THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
Marriage was a kind of escape for Sumalatha from her self-induced boredom .Or at least that was the only importance she had attached to marriage at the time of her wedding .But it was not thus for Rajendran. Because he had loved her secretly since his college days. Sumalatha was a very head strong girl. But she was very romantic .A kind of romance she had imbibed by reading umpteen romantic novels. But on the other hand Rajendran was a very down to earth natured person. He did not like to court and make a scene of his heart's call .So he resorted to the proper channel ,and that is to propose .So he went with his only relation ,his uncle from his mother's side to Sumalatha`a house . Rajendran was a reasonably good government servant and he was handsome too .As for the family wealth. Well he was not a pauper .When his father expired there was a little wealth that was left for him .His mother had died in childbirth. If one delved deeper in to Rajendran younger days, one would find a lot of upheavals .He was often called as an unfortunate child .But during his baby days and school going days, he did not understand the meaning of the villager's irate nature .So one day he went to his dad and asked him "Dad, why is everyone calling me cursed? Is it because I have no mother? He stopped for a moment to see his dad's reaction. Seeing none, he continued, ``yes dad, I have noticed at school that everybody has a mother and a father. But look at me "This time he stopped and waited for his dad's reply .His dad Chandran Pillai was flabbergasted at his son's perception .How well he had found out that the absence or rather her death was the reason why everyone called him "cursed". Chandran Pillai`s heart went to his son." No dear, you are not cursed .You are the apple of my eye and also the reason for my happiness and wellbeing .Just don't listen to anybody else .They are talking thus because it is their nature to talk ill of others. You just don’t pay any heed to them .I am here for you always." But Chandran Pillai`s words did not come true! Because he died in a motor accident soon after .So again Rajendran was looked up on as cursed .Rajendran too started to think that it was true .Or else why did his parents die so soon? His dad's bachelor uncle brought him up .By some twist of luck, his uncle was a kind soul. That was how Rajendran grew up .But when he grew up to be smart young man with an attractive government job and salary; he forgot all his misfortunes .At least that was what life had taught him. It was by sheer accident that he had come across Sumalatha .To be precise, he met her at a traffic signal .She was being chauffeured to college .He fell in love with her then and there .But unlike other young men, he
did not want to spoil her life in any way .So here he was with his uncle to ask for Sumalatha’a `s hand. Sumalatha took one look at her prospective husband and liked him immensely .She did not cover up the fact that she was in it for the thrill of it .Rajendran liked her simplicity and frankness a lot. Little did he realize then that it was her affluent lifestyle that was speaking .Running out of life to escape boredom...? The marriage was a simple affair .Only close friends and relatives were invited .As for Rajendran; he did not have any family except for his uncle and a few friends from his office. Sumalatha did not mind the pomp and pleasure of having a large wedding .All that she wanted to flaunt to her friends was that she was really married. Sumalatha was a pampered girl .She was born rich .She had a brother Sumesh, who doted on her as much as her parents .In the midst of all that comforts and luxury, all she had done in her teenage years was read and read .She was very fond romantic novels .That was exactly what she read .Reading all those emotion charged novels, she started feeling like one of the heroines of her novels .One day she would feel like `Margaret' .At other times like `Nancy’. But living in a world full of imagination was starting to get boring .So that was why she had wanted to get married. She was too lazy to fall in love!!
Now Sumalatha was married and she was thrilled to the core! Rajendran had a small but beautiful house in his place. Her parents also helped them settle down. They liked their son in law quite a lot .Because they knew that Sumalatha was a bit too pampered .But in Rajendran`s hands she would groom out well .That was their belief .Before the couple set off Sumalatha`s father called Rajendran to his side and told him "Son, I am very lucky to have got you a son in law .I know my daughter would be safe in your hands .But dear, she is a bit too pampered .Please don’t mind her little tantrums ..She was and still is very fond of romantic novels .So at this moment you too would be one of her heroes just out of her novels and she would be expecting all those exaggerated actions and melodramas from you too. "He stopped for a moment to search Rajendran`s face for a reaction. Finding none he started "why I am telling all this is because, she might take a few days or weeks to adjust to your way of living and reality .You must excuse her’’ . Rajendran was very polite when he replied to his father in law." No dad, I have no qualms about whatever her nature is .Because I consider her so fortunate to have had you both as her parents .I can very well adjust to all her childishness .Just don’t worry .I love her too much to bother about all these little mistakes " With that note he set off with his newlywed wife to a life he dreamt of ..
