Receiving the emergency call, I directed the constable to steer our patrol van towards the Madhuban Society that was in the heart of the city. While traversing the lanes and by-lanes, my mind was occupied with the thoughts of the Society. It was one of the oldest societies that had comprised of a couple of small rise apartments with four flats on each floor. All the dwellers in the society were mostly pensioners with their children settled abroad. It was the peaceful part of the city. That made me wonder as to what awaited us.

Zooming inside the compound of the society, our van came to a halt in front of the “Amrut” apartment. I was greeted by the person who introduced himself as the Society Chairman and led me to lobby of the apartment. There stood a lady, with a worried look. Going by her appearance, I could make out that she was the house help.

“I did not do anything Madam” she pleaded.

“That we will see later. First tell me what happened?”

“I came for work around 9 in the morning, my usual time. Every day, I start my work from Dinu Kaka’s house. Today, when I rang the bell, he did not respond. It has never happened before. I have been working with Dinu Kaka for close to 9 years now. I thought maybe he was taking a bath, so I decided to come back later after finishing my job in the next building. I returned around 11 am and rang the bell again. This time also he did not open the door. I came down and checked with the building watchman if he had seen Dinu Kaka going out. He hadn’t seen him either. So, I went to the Society Chairman’s house. He tried calling Dinu Kaka. Dinu Kaka did not respond to the calls either”, she informed.

Turning to the chairman, I asked, “Does he keep extra keys to his flat with someone in the society?”

“Dinu Kaka is recluse and hardly mingles with anyone. I doubt if he had kept the keys with anyone”, replied the chairman.

“Let me check the CCTV footage”, I demanded.

While we checked the footage, I learned from the chairman and the house help that Dinu Kaka lived alone with his autistic son, after his wife passed away five years back fighting a prolonged battle with cancer. He took care of their autistic child all by himself until last year when he also passed away. Dinu Kaka was a gentleman who lived about himself peacefully. He never had a fight with any of the residents in the society ever and always paid the maintenance on time. Meanwhile in the CCTV footage, Dinu Kaka was not seen going out or coming back to the society nor there was any delivery made to his house by courier.

That left me with the last option, breaking in. And I did just that. We had to force open the door.

Strange silence filled the house. Cautiously stepping in, I started checking out from the living room and was followed by house-help and the chairman. While the house help kept calling Dinu Kaka’s name in a subdued tone, there was no response. The walls were saintly still as were the curtains and furniture. The house looked in order. As we entered the master bedroom, the silence was shattered by the shriek of the house help.

There sat Dinu Kaka motionless, facing the window, on the chair next to the study table, half seated and rest leaning on the table, with a pen in his hand resting above a diary and some paper cuttings of travel and tour companies in front of him. I went near him cautiously, and checked for the signs of life. The cold touch of his arm was an indication of his passage into the unknown.

Calling the constable, requesting the house help and the chairman to leave the place, I was getting ready to complete the formalities for further investigations. A fluttering page from the diary below Dinu Kaka’s cold rigid hand caught my attention. Dinu Kaka had written in the diary with his neat and clear handwriting. Suspecting it to be a suicide case, I took the diary in hand and started reading.

“Now is my time to live life. First it was Sudha and then it was Sumukh for whom I had devoted all my life. Never once letting a slightest of my wish to surface. I am glad I did it. But now I am free.  I must bring life back to my life. I must enjoy every single moment of awakening as per my desire. I must say ‘yes, to life’. Dear life…here I come. The world awaits to be discovered. So what if I am alone and…” the words in the diary whispered languidly to me, from the incomplete note written by Dinu Kaka, as I witnessed pen held between his fingers, sliding down listlessly as had the life slipped from his hands, like the quicksand, before he could say ‘Yes, to life‘.


Picture courtesy Pixabay
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Categories: FictionShort Story

27 Comments

gemini1420 · April 29, 2020 at 9:13 am

You write beautifully, Anagha…and what a poignant ending !

Matheikal · April 29, 2020 at 9:54 am

One of the biggest and most tragic ironies of life! We start living late. We do so much and yet may die without living.

