Send & Receive - A Story
August 25, 2009 11:45am CST
Teeeeeee Teeeeeeeee Teeeeeeee "What Crap!!" I was lying on my bed on a Saturday morning. "Who the hell is banging on the door on a Saturday morning??", I wondered. I stood up, rubbing my eyes, walked upto the door and opened it. "Hello" I looked down and saw a short old lady standing at my door smiling at me. I tried my best to respond in a same tone and said "Hii..." forcing a smile. "Son, I stay in the apartment right above yours. I wanted to discuss with you something." I guess I heard this only because I was too sleepy to pay attention to any small talk at that point of time. Still, I replied, "ok..." "Can I come inside?", she asked. "Yep... sure... ", I led her to my drawing room which was obviously messed up (being a bachelor’s apartment). She looked at the sofa, bent a bit, held the side of the sofa, other hand on the seat, her legs and arms trembling, and she finally bent further and sat down. Well... that for sure opened my eyes. "Son, I am an old woman, so I am sorry if I am bothering you at this time of the day.", she said smiling. "No problems aunt. Please tell me", I said. "Son, I came to know from neighbours that you work in some computer related stuff. I was having a problem in sending an e-mail. I am new to this. I have never worked in this thing. So I thought, may be you could help me", said the old woman smiling. "What the heck! The production support which I do in my company was already on my nerves. And now this lady comes at this time of the day and asks me to repair her computer. Sending an email!...", I thought. "Sure..." "I don’t have an option. Do I?" The latter half was not audible, I hope. "Lets go aunt", I said. "It is such a beautiful morning. The sun’s out, cool breeze, perfect time to go and do some jogging... ", she went on and on... Every statement of hers was followed by "Yeah" from my side. Anyway, we reached her house after what seemed to me like an eternity. It was silent. I could heard something... I guess it was my heartbeat... I could heard her breathing... She looked at my feet and said "You can take out your slippers and keep it over there" "Hmm... A cleanliness freak, huh?" I took out my slippers and went inside. It was one of the most beautiful drawing rooms I have ever seen. "Nobody at home?", I inquired. "I live alone, son", smiled the old woman."Alone??? It was so difficult for me to believe that. This old lady who even found it difficult to sit on a sofa had such a beautiful drawing room with not even a speck of dust!" "There it is, my headache", she pointed towards a laptop on the desk. "Coool... log in... send an email for her and run back to bed", I thought. I switched on the laptop, asked her the login id and password and opened Outlook. "Well... my son bought me this laptop. He is such a sweet boy", she beamed. I smiled back concentrating on the screen. "He came, gave me the laptop, connected everything for me, setup the internet. I don’t know what it does or how it helps; but he told me using internet I can see the world. He taught me how to send the mail; how to receive it; how to make an email; how to start the computer; how to shut the computer down... " Second round! She went on and on... I smiled back nodding. What else to do? "So what is the problem, aunt?”, I said pointing towards Outlook. She looked at the screen. Her eyes almost closed with the radiations from the pc. "I... I used to send mail... ""I don’t know where I can find the mail which I had sent", she said. "In the Sent mails probably ", I replied. "Ahhh... Where’s that? ", she asked with a puzzled look on her face. I took the mouse from her. "Give it to me aunty! Let me show you... "I went to Sent Items and showed her the sent mails. "Aunt, are these the ones you had sent?”, I asked. She touched the screen, clapped her hands in jubilation. "Ohh yesss... wonderful... here they are... they got stuck here... that’s why they did not reach him”, she smiled like a child. I was confused but I guess I understood her ignorance. "Aunt, If you see the mails in this folder which is ‘Sent Items’, this means that the mails have been sent”, I said. "Ohh... You mean that the mails are already sent to him?", she asked. I saw the screen and the name to which the mail was sent.""Yes, aunt. The mail has been sent to Ashwin Tyagi. Who is he?", I asked. "He is my sweeet son. I call him Ashu", she beamed again. "Hmm...""Aunt, why did you think that the mails were not sent?", I asked slightly puzzled. "Son, Ashu told me that if we click on the receive button, we receive emails. So I used to send a mail. Then I used to click on Receive button. And I used to find no email. I again used to send one. I clicked on receive. I found no email. I have been doing this for the past 5 months. I guess you