Sumalatha was a very coy and obedient wife, unlike her father's predictions .Because that was what she had read in her novels. So Rajendran had no complaints. Days of glorious happiness and sweet nothings passed by. Honey moon was slowly giving way to realities. His leave was over and he was off to office .Sumalatha had just his old uncle to keep her company in their new house .So she went about her daily chores without much interest .Actually she had visualized so much more ..It was not as if she found anything wrong with Rajendran .Because he was a perfect husband .But this perfection was not what she had wanted out of married life .She wanted a tinge of ruthlessness, just like some of the heroes from her favorite novels. But she also knew in tandem, that she was being foolish. So she left it all at that. After all life was different from fiction. Months passed by .One morning she got up early as usual to prepare the morning breakfast for her husband and herself .Rajendran`s uncle was away on a pilgrimage .That morning she was finding it all a bit difficult .A kind queasy feeling .As if she had taken the wrong food and her stomach was upset .But at the same time she was also worried about her missed periods. Without letting her condition hinder with the daily chores, she went about it .But within a few moments she ran to the bathroom and was retching over the wash basin. “OH! God! "She was feeling giddy and she was also feeling the inevitable thing coming her way .Yes she was pregnant .No doubt about that .But waited for the doctor to confirm it .So after preparing the breakfast she told Rajendran "Raj have to go out to my friend's house near here.." Just yesterday when I went to the supermarket, I met her accidentally .Seems she is staying quite nearby .Do you mind'?" Of course I don’t mind .In fact I am happy for you .You wouldn't feel bored when I am away.' With that note, he walked away. Sumalatha finished her work fast and called an auto and went to the nearby clinic. She tested her urine and to her dismay she found herself to be pregnant. But she did not lose any time .She went to the gynecologist to confirm on how many months she was in her pregnancy .Because she had missed two or three periods without showing any symptoms of pregnancy .Being immersed in her virtual dreams, she had overlooked her pregnancy too. She came with a heavy heart .Getting pregnant was the last thing she had wanted .It was not thus in any of the novels she had read .In almost all of them ,the hero was a swashbuckler ,who would take his lady love to all the romantic adventures possible ..Pregnancy would come after a few years .But here in her case it was all so different. She knew very well that once a child is born, then the entire attention would be on to the child .Romance would just fly out of the window. Pondering on all the negative aspects of being a mother, Sumalatha started to get worried .She walked about the house like a caged animal .She was not at all ready for the motherhood .How dare Rajendran instill such status on her, without her consent .But she knew Rajendran to be a passive person, who was interested in relations and attachments .Since he was an orphan, she was sure that Rajendran would never ever consent to an abortion .So it was her turn to take that decision. But now her thoughts turned to how to convince Thoughts were occupying most of Sumalatha`s vigil hours .That started showing on her daily activities .So one day Rajendran decided to ask her." Suma, what, what is eating in to your system .I see you walking around like a zombie .why? Is everything Ok with you?”Rajendran was really feeling concerned for her .Because she was such a chirpy and frolicking girl a few days back .Now he was feeling apprehensive .What if he was the reason for her dullness ? May be she was missing her parents .May be this present state of affairs were alien to her and she must be getting bored .But he wanted to make sure that he was wrong .So again he confronted her "Darling, please do tell me what is worrying you? Don't tell me that it is nothing .I can see that you are damn worried." Rajendran was really concerned. Sumalatha warded off his concern and anxiety with just a "No nothing at all .You are just anticipating it." But she stole that chance to tell him about the fabricated plot she had made as an initial start to do away with the child she was carrying.
