The Burden5 mins 306 5 mins 306
Latha in a pleading tone asked her husband “Are you sure about this?? Think again, this could make our kids hate you forever.
Rama Rao adjusted his spectacles and said “I have no other choice Latha, please sign this document and give it to me. I am getting late.
Latha wiped tears and signed those documents and handed over to her husband Rama Rao.
Rama Rao filed them and scrutinized the documents again to confirm and stepped out. He kicks start his scooter and drove past.
Latha waved to him through the window and was lost in deep thoughts. She wished that some miracle happen and her kids come back to her. But, that was highly impossible. Tears rolled down profusely. She remembered the good old days of her with kids.
Latha was married to Rama Rao at the age of 18 years, She was on cloud nine because Rama Rao was a loving and caring husband. Soon They were blessed with 2 kids named Rajiv and Nithya. Rama Rao worked for a private firm as an accountant and was leading a happy and contented life. Latha was also very understanding and never demanded anything from him.
Both Rajiv and Nithya were good at studies and extracurricular activities too. This added a feather on the cap to Rama Rao. People often envied Rama Rao and Latha.
As kids grew up their expenses also grew along with them, Rama Rao was trying his best to fulfill them. Rajiv was pursuing his IT Engineering and Nithya was pursuing MBBS. Rama Rao’s salary was meager and he borrowed money from friends and relatives to pay for fees. Rama Rao had planned that in another 6 months, Rajiv will be placed in an IT company with a decent salary and later he can pay back the loans that he had borrowed.
Rajiv completed his studies and wanted to pursue a Master’s Degree in US. Rama Rao was helpless and Latha too supported Rajiv. Rama Rao’s burden was too heavy but he had somehow managed to get an education loan and sent Rajiv to US. All his plans were upside down and he was finding it difficult to pay back the loans. After Rajiv left for US, Nithya too completed her MBBS. She followed Rajiv and went to the US to pursue a higher course in medicine.
Now Rama Rao was burning inside but never showed to it his wife. He was in huge debt, Latha assured that once Rajiv completes his Master’s he will be placed in a US company for lumpsum salary, and surely he will clear all loans in a few months. Initially, Rajiv used to call his parents every weekend, gradually it decreased and, he would call once in a fortnight or month. He was always busy. Nithya too was busy with her studies and practice.
Nithya returned to India, married a guy whom Rama Rao had chosen for her, and moved to the US along with him. Rama Rao was in a tough situation now, It’s been 5 years Rajiv had completed his Master’s and was placed in a topmost company, For few months he sent few dollars to his parents but later that too was stopped. He had married his love Jennifer and sent pictures to his parents. Rama Rao and Latha’s heart broke looking at pictures, they had lots of dreams about Rajiv’s wedding. Both their kids are in the US now well settled, earning a decent salary. Rama Rao was still struggling to pay off his loans. The only asset that he has now was his ancestor’s home in the 30X40 site in the Jayanagar area. Now it’s a commercial hub and people were waiting to purchase this piece of land to build commercial shops. Gradually Rajiv and Nithya were distanced from their parents. They never bothered to check if they are alive or dead. Latha would call both of them to speak a few words but her kids ignored her. This worried her a lot and slowly Latha’s health deteriorated. Rama Rao was retired now since he spent all his savings to clear debts, he was left with no money to run the family expense as well. He was working as a part-time assistant in a small firm for a low salary. Latha was feeling bad and helpless, she now repented for supporting Rajiv.
Rama Rao’s friend Vishnu came to meet Rama Rao and was surprised and felt bad to see his friend suffering at this age. He spoke to Rama Rao and advised him to become financially stable again, He said “Rama Rao why don’t you do one thing, you can reverse mortgage this house to a bank, that way you can lead your life without depending on anyone”.
Rama Rao was confused, “What is that Vishnu ?? I haven’t heard anything about that??
Vishnu held his hand and said my friend Reverse mortgage means you will pledge this property of yours and take a loan. You need not pay anything to the bank, they release the amount in monthly installments to your account. Let’s say your property is worth one crore then they may give a loan of about 65 lakhs to you. Until you and your wife are alive you can use this property later bank will take over this property. If your kids intend to keep this property then they can clear the loan and take back property. You worked hard for so many years, please take rest and enjoy your retirement life. Visit a nearby orphanage and spend time with the kids there. Take Latha Ji and go out on a vacation. Stop thinking about kids, they are gone on their wish, they will come back when they wish. Don’t hold this burden for a long time, clear all the debts and live peacefully till your last breath.
Rama Rao took Vishnu’s advice seriously and pledged his property to a bank (Reverse mortgage), they were leading a peaceful life. After few years Latha passed away, her last wish was to see her kids but that remained as a wish. Rajiv and Nithya came to the funeral and cried their heart out. Rajiv handed over a few dollars to his Dad, Rama Rao smiled sarcastically and put them in Rajiv’s pocket. I don’t need your money now, I am not dependent on you anymore. I am free from all burdens in life now. Soon you will realize my pain, your son is just like you. Be prepared son, my advice to you is to have savings for after retirement, plan finance well.
He went inside his room and sat on his easy chair and closed his eyes.