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VANI GROWS UP.


The old man was groaning in his restless sleep.

“Selvi, Selvi…Selvi!”

“There goes appa again!”

Raghu sighed as grandpa continued sobbing for his long lost daughter. This had been going on every day, every night, since…Selvi’s death.

Raghu had tried everything under the sky to convince his sightless, deathbed dad that Selvi had long since passed into the unknown…he and his gentle wife were now guardians for the seven year old Vani- Selvi’s only daughter who was in Boarding in a nearby school. Her occasional visit did cheer up grandpa a bit, but he still had not accepted Selvi’s passing.

 Selvi’s husband had abandoned her promptly on learning about her fatal ailment.
***

After 3 years….

Grandpa, though, practically blind and still critically ill, refused to give up his ghost. Some said that he was still waiting to see his beloved Selvi.

Raghu and wife were the epitome of patience, though they were also sad that they couldn’t bring peace to the long suffering appa.

Then one day, Vani breezed in from her boarding school after a long gap and hugging her grandpa, shouted, “Thatha!”

As her uncle Raghu and aunt watched in amazement, thatha suddenly shot up from his bed, and hugging her with all his might shouted excitedly, “Selvi! Selvi! How long I have waited for this day, my dearest daughter. You have come at last!”

“Stop calling me ‘thatha’, you mischievous one!” continued Grandpa, believing really that it was Selvi who had come.

As Vani was about to correct him saying, “Thatha, I am Vani,” Raghu quickly signaled her to be quiet.

Later that day, Raghu and wife exclaimed to their niece, “Lovely one, now that you have grown up a bit, your voice has become exactly like your poor mother’s!” Let poor thatha believe that his Selvi has come back.”

That night, thatha didn’t groan in his sleep. He passed away with a contented smile on his wrinkled face.

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