top of page
old woman crying.jpg

Real Death

Preeti and Raman are unconcerned that their father has bequeathed all his property to their younger brother Munna, who is settled in America. But will Munna shoulder his mother’s responsibility or leave her without a penny to her name? Jupinderjit Singh tells a touching story.

“When are you coming, Preeti?” Mom’s voice sounded low from the other end of the line.

She tried her best to sound normal. But I could sense the brokenness in the words. 

"Whenever you say, Ma and I told you, Ma to move with me. You can't live in the village house without Papa.” I implored and reasoned in the same breath, “My husband and kids would be happy to have you around. Even Raman di was saying you can move with her. Your daughters are here for you always.”

“Na Na. Don't worry about me. I am ok. Just that it is hardly a month since he…since your papa… left. I will get used to it soon.”

I let her speak. A long pause.

"I need some money."

Mom asking for money? I was taken aback. She was the one doling out cash and gifts always.

“What happened, Ma?” Another Pause. My heart raced.

“Nothing much. Just that earlier your dad always kept cash handy at home and I simply had to swipe the card whenever I shopped. But now...,” her voice trailed.

I heard sobs.


“You know I had closed all accounts and kept one joint account with Munna. After all everything is his only na? No?”

“Yes. Of course, Ma. Didi and I have already said we will not claim anything. You can give anything and everything to our little brother.”

“I know beta. I love you. And I love Raman also. Dad didn’t express it much to you but he adored you more than anyone else. You- the youngest darling of the family.”

“Ma…” my voice choked.

“That’s why your Papa chose to spend his last days with you. Your brother could come at the last moment only. But he was busy with life in America. And you know, the COVID restrictions also delayed his visa.”

“Yes. Ma. Bhai did what was best. Has he called you after he reached US?”

“He spoke after he landed then got busy. I understand his busy life. But did I tell you why I called. Oh yes. When are you coming?

“I will come but why do you need money? You always had plenty…some problem with dad’s accounts?

“No… No… Not that”

“I can transfer money to your account immediately now.”

“No. Don’t do that”

“Why? What’s happening, Mom. You are hiding something.”

‘Ummm… It was that…I donated 20 thousand to the village library. They have dedicated one corner in the memory of your father and wanted to put up his life-size portrait. After all, your father was the main donor for the library. Besides cash, he also donated several books to the library besides giving those authored by him as well.”

“Yes mom. I am so proud.”

“You remember how you, Raman and Munna used to spend hours in the library reading with your Papa…”

“Of course, Ma. And the staff loved us so much. But you were saying something about money…”

“Don’t react in any way. Ok?”


“I…I withdrew money from the ATM two days ago for the Twenty thousand donation, you know. Munna called immediately, and you know, it must be past midnight in the States. He asked me ‘not to use the joint account for such nonsense expenses.”

“What? How can he?” You bought a new Innova car for him for the days he was here.”

“It is ok. I did buy the car. That was for his comfort. But he disconnected before I could tell him I had no other account.”

“May be the phone network failed him?”

“His tone was so harsh, beta.”

I paused. I didn’t know what to say.

“Your papa is really dead. How will I live without him?”

Ma wailed. I clutched at the phone tight.

Real Death: Welcome

Jupinderjit Singh is an award-winning journalist, writer and author based in Chandigarh. He has authored three books viz. 'Justice for Jassi' 'Years Later...on Facebook', 'Bhagat Singh's Pistol and Ahimsa. He is a recipient of Prem Bhatia Young Journalist Award for his stories and research. He is a fellow with the Centre for Science and Environment on Forest Rights for the Tribals in Jammu and Kashmir.He is a FIDE-rated chess player and coach, motivational speaker & an amateur pianist.

Real Death: Text
bottom of page