are mistaken. There is surely some problem or the other", she said. My heart skipped a beat. 5 months ? I opened the Sent Items again. My sleepy eyes missed the long list of emails sent to Ashwin when I saw it for the first time. "Dear Ashu, How are you? I hope you are fine. I am missing you so much. Come home some time.""Dear Ashu, Did you get my previous mail? I did not get your reply." "Dear Ashu, I understand you will be busy with your work. Don’t worry, reply whenever you are free." "Dear Ashu, I thought I will mail you. I am doing good. I have made pudding for you. Do come soon." "Dear Ashu, Yesterday I had some pain in my neck. But now it is fine. I applied some balm." ... ... The list was endless... And painful... The last email with the same ID was – "This is a test mail" Swallowing what I saw, I asked her "Aunt, who sent this mail?" "Ohh... this mail was sent by Ashu only to show me how to send the mail", smiled the old woman. I did not know how to react ! "I know there is some problem with the computer. I am sure. He called me a month back. He was in a meeting. So I could not ask him.""He works for a big company; Earns a lot now. I am so proud of him", she smiled. I did not want to. But I did say – "You should be aunt." "Yess...", she said with her charismatic smile, "He is such a grown up now, so responsible. He is married to a beautiful girl who used to be his classmate. Now he has one boy and one girl. Both of them used to work out of town, so they shifted over there 3 years back. He used to call me earlier, but then he got busy. So we could not talk much. My ears started giving me some problem and I was not able to listen to him on phone, so he gave me this laptop”, she said. I was still; I was listening to her and was watching her face glow every time she mentioned her son. "So, can you fix this son?", she asked. I did not want to say that it is working fine. So I lied. "Aunt, I guess, the send button is working fine but the receive button is not working. So Ashu is getting your mail but he does not know that you are not getting his mail. But I don’t know how to fix it." "Ohh...", she looked a bit disappointed. I was silent. This was all I could do. "Can you do me one more favour?”, she asked. "Sure aunt", I said. If I could do anything for her today! "It is very irritating for me to type. Hitting those buttons! It takes me ages to find the characters. If Send thing is working, I want to send one last mail to my son. Can you type one last mail for me?”, she asked me. I had no option. Yet again. But this time I guess I wanted to do it. I wanted to relieve her from this expectation of receiving a mail. "Sure aunt, tell me what should I type”, I opened a new mail. I typed as she recited. "Dear Ashu, This is my neighbour typing from my pc. There seemed to be some problem in sending mails. So I called him to help me. He also works for a big company like you. He found the problem but he does not know how to fix it. The problem is that send button is working fine; but the receive button is not working. Hence, I am not able to receive your mails when I click on the receive button. Son, it has been 5 months. Please come and meet me. I am missing you so much. I do not want this laptop. I do not want to see the world in internet. I just want to see you. Come home. Your mother." I typed the last words. I gasped and turned towards her... I guess I saw tears in her eyes, with the same smile. She wiped the tears off her eyes; smiled again and said "Yess... please send the mail." I clicked on send. She stood up. Turned around. Went to the bedroom. I guess I heard her crying. She came and then hurried towards the kitchen. "Do you love pudding?" she asked. I smiled and replied, "Yes aunt." From the refrigerator she took out the bowl and gave it to me. "Have this. I made it with my own hands", she smiled. I took the bowl from her. And I saw my hands were trembling. "Thanks aunt... Thanks a lot", I said. "Thank you son. I am so sorry that I disturbed you this morning", she said. A small drop of tear fell from my eyes. But I guess I did well in hiding it. "No aunt. Please don’t say so...Do let me know whenever you need me", I said. "Thanks son", she said. I put on my slippers and went outside. "Bye aunt", I said. "Bye son", she said and I saw the last look on her face which saw the loneliness that was going to come. She closed the door. I stopped at the stairs. I cried for the lady who had "sent" her love many a times; but did not "receive" anything in return...
27 Aug 09
Thanks kitty for taking some of your precious time to read my little story. This is the general situation here; children ignoring their parents and going after money & material wealth all the time forgetting the fact that they too will once be like their parents -- old and forgotten