The final redemption


At 28, he was beyond redemption. Drugs, alchohol, nicotine, women, theft… he had done them all! The de-addiction centres offered no more hope.

Her last hope was this pilgrimage by foot. They had covered most of the journey. This was the final leg. The famous dilapidated temple was just across the railway track.

She crossed the tracks and waited for him. He dragged his feet along, slow enough to show how resentful he was of her attempts at ‘rehabilitation’.
‘Try to walk faster..‘, she coaxed.
‘You’re pathetic!!‘ he spat angrily.

She looked crestfallen.

He plugged in his iPod to drown her unspoken words. He had heard enough. He knew what he wanted. To float away on clouds of Ecstasy. And she, was the biggest obstacle! He hated the sight of her. Sad, angry, begging. In turns. All day long!!! Well, atleast, she didn’t cry bucketloads any longer. That was a relief!

Then, she saw it coming. He didn’t. Eyes half-closed, he was swaying to the music in his ears.

It was nearing. She opened her mouth to speak. But her mouth went dry. She put out a hand, to caution him.

‘Buzz off and leave me alone!!!!’ he murmured.

Alarmed, she looked into his eyes.

Baby eyes that once had opened in wonder. Eyes that had once danced with joy, accompanied by the lilting sound of happy gurgles.

Eyes that had once quite blindly trusted in her.

Eyes that had slowly started questioning her authority.

Eyes that had then turned angry in rebellion.

Too soon, it had become too late! The same eyes had turned vacant, and cold. And when she had tried to reign them in, they had seemed almost murderous.

And then, he finally noticed! His eyes widened in fear. She knew that look. He was almost begging, for her to try to rescue him. One more time.

She needed to think. A millisecond went by. And by then, it was all over!

The grass around the track was splattered in red. A bright shade of red, that she knew was the same as her own.

She clutched at her breast. As if to hold the heart that was slowly and irreversibly crumbling into a zillion pieces.

And in that deafening silence, she let out a loud scream. In relief. Then, she screamed again. And again. In horror. At what had just happened. She pounded the grass with her bare fists. Furious, at the way a beautiful life had been wasted.

Spent, she dragged her tired feet towards the temple. The shrine was closed. She slowly climbed the steps. When she reached the top, she almost staggered backwards in exhaustion. She quickly sat down, and lay her forehead on the cool stone pillars. She imagined the beautiful face of the deity inside the shrine. It shone of kindness. 

‘Thank you!‘ she whispered. And then broke into tears. She banged her forehead on the pillar until it bled. Then, she hugged herself tightly. And tried to remember his face. She saw in it, the beautiful eyes that had hated and distrusted, but still needed her.

‘Amma….’ – she would never hear that word again.

————————————————————————————————————

Folks, this post is dedicated to all those parents who struggle helplessly with children who fall into drugs and other vices.

To parents who deserve better.

To parents who have loved and lost.

Specially, to those parents, who look back longingly, on a Life that could have been spent so differently, and so much better.

————————————————————————————————————-

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49 thoughts on “The final redemption

  1. Extremely heartwrenching..brought a tear to my eye. You captured the essence of it so well Pallo !! Gosh you should really write a book. I loved the part where she whispered ‘thank you’ at the shrine. To thank the Lord for freeing him; and to save him from ruining himself further, I guess.

    Urmi, thank you so much, my dear 🙂 You hit the nail on the head.. the mother was thankful for ‘freeing him’. Imagine the plight of the woman 😦

  2. Your story sent a shiver down my spine…it was gory..but I guess that is the way life is…
    Parents of children who are addicts suffer so much humiliation, shame, anger and even doubt their upbringing…its truly sad..

    Thank you for your comment, LP 🙂 You found it gory? Gee, I didn’t intend it that way 🙂 But yes, its very humiliating and depressing for parents of such kids.

  3. one of urs best pal… it moved me… send shivers down my spine

    very well written

    its a sad state for the parents of the addict kids actually its a sad statte for every one including them

    Thanks so much, Mon! It is a really sad state, because children do not want to listen to parents, like Sandhya says below, they think they know BEST! And they ruin themselves and the life of the parents too :-9

    1. I dont think I will place the blame totally with kids and say that its a sad state because they dont listen.
      I don’t either, Mon. But some attributes are inborn, and no matter how much parents try, they simply cannot make some kids change!

