Hari came the very next day as if he was in a tearing hurry. He had brought his son with him. He was very business like and came to the point without beating round the bush. His wife was suffering from terminal cancer and had only a few months to live. She was full of remorse for what she had done to Sita and wanted to ask for her forgiveness. She was in no condition to travel and could only plead with folded hand that Sita pay her a visit just once. He could not look at Sita in the face and had brought his son to mediate. Sita was at liberty to refuse to accompany him but his family would be indebted to her for ever if she did. Once the two ladies had met and his wife’s troubled conscience had been eased, his son would bring her back.
Sita was dumbfounded. She had not foreseen such a turn of events and did not know how to react. The family was also in a dilemma. A death wish had to be honored but they had no intention of pressurizing Sita.
It was Hari’s son Arun who broke the silence.
“Periamma” he said, addressing Sita directly. “It was my idea to approach you directly with my mother’s plea. My father could never have mustered enough courage to come to your place had I not offered to accompany him. I cannot bear to see my mother suffer in this manner. Steroids and pain killers can alleviate her physical agony. But you alone can give her a peaceful death. She does not have much time nor is she in a condition to travel. I leave it to you to decide.”
(To be continued)