Life’s Ups and Downs

by Dr. Pran Rangan


The story highlights the ups and downs in the family life of the wife and husband, Neha and Ranjan. Such ups and downs are found in everyone's life. But what matters is how people face them.

Once, there live a couple, named Neha and Ranjan, in a small city, Rajnagar. They had two sons, Rahul and Rohit, and a daughter, Shruti, who was the eldest. Ranjan held a good government job so he had no problem bringing up the family well. When the children’s schooling was over, he requested the higher authorities to be transferred to a close by big city so that he could give his children higher education. Luckily, his request acceded and he was promoted too. This was a blessing as they would be able to send the children for higher education.

Over time, their daughter, Shruti, did a post-graduation in mathematics. After some time, she was married by her parent’s choice to an Assistant Professor of mathematics at a college in her home city. In due course, both the sons became engineers. They were fortunate enough to get good jobs in a nearby big city in a reputed MNC. They both lived together. After a couple of years, they got married to the girls they had fallen in love with. Their life went on smoothly as their wives developed a good rapport with each other.

After two years, Ranjan also retired. Then Ranjan and Shruti decided to live in the house in their home city. Ranjan got some funds after retirement, which he thought if invested properly, would be sufficient for their old age.

But his both sons knew about the funds and wanted to grab them somehow. Therefore, they asked their parents to live with them after retirement. Out of sheer love for them, they agreed to do so. Shortly afterward, the sons started complaining about the shortage of money for something or other to extract money from the parents, who helped them out of love. They expertly used different excuses to get money from their parents.

But, after three years, they were almost exhausted of their money and were left with only Rs. 5000/-. When they couldn’t fulfill their son’s monetary demands, the sons began troubling them in some context or another. One day, they asked the old couple to leave their house.

Rajan and Neha were very upset as they hadn’t expected this from their sons. They decided to shift to their own house in Rajnagar. When they moved, they were in a fix as to how they would be able to support themselves.

Their daughter and son-in-law, who lived in the same city, came to their help. Rajnagar had grown bigger during their absence of many years. More business opportunities had developed here since then.

The son-in-law advised starting the business of catering meals to various offices and hostels. Several hostels had cropped up because of new coaching centers. So there existed the real necessity of supplying meals to the hostel inmates. Their daughter and son-in-law helped them financially and by other means to set up the business.

By the grace of God, their business started doing well in three years. Their financial difficulty was also gone. Moreover, Sruti’s son, Rajat, who had grown up into a young boy, also helped them. Rajat was doing his Ph.D. at the university in the same city. Now the old couple was quite happy. The ill-treatment they suffered at the hands of their sons had faded in their memory albeit they couldn’t forget it.

One day, their sons appeared at the door all of a sudden. The old couple was astonished to see them since they hadn’t communicated with them after they had left. Ranjan welcomed them and made them comfortable.

When asked the reason for their visit, Rahul broke down. After he was in control, he told, “Father, my daughter, Shradha, has throat cancer. I require money for her treatment.”

Ranjan was silent for some time as he and his wife were emotionally attached to Shradha when she was a small kid. They loved her. Knowing well that Rahul can easily afford the treatment cost, he told him sternly, “Rahul, ok I will bear the treatment cost but nothing more.”

Saying this he left, leaving both the sons with their mother. But he stuck to his promise and only bore the treatment cost. He gave no extra money to his sons.

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