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Tale of an avaricious man



By: Chetanya Arora

Once I went to an old age home from my school as a volunteer on International Senior Citizen Day. While we were speaking to the people present there, I encountered a very old man, probably in his 70s sitting on a wheelchair. He seemed very sad, so I went to cheer him up. His name was Raj Singhania. I asked about his health as he looked as if he was in a very deep thought, and after a minute’s silence, he replied, “I am 79 years old, and suffering from 4th-stage pancreatic cancer.”

Mr. Singhania said, “I could die anytime, maybe today, tomorrow, or a month later. I have earned everything in life, from money to fame, everything someone could ever dream of. I had a wife and three kids, two sons and a daughter. My daughter is the eldest one and got married a long time ago and has shifted abroad. Both my sons also got married and are well-settled.”

“When my wife left us for her heavenly abode, we discovered that I had cancer, and we decided to divide the inheritance. Being a traditional Indian family, I distributed the responsibility of my empire among my sons. As I was young I never spared time for my family. I always kept money over my family. Neither had I spent time with my kids, nor with my wife. Even though I didn’t have time to visit my parents, I couldn’t even get to see them for the last time, before they died in a car accident.

I started growing older and had begun to show the early stages of cancer, so I decided to stay at home. I thought I could finally spend some time with my family, but unfortunately, my wife passed away and after the division of inheritance my sons and daughters-in-law got busy with their own lives.

As my health was declining, I needed assistance. So, I decided to stay at an old age home, and now when I am about to die, I regret my actions. My last wish is to see my kids, family, and grandchildren. I want to spend some time with them and see their faces for once. I wish there was a way for me to connect with them.”

It was such an emotional moment and I consoled him as he was sobbing. I learned that there is no point in earning more than the required fame or money, if we don’t have time to spend with our family. I realised, “Money can’t buy happiness as happiness comes from family.”