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Life moves on

My Uncle Balan Chithappa whose family gave us refuge when we landed in Bangalore after my mother’s death and looked after us when we were growing up died in 1987 after a protracted illness (cancer in the mouth due to tobacco addiction) and a few years later his wife that is my chithi also passed away late in the nineties. She was like a mother to all of us. Ramani their only son was being looked after by them ever since he was incapacitated by knee problem and needed some one’s help. He had earlier lost his dear wife Lalitha leaving an only son. Jana his sister stayed with him even after her marriage to Prakash so that she could take care of him. Ramani who was of my brother Kitchu’s age had suffered much physically over the years. He was close to me.

Jaya’s aged father lived in his native village with no one to look after him. His second daughter lived in Coimbatore as also his only son who was not married. I suggested to him to come and stay in Bangalore and since he was not willing to stay with us I found him accommodation in an Old Age Home very close to our home where we could keep in touch with him. We visited him almost every day and enquired about his health. His son paid for his expenses. After a year’s stay in the Home he passed away in 1997.

I had more or less withdrawn from all my activities. I stopped going out to movies (English) in the theatres, stopped going to the stadium to watch football or hockey except a few important ones and stopped playing T.T. I was not even interested to watch my cricket team play in the league. The team was just a shadow of the former all conquering team that I had raised in the 60s to the 80s. Many of the old stalwarts had retired and very few new players had been recruited to carry on. The team was even demoted to the lower division one year while the other Bank teams flourished recruiting new players every year. The Bank Management had altogether abandoned sports activities in the Bank. A sorry state of affairs, indeed it was. All the sportspersons in the Bank recalled fondly the time I was in charge.

I had been living in the spacious house at 416, 9th Main for well over ten years now and had grown so much attached to it that all of us never for a moment thought that we would leave the place one day. Located ideally on the main road in a clean locality our neighbours were envious of our house with luscious green trees in the spacious front yard. I had taken a lot of care in maintaining the surroundings of the house by raising a number of fruit bearing trees and flowering plants.

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