"What Crap!!"……. was lying on my bed on a Saturday morning..
‘Who is banging on the door on a Saturday morning’, I mused..
I stood up… rubbing my eyes… walked upto the door… opened it…
I looked down… and saw a short old lady standing at my door smiling at me…
I tried my best to respond in a same tone… "Hii"… with a forced smile…
"Son, I stay in the apartment right above yours. I wanted to discuss with
you something…"… I guess I heard this only … was too sleepy to pay
Still… I replied, "ok…"
"Can I come inside…?", she asked
"Yep… sure…", I led her to the drawing room which was obviously – messed up
(being a bachelor’s apartment).
She looked at the sofa… bent a bit… held the side of the sofa… other hand
on the seat… her legs and arms trembling… and she finally bent further and
Well… that for sure opened my eyes…
"Son, I am an old woman, so I am sorry if I am bothering you at this time
of the day.", she smiled.
"No problems aunty. Please tell me", I said
"Son, I came to know from neighbours that you work in some computer related
stuff. I was having a problem in sending an e-mail. I am new to this. I
have never worked in this thing. So I thought, if you can help me", said
the old woman smiling…
‘What is it?. The production support which I do in my company was already
on my nerves. And now this lady comes at this time of the day and asks to
repair her computer. Sending a Mail!!!!!!…’, I mused
"Sure"… ‘I don’t have an option’… latter half was not audible… I hope…
I went back to bedroom… pulled my towel underneath the pile of clothes…
cursing my fate… went to bathroom… washed my face… came out… and what I
Her smiling face…!!!
"Lets go aunty", I said…
The alley outside my apartment was not broad enough… and her baby steps
assured that I walk the snail’s speed till I get bored to death…
"It is such a beautiful morning… Sun’s out… cool breeze… perfect time to go
and do some jogging… … …", she went on… every statement of hers was
followed by ‘yaa’ from my side…
Anyway… we reached…
It was silent…
… I heard something… I guess it was my heartbeat…
I heard her breathing…
She looked at my feet and said "You can take out your slippers over there…"
‘Hmm… cleanliness freak!!’
I took out my slippers… went inside.
It was one of the most beautiful drawing rooms I have ever seen.
"Nobody at home?", I asked her
"I live alone, son", smiled the old woman.
‘Alone, it was so difficult for me to believe that. This old lady who even
found it difficult to sit on a sofa… had such a beautiful drawing room.’
"There it is, my headache", she pointed towards the laptop on the desk.
‘Koool….. log in… send a mail for her… and run back to bed…’
I switched on the laptop… asked her the login id and pass and opened the
"Well … my son bought me this laptop. He is such a sweet boy…", she smiled
I smiled back… concentrating on the screen.
"He came … gave me the laptop… connected everything for me… the internet… I
don’t know what it does… how it helps… but he told me using internet I can
see the world… he taught me how to send the mail… how to receive it… how to
make an email… how to start the computer… how to shut the computer down…"….
Second round…!! she went on and on…
I smiled back…
"So what is the problem, aunty", I said pointing towards outlook.
She looked at the screen. Her eyes almost closed with the radiations from
"I … I used to send mail…"….
"I don’t know where I can find the mail which I sent….", she said
"In the Sent mails probably…", I replied…
"Ahhh… Where’s that…??", she asked…
I took the mouse from her… "Give it to me aunty!!"
I went to Sent Items and showed her the sent mails.
"Aunty, are these the ones you sent?", I asked
She touched the screen…. clapped her hands in jubilation… "ohh yesss…
wonderful…. here they are…!!!…. they got stuck here… that’s why they did
not reach him" , she smiled as a child.
I was confused but I guess I understood her ignorance.
"Aunty, If you see the mails in this folder which is ‘Sent Items’, this
means… that the mails have been sent.", I said.
"Ohh… You mean… the mails are already sent to him!!", she asked
I saw the screen. Saw the name to which the mail was sent.
"Ya… Aunty. The mail has been sent to Ashwin Tyagi"…"Who is he?", I asked.
"He is my sweeet son… I call him Ashu", she smiled.
"Aunty, Why did you think that the mail was not sent?", I asked.
"Son, Ashu told me that if we click on the receive button, we receive
emails. So I used to send a mail. Then I used to click on Receive. And I
used to find no e-mail. I again used to send one. I clicked on receive. I
found no e-mail. I have been doing this past 5 months. I guess you are
mistaken. There is surely some problem", she said.