Coyly she went to Rajendran`s side and started teasing him with her eyes-the first weapon a woman uses against a man to flirt .Yes ,a woman can make a man dance to her tunes with her age old power of teasing sexually and flirting .. "Raj, I want to go to my house for a few days .Do you mind?" She knew very well that Rajendran did not want her out of his sight while he was home from the office "Now don’t tell me that you are going to miss me .Because I would be away only for a day or maximum two 'She waited. “But what is the big need all of a sudden to see your parents "Raj was getting a bit annoyed and she was able to feel it "It is just that I have to visit my doctor, I mean my family doctor .Because I have been missing my periods .This used to happen even when I was a in college .It was she who regularized it then .But now it has occurred hence again .If we are to start a family, which you are overly interested in, it is better I go and see my doctor. Because she is the best person as far as my problem is concerned .As she has treated me before too …"Sumalatha heaved a sigh of relief .Because she could see a change of emotion in Raj eyes." Poor Raj. "She thought to herself.' He had completely believed it all .She also knew that the concern was more so because he was anxiously waiting for her to get pregnant. It was with great care and difficulty that she warded off getting pregnant so far. But unfortunately she thought of resorting to safe period instead of contraceptive pills, for a change .Experimenting with life was a kind of hobby for her. Rajendran was unaware of all her doings. Had he got an inkling as to what her decision was, he would have objected hands down.. Suma knew that better than anyone else .That was why she was fabricating a master plan... Even though nilly willy, Rajendran agreed to her going .Sumalatha felt all the pieces falling in her favor .wow! That was what her mind was whispering to her all throughout the journey towards her parent's house. Sumalatha`s parents were a bit worried as to why she had decided to come all by herself and their worry was double folded when she told them that she had lied to her husband about the real reason why she was there . Sumalatha`s father Gopinathan Nair was otherwise a very sedate person .But on hearing about her intention to abort the child made him very irate .He tried to reason with her .But he had to give up his decision in front of Sumalatha`s tears ."Dad I am not yet prepared for mother hood .So if I enter in to mother hood without my liking, then I might end up being a very bad mother .Do you want me to be thus .Don't you also think that it would be much better if I am also ready for it. 'She had taken on a very pathetic note on to her speech. But although he knew that his daughter was unnecessarily cajoling for a very unreasonable need ,he was not able to deny her ,her pleasures So at last he agreed .Sumalatha`s mother had no say in any matters .But even she was against her daughter's decision .But she kept quiet . Since the gynecologist was a family friend of theirs, she agreed to the abortion .But even to her they had to tell some convincing lies .It was only on the credibility of those lies that she agreed. Sumalatha was already three months pregnant. Since her symptoms came a bit too late even she was not aware of it. It was a strange occurrence .But stranger things do occur at times. Two days later while Sumalatha was happily relaxing in her house, she got a phone call from her doctor aunty. Suma is that you?" the doctor enquired '"Yes doctor aunty,"'Sumalatha’ beamed happily .She was still too over whelmed to contain her happiness. She was free of her pregnancy and that too without Rajendran`s knowledge '''What more could she ask for. The doctor was already speaking "Suma, let me tell you something .Your fetus was a female one .You should not have done the abortion …It was by some luck that no harm had come to you let me give you a piece of advice .Please don't ever attempt an abortion in future .Because one abortion is worse than ten pregnancies .." Sumalatha said a monotonous "Yes" to her and called off. The very next day she went home beaming with life .Rajendran was quite moody .He asked her why she was feeling so happy at being away from him. “No dear "Sumalatha told him." It is not because I was away from you that I am happy .It is simply because I am fine now .The doctor has given me good medicines to make my period cycle a regular one .With God's grace I would be alright hence forth .'With that note that conversation stopped. Life went on in an even keel. Sumalatha got back all the fiction romance from her dear husband .At times he brought the question of starting a family .But every time such talk came up she told him to give her some more time. Rajendran thought it better to oblige her, as she was supposed to be on some medicines .How little did he know about the truth!!……….. Four years passed by. Four years of happiness and romance .Rajendran was a perfect husband to Sumalatha`s romantic trivialities .Because he understood her the best .She was a pampered child .So her world was something out of her novels .Rajendran was just the opposite .Life was a kind of traumatic experience for him .All that he learnt from life was all that he had experienced. But being a very understanding person, he was willing to adjust .It was more so because he loved his wife very much. It was from out of the blue that one neighbor's once insisted on her seeing a doctor .She was a gossip monger .So it was her way of forming a gossip. Suma why don't you see a doctor about your problem?" "What problem"? Sumalatha was curious .Come on Suma, I know that Rajendran is indeed craving for a child .Now what is stopping you from having a child .The other day he was seen at the hospital .Why? is something the problem "? "No nothing is the matter "You are unnecessarily bringing in a problem " Sumalatha was indeed worried now. But she did not show it. That night she confronted Rajendran "Raj what is your problem? Why did you go to the hospital?" Rajendran did not beat around .He came straight to the matter."Suma you know it too well that we have been trying for a child since eight months .Or don’t you remember .But then why is it that we are not getting one? “So I wanted to make my path clear." There is nothing wrong with me .In fact I was wanting to tell you about it all after I was confirmed about my condition .But you seem to have known it all .Thanks to our dear neighbour " Yes he was right .Sumalatha had given green signal for having a child. Because she was also starting to feel bored keeping just the two of them rekindling some fake romance .She had also slowly realized that fiction was different from facts.. And now come to think of that, he was right .They were not begetting a baby.. Oh God! Was something terribly wrong with her now? She did not waste much time. The very next day she visited her doctor and certain tests were taken .Life was turning sour .Or at least that was what Sumalatha felt during the days she was waiting for the results .
