The Candle that guides us!

“Do you love your parents ?” asks Mr. Sathish Kumar. One would think, “What kind of question is this?”. Everyone including Sathish Kumar would say “Yes, I love my parents very much !”.Sathish Kumar's real-life story inspires us and shows what real care towards parents is. He firmly believes that his story would create an impact on each and everyone's life. So try giving it a read. It might change your perception of certain aspects as it did for me.

Hailing from a small hamlet in South India, Sathish Kumar’s family consists of his parents and his only sibling runs a cottage business which is common in the Indian villages. Working around 12 to 15 hours a day, his parents continuously strive for the growth and upliftment of the family although his parents haven't had the opportunity to get educated. The highest level of graduation his mother has achieved is third grade and his father hasn’t even been to a classroom.

One day Sathish Kumar returns home joyfully with his eighth-grade report card. He shows it to his mother, the parent with the highest level of education. On noticing that her son has secured the first rank, she feels proud and happy and signs the report card for him. Meanwhile, his father asks, “what's going on? what's the matter?”. His mother tells that their son has secured the first rank. Suddenly the father starts to beat and scold him. He kept scolding him the whole night, that at one instance the neighbour got annoyed and came down to his house to find out what had happened. The neighbour on enquiring had come to know that the boy had secured the first rank. The confused neighbour asks the father, “Why are you behaving like this instead of being proud and applauding your son”.

The caring innocent father replied, “Initially my son used to secure 10th rank but now he has lost focus on studies. He keeps playing cricket all the time and now see, his rank has dropped down to one.” The neighbour was shocked by hearing the reply and teaches how the ranking system works and makes him understand the situation.

Life then moves on as usual but life never fails to throw surprises. One fine day, when Sathish Kumar was pursuing his eleventh grade, his mother passed away. The family was taken by shock. His sister was taken care of by relatives in their home and now just the father and son remain. He recalls his mother’s sacrifice who would just have tea for breakfast and lunch. She fully dedicated herself to the family and failed to look after her health nor did anyone in the family notice.

Family’s cottage business is the only work that Sathish Kumar’s father is familiar with. He has been doing it all his life and now that his wife is no more, the business couldn't sustain any longer. Unwilling to give up he starts working as a porter in the day and as a watchman at night. He worked day and night without rest and took the family through all hardships. Understanding the gravity of the situation, Sathish Kumar without burdening his father finishes his undergraduate. He then went on to pursue his post-graduation at NIT during which he was paid a stipend. Although he couldn't afford to go to coaching classes, he studied on his own and got a pretty good GATE score, with which he got into NIT by merit. Now that he has also started earning, he insisted his father to retire and was prepared to take care of him. Being a father he wanted to take care of his family and himself until the very end. His father being so stubborn, Sathish Kumar was just able to talk him out of his night watchman job.

Once Sathish Kumar got placed in a good company with a good salary after completing his post-graduation, he once again tried to convince his father to quit his job. “You have done enough for the family. Now it’s your time to rest and enjoy” said the caring son. Still, his father refused and told him that he cannot quit his job unless he gets married and settles in life. Most of the Indian parents can't retire in peace without getting their children married.

So to fulfill his father's desire, Sathish Kumar gets married. Now that he has got married, he finally manages to convince him. He is so fortunate that his daughter-in-law treats him like her own father. So finally, the father after finishing off all his duties accepts to come and move in with his son and daughter-in-law. As everything was going smooth in came a new surprise that was least expected. The relatives said it was not a good idea to move in with a newly married couple. This influenced and reversed his father's decision.

He recalls his father would cook sambar and rice once and consume it for four days straight. Having witnessed all these hardships his father went through to take good care of him and his sister, he wanted to put an end to all of it by taking his father with him. But due to the sudden change of mind of the father, they had to look out for a house for rent. Finally, they found a house, but it was in a remote location with the owner and tenant alone.

Sathish Kumar's father had moved into this new house and finally, as things were getting back on track again. One fine thursday morning, as usual, Sathish Kumar had been talking to his father over the phone and everything seemed to be normal. The very next day as per routine, Sathish Kumar had made a call to him but the call was left unattended. Sathish Kumar had thought that his father would have gone to bed late in the night, so he was still asleep. He was making calls repeatedly the entire day and it was not being picked up including that of the owners. Finally, at around 10.30 in the night, Sathish Kumar was able to get hold of the owner. He requested him to go and check up on his father. Eventually, at around midnight, the door was broken open only to find out that his father had expired.

Sathish Kumar and the others were taken by surprise. Nobody had expected this as his father was hale and healthy further he had no medical issues or conditions. He was fit enough to take care of his own duties. To date, there is no clue or reason for his father's death.

Sathish Kumar feels that he has failed to take care of his father properly. Parents try to suppress their problems and not tell them out to their children. They aren't willing to bother their children. Such is their selfless nature. He says, ”We must spend time with them, talk to them, hear out their problems and rectify them”. He makes a small request to us. “Take your parents to an Annual Health Check-up once a year. They might not tell us about their health issues and will not be willing to take the check-up. Talk with them, make them understand, and make sure it's done. They don't expect our financial assistance. They expect only our care and consideration and it is our utmost duty to provide them with it. Parents are the most precious gift one can get in their lifetime. I could not experience it to the fullest. Please don't miss it. If missed once, we cannot experience the gift again. I hope this story of mine would make an impact on your life. Thank you! " It is not possible for us to experience everything. We need to reflect on other people's experiences for our betterment. Hope this story makes an impact on you as it did on me.

Article Compiled by

-Santhosh Ram R

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