      I agree they dont the thing is that we never try and get to the point that WHY they dont listen and trust me more often than not its something that the parents have pushed them knowingly or unknowingly.
      Yes, there are cases where parents have knowingly/unknowingly pushed kids onto the wrong path!! Either way, it ruins the family!

  4. Wow! You know I started writing to express the undercurrents that I felt i could see. Those undercurrents are expressed here so well. What a story!

    Thank you so much, Ritu. The life of a parent can be rather challenging indeed!!

  5. Wow! That was really well written…I have seen parents like that…parents that have no idea what to do with their kids who think they know best…parents that are helpless… great post Pal!

    Thank you, PB. God bless such parents with enough strength to yank their children off the wrong path, and to the correct one!!

  6. Feel sad. It is very difficult to handle this type of children.

    Very well narrated story. Looked as real.

    Thank you, Sandhya. It is every parent’s nightmare to have a adamant child who gets into wrong company!

  7. Tragic and very scary.
    Very well written Pal, you shook me with this one.
    Thank you, CB. Didn’t mean to scare anyone though. Sadly, this is a common reality.

    P.S. – Congratulations… you’ve won the ‘Charmed’ contest on my blog.
    Hop over to collect your prize 🙂

    Cheers!!
    Hey, that’s great news , thank u 🙂

  8. You always manage to leave me Comment-less with your stories. This one really touched my heart as I knew someone who went through all this pain.
    Thank you, Sanski. I feel awful for the person you are referring to…it is such a desperate situation and nothing/nobody can help!!

    It’s such a sad thing when you don’t realize how precious life is and give in to these addictions and let it control you. Well written Pal.
    Really!!! I wish kids would realise that their ‘ecstasy’ is only for those few minutes, whereas their distruction is for life!

    1. Oh don’t worry, the person I know was extremely lucky. I don’t know if it was the love or the support he got from everyone near him, he did make it through. He is healthy, happy, kicked the habit and going to marry next month.

      We did shower him silly with love when he was going through the hard phase and I do firmly believe Love can make miracles happen 🙂

      Awww, that is so nice, Saksh. Really!!! And like you said, Love can work wonders 🙂

  9. Pal, I really donno what to say. This is one of your best ! Lovved the narration. lovved the last few lines after the story.
    Thanks soooo much, Vimmu!

    Btw, moral of this story : never use an Ipod while travelling, even on foot !:D
    LOL 😛 Little imp 🙂

  10. Oh my! one of the best post I’ve read in recent times.
    Have seen such a pair of parents…and it still hurts to think of their sorrow.
    After all that happened, they still blame themselves, for not having spotted the slow changes.

    Thank you, Scorpia. That’s the saddest part, parents feel so responsible and ‘blame themselves’ when each kid is actually hard-wired in a certain way. There isn’t much the parents can do, except TRY to change the kid’s habits. My heart goes out to the parents you know, who were in this situation 😦

  11. Sigh! Feeling a void in my heart just reading this one 😦 Parents who hv to go thru this .. I can’t even imagine!

    Very very well written Pal 🙂

    Thanks, Swaram. Thank you 🙂

  12. Pals…written really really well..and it does take some time to get back to normal routine after reading this….touching and moving…My sincere prayers for those parents who have been through this and are going thru this …

    Lavy, thank you my dear 🙂 God bless every parent with the strength to help their kids. And kids with enough common sense to accept the help!!

  13. Very sad 😦 I can not imagine how a parent would feel when the child you spent every night waking up to look after suddenly turn on you, for no fault of yours, and see you as their arch enemy !

    Yeah, Aathira. Unfortunately, almost every child sees the parent in this light, at some point of time or the other!! Some manage to see sense at the end of their rebellious phase, whereas others just sink deeper and deeper!

    1. I just want to say THANK YOU, to all you lovely people, who read this story WITHOUT being judgemental about the character/wishes of the mother or the son. Makes me feel blessed to be friends with people like you 🙂 Thanks!!

