“SP, wait a minute please”

Someone called me from the back when I was entering the diamond -studded first gate of the Heaven’s kingdom.

“Dushtudu, evaru noovu, calling me back, rascal, while entering the mahadwaram, the royal entrance of Swargam? ”

I turned back and yelled at the empty space as no human form could be visible.

Then, I realized it could be only our Chettiar to whom I owe some money. No one was there to follow me beyond the mundane world.

“I left my wallet back at home Chettiar as it was too heavy to carry. I promise that your money with interest will be returned by Ammalu”

“Aren’t you ashamed to think about your worldly wife, even after reaching the Rajagopuam of the Swargam? And you bhArya dasu, slave of your wife, uttered incessantly Ammalu, Ammalu, while leaving the mundane world?”

“If not my wife’s name , whose name you expect me to carry on my lips, your wife’s?”

“Narayana, Narayana, Krishna, Govinda, Samkara, etc etc. There are set names for the final journey. You did not choose any of those divine names!. You know AjAmila, whom God’s men saved from the clutches of Death, as he uttered the name of his son Narayana”

“AjAmila fell for a woman and had ten children from her. Even in my dreams, I haven’t thought about a woman other than my wife”

“I doubt your statement. No married man can make that claim unless something is basically wrong with him. Anyway, I can verify the veracity of your claim from your mother in law, as your wife will speak high about you always. But I didn’t expect you to exit the world uttering incessantly the name of your wife”

“Chetty! ( no more respect for you ) .
Do you know that woman cooked tasty food for me, every time carefully selecting vegetables I liked most, served me in required quantities, stood nearby watching my facial reaction to know whether I liked every item she served, waited with a jugful of water for my hand- wash, handed over a towel to clean my hands, waited near the gate to see me off, waited again in the evening or night till I returned home, with empty stomach, again served food with the same care and love, handed over a roll of betel leaf, made my bed, hummed a tune, as my mother used to do and retired to bed only after making sure that I was asleep and wrapped well. Not for one or two years. For fifty long years. You think I am so ungrateful, not to say a word of thanks while leaving her for ever?”

“You are overacting. I have seen you, walking behind her, like a calf behind the cow, holding her sari”

“Why not ? She gave me my beloved children. She raised them to good men and women. She protected my savings. She was my stick of support when I was about to fall. What was wrong if I held her sari -end and walked around?”

“You were a slave to your wife”

“I’m proud to be called a slave to someone who sacrificed her interests to serve mine.
I have answered your question. Collect my dues from my wife. I’m entering the portals of Swargam”

I could feel someone switching on the light.

“Unusual SP Sir, unbelievable. You, waking up mentioning Swargam!”

It was clearly Ammalu’s voice. I can never go wrong on that. So, it was only a dream!

“Did you hear what all I spoke to Parukutty in my dream?”

“No, I didn’t . Who else were there?”

“All. Alamelu, Ammini, Pattu”

“Chettiar?”

“OMG! You did hear at least a portion of my blab. Forget whatever you heard. I didn’t say a good word about you”

“If I have to hear from your mouth, what you think about me, the years I spent with you were waste. Speech has little demand when a mind speaks to another mind silently.

Speech becomes speech- less in some relationships.

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