #597848
    Really a good story which brought out the reality in life. I too want to be like the old man of this story. I mean, I want to be very active and smart at ninty and teach the children. The story touched my heart.
    No life without Sun

  • #597866
    A very good story. The narration is very good. Really heart touching. The old man served the slum people. They might have felt happy to carry out the rituals, if they were asked to. A tree grown up by him , has shown the gratitude than his own children.A lesson to note. Grow a good tree in you life time along with your children. It will definitely have love for you. Even though the children don't want to come for the funerals, they are more worried about the flat. They requested the president to lock the flat. A very well written story.
    always confident

  • #597926
    I think you want to say the flower is more faithful than others.The old man children have no value for the father's love and care .The old man led his life .The children have only value of his wealth.These types of stories are from our real world.Children are not taking the responsibility of their parents.In my opinion ,if children do not take responsibility of their parents they should not be entitled of their wealth.
    Service to mankind is service to God.

  • #597930
    Yes, the mouthless, feelingless tree honored the old man with gratitude but the children of the old man? From this small story, it is repeated the old saying in Tamil,'Thennaiya vachchaa Ilaneeru, pillaiya peththaa kanneeru' which means if one plant coconut tree, it will give tender coconut but a son will give him tears'. Many old man's endings mostly like this. Every son should keep in his mind about his duty towards his parents on any circumstances.

  • #598260
    I thank the Members who have read the small story and appreciated it.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

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