  14. Oh Pals, I dont have any words to express what I’m feeling right now. I’m shaken up here after reading this poignant post of yours.

    This is one of the best reads I’ve had in a while. I loved your ‘armchair ‘post, but this one has me immensely moved.

    Take a bow, Pals! Kudos to your writing..its inspiring, truly it is 🙂

    Thank u SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much, Deeps. What more can I say? Just so grateful for friends who are so appreciative of the writing and non-judgemental of the characters 🙂

  15. As a parent..these are the kind of horrors you pray will stay away from your child.. So can imagine the anguish a mom goes through on realizing one of her worst case scenarios has come true.
    The feverish prayers..the loss..the last thread of hope.. So well expressed.

    Exactly.. this is one of the worst fears of every parent! Thank you for your comment, Nam 🙂

  16. This was heartrending Pal. So beautifully told. The mother’s love pervades the story like it pervades our life. Subtle and ethereal yet it stands out so beautifully. Nothing can replace a mother’s love and care. Have you read Night Of The Scorpion by Nissim Ezekiel? My eyes were filled with tears after reading the poem. Such are mothers. Keep writing such stories. Keep pulling at our heartstrings 🙂

    1. Ajay,
      Thank you so much for sharing the poem ‘Night of the Scorpion’. Hadn’t heard of it until you mentioned it, and I just googled to find out what it was about. And the tears have just about stopped. Absolutely beautiful. Every parent thinks that way 🙂 Thank you for your comment 🙂
      -Pallavi

  17. That was so soul stirring, Pal. It is so tough, isn’t it? The life of a parent whose child falls victim to some vice like this..

    You have written it so beautifully! The mother’s pain and anguish is out there, and raw.. You have such a way with words, Pal!

    Thank you, Smitha. Yes, it is very tough on the family!!

  18. Beautifully written..poignant..words fail to express what I felt..I should thank Deeps for showing this to me in fb. Great work Pal…

    Thank you so much, Sindhu. Thanks, Deeps, for sharing this post 🙂 I wonder how many families are going through this every single day!

  19. Sad .. but like they say way of life.. What can parents do if kids turn out like that.. I am not saying its nobody’s fault…
    Both have faults the kids and the parents .. maybe the parents did not have time too busy in life to talk to there kids, distance grew and what started as a lets try it out , for a kid became a addiction…

    Cant blame one person in this … both lots of MAYBE’s come into action .. maybe this or that …

    but a good story , really nice way of putting it … all the best

    Thanks so much, Bikram. A lot of things could go wrong, and they often lead to ruin!!

  20. Good Pal. Brutal but real.

    Parents who don’t know what to do about their kids when they are grown up. May be death freed him . May that was his only way to his redemption .

    All those mothers whose kids have gone into terrorism also comes to my mind . I wonder in between how would their parents feel . Or their kids .

    1. @ Aswathy: Yes, Ash, Its very depressing. If only every child could grow up sound and sane, and in good hands, then the world itself would be a better and happier place.

      @ Shail: Thank you so much!

  21. one of your best creations ever! I`m sitting here stunned.. I love the way you weave such vivid imageries with your play of words, Pal! I esp loved these lines.

    “And in that deafening silence, she let out a loud scream. In relief. Then, she screamed again. And again. In horror. At what had just happened. She pounded the grass with her bare fists. Furious, at the way a beautiful life had been wasted.”

    Ah! Beautiful!

    1. @ Mish: Thank you sooo very much!! Now you left me speechless at such a generous compliment 🙂

      @ LR: True, words can really not do complete justice to the emotional trauma that the child and family face!!! Thank you!!

    1. Oh I was waiting for your feedback, Quirky!! Thank u 🙂 U’ve been rather off radar lately… did the ‘Kites’ blow you away??

  22. Pal, thats a good one…you are becoming more and more better at story telling. 🙂

    Thank you, Uma. Thanks to encouraging words from friends like you 🙂

  23. Wow, this was so heart-rending!
    You write awfully well, if there is something like that 🙂
    It was so crisp, so fast, so scary 😦
    Esp the part where she looks into his eyes and remembers his baby eyes

    You’re very kind, Abhi. Thank you, made my day!!

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