Then it happened. Doctor told her that she had lost the ability to become pregnant .Her first abortion had done the damage .That biological trauma had really marred her and made her barren Life stopped for Sumalatha .She did not know what to do .Of recent she too was craving for a child .But looked as if life was taking it turns to repay her bad deeds 'Sumalatha felt the world collapsing around her . The romance, the fun frolic .Everything gave way to prayers and medicines .Rajendran understood her trauma .Because he was also in the same boat as her. A baby was all he hoped for. Misfortunes never came alone .So that was what happened with Sumalatha too .Her dear brother and his wife died on a plane crash and their little boy who was just five years old was an orphan .Sumalatha`s grief knew no bound .She went to her parents’ house .On seeing the little boy Akhilesh, her heart went to him. Rajendran asked her to stay with her parents for a few days as he was going on tour to Mumbai. Sumalatha felt herself bloom even in spite of her traumatic experiences and the loss of her dear brother and his wife .The reason was none other than the little baby Akhilesh .She started doting on him as if he was her own child .Often she thought that her prayers were getting fulfilled in the form of Akhilesh .So one day she presented this matter to her parents "Dad, what do you say to my adopting this child .You know that I can`t beget a child .And Akhilesh is none other than my own flesh and blood .My brother's soul would be able to rest in peace ,if I adopt this child .Don't you think so dad ?" "Yes, Suma "her dad seconded her opinion." You are very correct .Your mother and I have become old and sick .So Akhilesh would feel more comfortable and happy with you. But don’t you want to ask Rajendran, about his opinion."?" No dad, he would not say no to my wishes .I know him so well. So that was decided and when Rajendran returned from Mumbai ,this happy turn of events were imparted to him .He was very happy as was expected out of him. Life went back to being fun and happiness once again .Akhilesh brought a new meaning in to Sumalatha`s life .She was always busy petting and pampering him .Rajendran was also equally attentive of all his needs .Akhilesh was a very brilliant boy .He was in class one and was the class leader too .He resembled His father so much that Sumalatha started feeling pangs of sorrow engulfing her .Because looking at Akhilesh ,she was always made to remember her dear Brother Sumesh and his infinite love for her .But she consoled herself with the comforting thought that God had given her golden chance to show how important and lovable her dear brother would always be to her .. Time flew past waiting for none .Now Sumalatha was a woman of fifty and a widow .Somewhere along her happiness Destiny played truant and snatched away her dear husband .But he had made her comfortable financially while alive and she had some family wealth to lean back to .Although money was not much problem ,Sumalatha found loneliness bothering her .Akhilesh had grown up in to a handsome young man of 26.He was a Bank employee .Before he got the job Sumalatha had a lot of time to be with him .So she did not have much friends .But with Akhilesh away her thoughts went back to her on work ,she was trying it hard to adjust to the lonely ways .Often glorious days with Rajendran and the daughter she never had .Had she not aborted her ,she would have been a beautiful young girl of 22 or 23 ..Akhilesh could have married her too .Such soothing thoughts made her exist in her dreams alone .Because now her dreams had more substance .She craved for those times She mentally cursed her fictitious existence during those times. When it was too late she had realized that the glory of a married life was the family .Sex and romance had such trivial parts to play in a marriage Yes they were necessary to concrete an everlasting basement to the marriage institution .But clutching on to that basic instincts alone would do nothing to enhance an everlasting bliss. She realized it more than any one. Sumalatha heaved a deep sigh and went about doing all the house hold chores. It was my mere coincidence that Akhilesh chanced to watch Sumalatha go about her works with not much interest .He had thought so about her listlessness a few weeks back .But he was so tied up with heavy work in the Bank, that he forgot to ask her the reason for her lethargy .But now was the chance .He called her "Mom." That was how he addressed her ever since he became a part of her life I had noticed since a few weeks, that you are showing some lack of interest in everything .Why? Is everything ok with you? Or should we consult a doctor? 'Sumalatha was so overwhelmed by her son's concern .No dear ,it is just that I am a bit bored doing all the work .It is so monotonous .Being a village area ,there aren't much places where we can go or many neighbors. Any way it is ok I will get over this listlessness by and by .Just don’t mind me dear. Sumalatha consoled him .How can she ever tell him that she was unhappy over all her past follies .It would all sound so silly to him. Yes Sumalatha decided it is indeed silly to think and worry about what could have been .God has forgiven her of all her follies .That was why she was awarded with a golden son. One day while gazing out of her bedroom window she saw a small house next to her backyard ".How was it that I had never noticed a house there so far. I was so immersed in wallowing about my on tragedies that I have even forgotten my whereabouts. She told to herself .She decided she would go there .Akhilesh had told her that he would be away for a day or two .So she decided she would spend some time with her nearby neighbor .At least that would be like a breather to her engulfing loneliness.
