Dinesh stares at the ceiling gasping for breaths. Even the oxygen that’s making its way through the nostrils isn’t enough to keep him alive. He knows he is dying but he can faintly hear the doctor speaking to his wife about shifting him to a ventilator. She denies.

The people around him- the doctor, his wife, and his son think that he has lost his senses, but he is still feebly alive and perceptive. When the doctor is gone, his wife starts crying. He can faintly hear his son say, “Ma! Please don’t cry. He already splurged the money for his healthcare on alcohol. It’s all his own misery.”

Though Dinesh can’t express but somewhere in his half-dead body he feels an ache. His mind reels over to a day in the past and he knows that was the day that changed everything.


Dinesh entered his house from office when he saw his father feasting on in the living room with few of his friends and a pitcher of local brew. It had almost been a daily affair.

His father greeted him, “Hey Son! How was your day?”

He ignored his father and went to the kitchen. His mother was cooking fish for serving the guests. He was the only bread earner of the house and he loathed his father for wasting his hard-earned money in such a disastrous way. He bought fish, meat, and other delicacies for his family, not the whole neighbourhood. It had been a toiling affair on his monthly expenses of late and if he didn’t stop it then, it might eventually become unaffordable.

Dinesh was angry on his father for ruining his own health with the poison but he was angrier on the freeloaders. Something had to be done.

He went to his father and said, “Deuta! This has to stop. You cannot make this house a bar every day. You have to ask your friends to leave right now.”

His father said, “Old habits die hard, son! Let me drink my days to deathbed. For today, Once the pitcher is finished, I will ask them to leave.”

Dinesh got so angry that he lifted the pitcher and threw it out of the door.

“See! It’s finished.”

His father calmly got up, patted his son’s back, and said, “Your house will never be a bar from tomorrow. From this moment I vow not to touch alcohol but I also pray to God that you too don’t acquire the vice.”

His father died an agonizing death after two days; his body stopped functioning.


Dinesh tries to close his eyes but it won’t close. A numbness engulfs his body from his toes upwards and then just before his brain goes numb, he hears the ECG display go flat. Somewhere in the corner of the room, he feels his father waiting for him and he doesn’t have any other choice but to meet his eyes.


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Nilutpal Gohain
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