“I swear had I known that something of this nature was going around in his mind, I would have stopped him. But there was nothing. Even till that day he was fine. He was normal. We had dinner that day and as usual he complained about my chapatti but still ate five of them. Little did I know that he was thinking of killing himself” said a sobbing Anita.
“But that still doesn’t explain the one crore life insurance that he took last year and which he, obviously, did not have enough resources to pay premium for!” exclaimed inspector Tambe. “I am sure there is more to this than meets the eye. Make sure madam you have some answers for me when I come back next time.”
“Uff. That inspector is such a stuffy guy, bothering you and all. Would you like to have a cup of tea?” asked Mrs. Sharma, their next door neighbor.
“No thanks. I think I will take a quick nap now.” Anita tried to reply politely, being tired of all the conversation around Rajesh’s untimely demise.
“See now that won’t do! You have children to take care of now. If you get depressed now, what would happen to them? If you ask me, go to some babaji and satsangs for some time. Would help you take your mind off the entire issue. If fact, had we known about how Rajesh was feeling; I could have taken him to babaji who would have helped him a lot” ranted Mrs. Sharma. “Now I must get going, Sharmaji must be about to come home. Take care.”
Smiling at what Rajesh’s reaction would have been had he heard of Mrs. Sharma’s offer to take him to a babaji brought a flash of smile on Anita’s lips as she remembered very well the explicit views that Rajesh had on the ‘thugs and thieves’ that were the babajis and gurujis of the world.
This gave her some energy to sort some of the affairs at the home now that all the relatives and well wishers had gone back.
The “sorting” took well over three hours when Anita finally put the last utensil back in the topmost kitchen cupboard. She was about to close it when, suddenly, a small box hidden in the back fell down to reveal a yellowing sealed envelope.
Immediately her mind flashed back to that fateful evening fifteen years ago with Pandit Shyam Sunder when Rajesh had dared Anita to prove beyond doubt that Shyam Sunder was nothing but a fake.
“Please sir! I implore you to share it with me” said Rajesh.
“But son you do not know the true burden of knowing the truth about your death”.
“You will live your life in the fear of death. There will be no moment that you will not think about it.”
“I do not care about that. In fact, there is no better way to prove your genuineness than that.”
“But I can’t go on telling people when they will die!!!”
“OK! So why don’t you write it on a paper and give it to Anita. That way I won’t know it and it would still add to your credibility.”
Stuck like that, Panditji took out his sheaf of papers, started some calculations and wrote down something on a Parchment before sealing it in an envelope with hot wax and red ribbon and gave it to Anita for safekeeping and away from the eyes of Rajesh!
Curiosity gained the better of Anita, who bent down to retrieve the sealed envelope to confirm the written date… Only to find the envelope unsealed.
Slowly, she extracted the crackling parchment from the envelope and looked at the date on the parchment and could not stop the warm flow on her cheeks. Brushing away the tears, she casually turned over the parchment and a chill suddenly ran down her spine.
Back of the parchment was covered in a scrawl she had come to recognize so very well over the years and was often a teasing point between them; revealing the last words of her late husband.
Sorry! Spend money well
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