Please read first part here.

Second part here.

Savitri sat for a long time or may be it was not such long time. She had no idea. Time lost its meaning. She was startled by a loud bell. She got up and looked out of the door of her room. She saw a lot of old folks walking in twos and threes along the corridor. She blindly joined them as if drawn in. One or two of them gave her a friendly smile. They all walked into a brightly lit dining room.

Everyone seemed to know everyone else. Only Savitri felt left out. She sat in a corner along a large table. The food was served. The people who came along serving had greeting, a kind word for everyone. Savitri smiled mechanically and had her food. It was actually good. She had not expected that.

After food, some of them went back to their rooms, some stayed back to chat. Savitri went back to her room. She tried to sleep, but sleep eluded her.

The thoughts wouldn’t stop.

She had worked and retired as a bank executive. She had started as a cashier and then rose upto the rank of Assistant Branch Manager. Her husband, Rajat had worked in the HR department of a large real estate corporation. They had 2 sons. Their family life was quite a normal one with its usual ups and downs. They had managed well enough to buy a modest apartment in the city and educate their kids.

Both Dilip and Sharat turned out to be good in their studies and aspired to study abroad. Savitri was able to get educational loans for both of them at lower interest rates because of her job at the bank. Dilip and Sharat repaid these loans later.

Time just flew and soon Dilip and Sharat had found jobs in US and UK respectively. They married and settled abroad. Savitri and her husband retired one after another and settled down to a peaceful retired life. They visited their children. Savitri got along well with her daughters-in-law too.

Then Rajat fell ill. He had a heart attack from which he never fully recovered.  Dilip and Sharat, with their spouses had rushed in to help her during the hospitalisation. After Rajat was discharged, they went back to their homes. Savitri became Rajat’s primary caregiver and she did not grudge even one second of it. She managed as well as she could, but Rajat passed away leaving her alone.

After their father’s last rites and other ceremonies, Dilip and Sharat wanted to take Savitri with them. She spent a few months each with Dilip and Sharat. She was happy enough there but, her heart was in her home. After Dilip and his wife went off to work, and the kids to their school, Savitri felt super bored till they came back. She could not go out on her own, she was always stuck at home. Same thing was true at Sharat’s home.

She was happy and contented when she got back. 5 years went by. Age slowly caught up with Savitri. Now, her movements became a bit slow and she would tire easily. Sometimes even bringing groceries and vegetables made her pant for breath. The house too seemed too big for just one person to maintain. And then, the newspapers constantly had stories of elderly people being attacked or robbed.

Dilip and Sharat again insisted that Savitri should not stay alone. But Savitri did not agree to go abroad. She just could not adjust there. So Dilip and Sharat took the decision to move Savitri to an old age home where everything would be well organised and help would be at hand if needed.

At last exhausted, Savitri fell asleep.

to be continued…………………

Written as a part of Novella for #MyFriendAlexa Season 3 hosted by