That evening she went to that house and knocked .An Old lady came out .She was finding it a bit difficult to walk by herself .So there was young girl of twenty or twenty one with her .Sumalatha introduced herself. They ushered her in to the verandah .The old lady told her granddaughter "Meena, please bring in a chair .So that we can sit here. It is so breezy here today. That old lady's name was Ammukutty amma. She was staying alone with her grand daughter Meena .Meena's parents had separated and had gone their own ways .No one had any time for little Meena .The truth was that Meena's mother had eloped with her lover since college days .On finding this out her father has become a sot and blamed it all on poor Meena .What could a little girl of three do, if her parents decide to turn to their own wild ways? But Meena's grandmother had taken up the responsibility of her and had moved in to this house since then .At that time her grandmother had a decent job .But now old age and sickness had crept in making her life so miserable .She was existing only for Meena .“You know Sumalatha .My sole aim now is to see that Meena is married well in to a decent family .So I can die in peace.”She stopped her volley of words with a deep sigh. Sumalatha`s heart went to her .In her initial meeting itself Ammukutty amma had opened her heart so much to her .That itself showed how much desperate she was to see Meena marry well . A very natural and sincere concern .Sumalatha immediately liked Ammukutty amma very much .Besides Meena was such a pretty girl. She pacified Ammukutty amma thus "Sister, don't worry about anything .You have brought up your grand child in the best possible way .You have never made her feel the absence of her parents .Don't you think God almighty would grand you your wishes."? 'Just don’t worry .Everything would sort out well". Sumalatha became a regular visitor to that house hold .She regained her lost vigour. Now she was grafting certain plans in her heart .She loved her next door girl .So why not make her own daughter in law? .Designs were already forming in her mind now, Only difference was that this time it was all for her son and not for herself .She couldn't wait to tell Akhilesh about it all. One Sunday morning Akhilesh was relaxing with a cup of coffee. Sumalatha approached him and sat next to him." What is it Mom? I know there is something you want to tell me. Now come on tell me without much beating around." Akhilesh waited. "No dear, it is nothing .Just that I feel it is time for you get married .You knows why I am telling you thus .I has already found the girl." Sumalatha stopped and gave him a mocking wink." What, you have already found the girl too? But how you did it all by sitting in the house? That is something really great. Not bad for an old lady." Akhilesh teased her .He was still not able to believe her."
