These days there are plenty of killings, political killings in Kerala, honor killings in Haryana and religious killings in Gujarat to name a few. But in those days 'killing' was a rarity. People rarely practiced it and leaders never preached it.Now, imagine the shock of a father, from those times, getting a letter from his son saying " I will kill you " ..
Naturally he could not trust his eyes. He scrutinized the post card carefully. There was no mistake. The address was perfect even the comas and full stops. The way of addressing 'my dear appa and amma', the concluding line 'your loving son', all as usual. He was very sure about the hand writing. it was his son. Bad hand writing was a prominent trait running down the family. only his younger son had one worse than that.
He did not dare tell his wife. He knew she had explanations for every thing, but the problem was they invariably pointed to his short comings. So he closed his shop for the rest of the day and boarded the bus to the town 24 miles away, where his son was studying in a very good boarding school.
The Boarding Master was spell bound. It was he who supplied the post cards to all the students a few days back as per the prevalent practice. This time to impress the parents about the coaching the children received, he had ordered all to write the letters in English... But why Kill any one?.
Babu, the son was summoned to the Master's room. He was a bit timid, but regained his composure seeing his father sitting in front of the Knaap Saar, as the boarding master was known among the boys. Father too did not notice anything amiss.
"You wrote this?" asked Knaap Saar showing him the post card.
Babu recognized it & looked a little ashamed. He had written his father's address and the salutations and all that was taught in the school, but could not write anything in the way of message in English. So he had kept the card in his book planning to copy from others who wrote better. It was missing the next time he checked but it did not bother him much. "Yes sir" he admitted without any hesitation.. The Boarding master could read disbelief written all over the face of the father.
He handed over the card to the boy "You read"
"My dear Appa and Amma, I will Kill you, your loving son".. read Babu, in a single breath.
It took a second for him to realize what went wrong. He looked helplessly at his father.
Now he remembered the smile on Avaran's face whenever they met in the last two days. He started to explain, But the master had realized his attempt to showoff had misfired. The Father knew his son better. He smiled at the boy rising from the chair. He wanted to catch the last bus home.