“Let me alone, let me die now,” the words rang in Rakesh’s head as his sky blue Ambassador arrived outside his small yellow house. The cricket game broke up in haste, as he stepped out dressed all in white. “I have my duty toward him, this tonic might be exactly what he needs to get better,” Rakesh said out loud as he stepped towards his house. Rakesh stretched out his hand as one of the boys ran up to him to take his bag, and escort him up the steps. “Will you have tea?” his wife called, “or a Coca Cola? Shall I fry you some samosas?” But he did not reply or even glance in her direction; he would talk to her later. Ever a devoted son, Rakesh went first to the corner where his father sat gazing, stricken, at some undefined spot in the dusty yellow air that swan before him. He had to make sure his father started taking the medicine as soon as possible. His father did not turn his head to look at him. But he stopped gobbling air with his lips and set his jaw as hard as a sick and very old man could set it. “Papa,” he said, tenderly, sitting down on the edge of the bed and reaching out to press his father’s feet. His father tucked his feet away, out of Rakesh’s way, and continued to gaze stubbornly into the yellow air of the summer evening. “Papa, I’m home,” said Rakesh, trying diligently to get his father’s attention. His father’s hand jerked suddenly, in a sharp, derisive movement, but he did not reply. “How are you feeling, Papa?”
Finally his dad turned and looked at him. His face was so out of control and full of emotions, all in pieces, that the multitude of expressions that crossed it could not make up a whole and convey to him what was going on in his father’s head. “I’m dying, let me die, I tell you,” His weak voice grumbled. Rakesh became concerned, giving his father a loving smile. “Papa, you’re joking.” “I’ve brought you a new tonic to make you feel better. You must take it, it will make you feel stronger...
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