Who is old? Well I am not. Ok?" Sumalatha pretended anger. They laughed and joked for some more time. Akhilesh was feeling very happy .Because his mother was happy. The new neighbours have brought back cheer and life in to his mother's life .At least she was able to ward of her loneliness in his absence .He thanked those next door neighbours with his mind.. One day he decided to go with his mother to that house. But how come she had found out his future wife too? He decided to ask his mother .Sumalatha then told him about Meena and her grandmother Ammukutty amma. How wonderful they were and the entire trauma they had to undergo. Akhilesh listened to it all with baited breath and without battling his lids .It was all so thrilling and wonderful .Even without seeing Meena and Ammukutty amma ,he was already fond of them .No wonder his mother felt the same .So he told his mother excitedly ."Mom let us go to that house today evening itself .I can't wait to see her. We shall surely go there e, son .And I am sure you are going to like Meena immensely .I feel so happy now .God is indeed great." Suma finished with a sigh .That evening they both went to Meena's house .The doors were all closed .So Sumalatha knocked .But there was no answer. `Probably they must have gone out somewhere. Come son .Let us come back tomorrow." Sumalatha turned back to her house .But Akhilesh was not moving .There was something very wrong .The house looked dilapidated and unused .There were so many old and dried leaves scattered around there .Some dirty cobwebs were dangling around the shut windows and doors .On the whole the house looked as if it hadn't been occupied since months or years. How come that mother found sanctity and happiness here with those two people .Something was very fishy .Akhilesh was getting apprehensive of something untoward happening .Any way he decided to probe further in to the matter with out his mother's knowledge . That night he went to the nearby shop and enquired about that house and it`s inmates .The answer he got shocked him out of his skin. The shop keeper told him that the house was unoccupied since a few years as there was a case running about its ownership .He didn't know the details .But one thing he was sure .That is, there wasn’t anyone staying there since so many years! Akhilesh felt as if the earth was moving out from under his feet .He realized with shock that his mother was hallucinating .The doctors would give this type of insanity some funny names .But he did not know what to do .How can he bring his mother to distinguish between fiction and facts .She was already living in that hallucinatory world `Oh God! Am I losing my mother completely?" Akhilesh started to weep silently. On reaching home he found his mother sulking." Come on mom, .It is not the end of the world .They would come back tomorrow .And then we would again go to their house and see them .So cheer up "Akhilesh was seething in side. Next day he took leave and took her to a psychiatrist .There in the presence of the doctor he tried to reason with her .But Sumalatha was not able to believe anything what they told her .So she started fighting back adamantly .On insistence she shouted so highly that she swooned .And that was the first attack she got .Because somewhere along the arguments she came in contact with realities and she was not able to give in .Yes she realized in flashes that she had fabricated it all .But soon she slipped in to the utopian world she had created .The conflicting thoughts and mentalities broke her heart and she collapsed. Sumalatha was admitted in to the ICU. The doctor told him that she was recouping slowly .And that, she was under good watch .Akhilesh prayed to everything he held sacred, for his mother's complete recovery .He decided to take some leave once she got better .So they could go on a long holiday to some health resort .Thinking thus he dozed off. It was late in to the night .Sumalatha slowly woke up in her ICU bed .She found so many tubes and wires attached to her." What was wrong with me "? She wondered .She tried to recapture the past things. Yes, she could very well remember going to Meena's house .But they were not there and they had come back with a decision to return the next day .But then what happened after that .She could remember a pain shoot through her somewhere during the night .Yes now she was able to recapture some dialogues that passed between her son and herself . Akhilesh was telling her that she was imagining things. "As if, that next door house was empty .Then what of Meena and Ammukutty amma." Sumalatha felt her head throbbing again .She wanted to shout. But no sound came. There was a sister next to her bed .But she was sleeping. Sumalatha waited a while and was about to call her nurse, when a slight tapping was heard on the door .Then slowly the door opened and Meena came in. Sumalatha was so happy to see her .She said "thank God you are here dear. Just now I was wondering where you all had gone .See, I had come to your house with Akhilesh .Actually I was having some other ideas about you and Akhilesh "She stopped for a moment and looked at the sleeping nurse .Then continued." Dear Meena .I have certain plans for you and Akhilesh .I shall tell you about it all when I come home .Actually you are my daughter whom I never had because of my own vile ways .But let us not delve in to it all ""Yes" we have to delve in to it .That is why I am here" Meena interrupted. She stared fixedly at Sumalatha`s face and said slowly." I am your daughter, .Yes the daughter whom you aborted ,I had wanted to live and get your love and care .I had ambition and aspirations .But you snuffed it all in the prime itself .How could you amma .Don't you feel remorse? .Don't you want to pet me and pamper me ?
" Meena was cajoling and forcing. “Yes dear …"Sumalatha started to weep .The tears of remorse and guilt flowed down her cheeks .How much she had wanted to rectify her wrong doings .Now her daughter was here .God is merciful ."Amma.Don`t you want to be with me…Then, come, and get up "With that Meena guided her out of the bed…. The night duty nurse who was sleeping soundly jolted up hearing a loud thud .She was stunned to see Sumalatha lying face down near the toilet. She ran to the duty doctor and all of a sudden there was total mayhem. The doctor came in and so did Akhilesh .They carried Sumalatha in to the bed and tried all the possible methods. But in vain! Akhilesh stood near his mother's funeral pyre and wept inconsolably. It was drizzling slightly when the funeral blaze shot high up .Akhilesh looked heaven ward .He felt as if his mother was smiling down at him and telling him that she was at last with her daughter - That daughter she had aborted in this mortal world!!!