Glaring Shadow - A stream of consciousness novel (Part 5, page 1 of 3)

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Part 5

“If not ingrained in concern, love is a flippant emotion, which is of no avail to the loved ones,” he began proroguing as a prelude to his recall of his life and times. “More than the outer manifestations of love, it is one’s inner feelings that further the cause of the loved ones. But we tend to take the spendthrift spouse as a personification of love and the prudence of a caring parent as an indication of its absence. Don’t we also see families better off for the premature death of their profligate heads? Yet, wonder how man comes to perceive that without him, his family would be vulnerable in the rough and tough of life! It’s nothing but man’s vanity, which won’t allow him to either live or die in peace.”

“How unfair it is for the fair sex that man associates vanity with women.”

“But then isn’t it a man’s world?” he said. “Well, my grandfather for all his love for us lacked the wisdom of care to match it. Maybe impelled by his love to make us richer or goaded by his greed to accumulate wealth, he took to the perilous course of usury, unsuited though for the calling he being a weakling. Lo, he sold all the landholding to raise capital for his high interest lending. While he lived chasing the mirages of usurious returns, after he died, my father was left staring at the principal amount as bad debt. Well, it was like he had pulled the rug that carried the weight of his unsettled family from under my father’s feet. Perhaps my father would have better reconciled with his ruin had the old man gambled away the money or womanized with it; maybe that would have been a source of perverted pride for us in our diminished position.”

“Deprivation for a cause is a gain by itself while purposeless loss is a double jeopardy of life.”

“Anyway, my dad didn’t give a damn but tried to be on his own as Lipton’s salesman,” he continued. “How he lifted our family from the ruins makes a saga of its own; well he was a capable man by any measure. When he was all set to start a loose tea business after his retirement from the service, he was undone by the cancer in his food pipe. What with death staring at him in the face and the terminal pains making life unbearable for him, he wailed not over his fate but that his father spoiled it for his progeny. That the future well-being of his family bothered him more than his impending death moved me no end, and I told him it made no sense worrying over something that he did not bother about all along. Oh, how he suffered those terminal pains?”

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