Dashy · April 29, 2020 at 11:25 am

We never know when our time comes. A heartbreaking tale so beautifully written. We need to say yes to life when we can.

Archana (@yenforblue) · April 29, 2020 at 11:36 am

your words took me straight to that room Anagha! Powerful writing!

Simon · April 29, 2020 at 11:50 am

So brilliant.. You have that skill to bring goosebumps to the reader’s ✨👌 Well written ✍️

Balaka · April 29, 2020 at 12:26 pm

We honestly do not live our life untill it is too late. You are one of the finest writers. Looking forward to the book.

soniadogra · April 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

What a sad tale but ironically so true. Old age and loneliness and spending our youth only in fulfilling our commitments. We start late!

Shubhra Rastogi · April 29, 2020 at 1:26 pm

So beautifully written, I had tears by the end. We always live for others and by the time we realize to live for ourselves it is too late. So while we live for others we should not forget to live for ourselves as well.

Unishta · April 29, 2020 at 2:22 pm

What a pity . Life really was not fair to poor Dinu Kaka

nooranandchawla · April 29, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Oh how sad… What an untimely demise, but beautifully expressed by you.
I hope you’ll visit my Y post today as I have recommended you as a blogger to check out.

Durga Prasad Dash · April 29, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Oh, it had to end with such irony.

Vaishali Khot · April 29, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Beautifully narrated
Life’s really unpredictable, we never know what’s in store for us.So live life to the fullest

Srivalli · April 29, 2020 at 4:35 pm

Oh, life! Just when he could live, it was snatched away forever. This is beautiful, Anagha.

Madhu Bindra · April 29, 2020 at 4:47 pm

This was really good. People wait to live our life and by then, it is often too late. Live in the now.

Dr. Jyoti Arora · April 29, 2020 at 5:54 pm

So true Anagha, life is the best gift by god!! live it to your best now

Sunita Saldhana · April 29, 2020 at 6:01 pm

.Ouch! That ending hurt. But it happens to the best of us I guess. We always leave living till it is too late

Arushi Seth · April 29, 2020 at 6:18 pm

What a brilliant piece of writing stating the hard truth. Many times we forget to love because of our duties and responsibilities but life does not wait and sometimes before you say yes, life says no.

Shweta Suresh · April 29, 2020 at 8:25 pm

Many times we get caught up with our duties and work. We forget to live for ourselves. This was a beautiful story, Anagha. I loved it. Finally Dinu Khaka will be reunited with his family.

Keith's Ramblings · April 29, 2020 at 9:05 pm

A poignant tale with a heart wrenching conclusion, Beautiful Anagha.

Y is for …

sinjanag · April 29, 2020 at 10:27 pm

You express the emotions beautifully!

TheDreamGirlWrites · April 30, 2020 at 12:25 am

This is so sad.. Poor Dinu kaka

Y is for Yield
https://thedreamgirlwrites.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/yield/

Namratha Varadharajan · April 30, 2020 at 12:37 am

Wow! That was a punch in the gut! What an expert storyteller you are Anagha!

Ranjini · April 30, 2020 at 12:43 am

Oh you word weaver. Such melancholic twists. This story portrays the untimely arrival of death so realistically. You’re a wonderful story teller 🙂

bloggeray · April 30, 2020 at 1:24 am

Wow! This is touching. Coupled with the untimely demise of Irrfan Khan earlier today, this is so much more poignant.

Thank you for this. Thank you.

alpanadeo · April 30, 2020 at 1:37 am

Sometimes, our wishes, desires take a back seat while fulfilling families needs and when we realize, its too late. We are left behind alone. I wish Dinu Kaka could have talked to someone.

Ira Mishra · April 30, 2020 at 3:47 am

Such a poignant tale…. We indeed are so busy with our lives that we don’t realise it’s finite and we can’t keep thinking that we will start living life one day… We should indeed live each day as it comes… So that there will be no regrets 🙂

Virginia Allain · May 5, 2020 at 7:43 pm

How cleverly you drew the reader into your story. I couldn’t wait to hear what was written in the last words of the gentleman. A good reminder to us all at this time. Say “yes” to life.

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