My heart skipped a beat.
I opened the Sent Items again.
My sleepy eyes missed the long list of e-mails sent to Ashwin when I saw it
the first time.
‘Beta Ashu…. How are you… ? I hope you are fine. I am missing you so much.
Come home some time.’
‘Beta Ashu… did you get my previous mail? I did not get your reply…’
‘Beta Ashu… I understand you will be busy with your work… don’t worry…
reply whenever you are free’
‘Beta Ashu… I thought I will mail you… I am doing good… I have made kheer
for you. Do come’
‘Beta Ashu… yesterday I had some pain in my neck… now it is fine… I applied
List was endless…
Was it the radiation from pc or was it something else in my eyes…!!
Last email with the same ID was –
‘This is the test mail’
Swallowing what I saw, "Aunty", opening the last mail, "Who sent this
"Ohh… this mail was sent by Ashu only to show me how to send the mail",
smiled the old woman.
I did not know how to react… when she spoke
"I know there is some problem with the computer. I am sure. He called me a
month back. He was in a meeting. So I could not ask him"
"He works for a big company…. Earns a lot now. I am so proud of him", she
I did not want to. But I did say – "You should be aunty…"
"Yess…", she said with her charismatic smile … "He is such a grown up now…
so responsible… he is married to a beautiful girl who used to be his
classmate. Now he has one boy and one girl…", she smiled and said like a
"Both used to work out of town, so they shifted over there 3 years back. He
used to call me earlier, but then he got busy… so we could not talk much.
My ears started giving me some problem and I was not able to listen to him
on phone, so he gave me this laptop.", she said.
I was still… I was listening to her… and was watching her smile which was
excited by the thought of her son.
"So, can you fix this son?", she asked
I did not want to say that it is working fine.
I didn’t have an answer better than this – "Aunty, I guess, the send button
is working fine but the receive button is not working. So Ashu is getting
your mail but he does not know that you are not getting his mail. But I
don’t know how to fix it."
"ohh…", she looked a bit sad.
I was silent.
All I could do.
"…. Can you do me one more favour?", she asked
"Sure aunty… sure", I said. If I could do anything today for her!!
"It is very irritating for me to type. Hitting those buttons! It takes me
ages to find the characters. If Send thing is working, I want to send one
last mail to my son. Can you type one last mail for me?", she smiled.
I had no option. Yet again. But this time I guess I wanted to do it. I
wanted to relieve her from this expectation of receiving a mail.
"Sure aunty, tell me what should I type", I opened a new mail.
"Beta Ashu… This is my neighbour typing from my pc…"
"There seemed to be some problem in sending mails. So I called him to help
"He also works for a big company like you."
"He found the problem but he does not know how to fix it."
"The problem is that send button is working fine… but the receive button is
not working. Hence, I am not able to receive your mails when I click on the
"Beta, it has been 5 months. Please come and meet me. I am missing you so
"I do not want this laptop. I do not want to see the world in internet."
"I want to see you."
I typed the last words…
I gasped and turned towards her…
I guess I saw tears in her eyes … with the same smile…
She wiped her eyes… smiled "Yess….please send the mail"
I clicked on send.
She stood up, turned around and went to the bedroom.
I guess I heard her crying.
I felt lonely…
She came. Hurried towards the kitchen.
"Do you love kheer??", she asked.
I smiled… with the tears which just didn’t go "Yes aunty…"
From the refrigerator she took out the bowl and gave it to me.
"Have this. I made it with my own hands…", she smiled.
I took the bowl from her. And I saw my hands were trembling.
"Thanks Aunty… Thanks a lot", I said.
"Thank you Beta. I am so sorry… that I disturbed you this morning", she
A ‘tear-let’ fell from my eyes. But I guess I did well in hiding it.
"No Aunty… Please don’t say so… do let me know whenever you need me", I
"Thanks beta", she said.
I put on my slippers. Went outside. "Bye Aunty", I said.
"Bye Beta", I saw the last look on her face which saw the loneliness that
was going to come.
She closed the door.
I stopped at the stairs.
I cried for the lady who "sent" her love many a times… but did not
"receive" anything in return…
I really must say there will be many moms who must be having the same
situation as mentioned above.
Lets not forget the person who loves us more than we love ourselves …
Himabindu Pakanati | PA
Cognizant Technology Solutions
(: 040-44514444| Ext: 5159
"The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others"