The family had finally gathered. Gathered to resolve an issue which on the face of it appeared to be simple. It was after all a small piece of land with a small building in a nondescript address in a dusty town which Sukh Ram wanted to sell and divide the proceeds amongst his children. The eldest now settled in the US kept maintaining that he is not interested and did not want to come home specifically for this purpose, the daughter claimed she was willing to accept whatever was decided and therefore felt no need to come for this meeting and the youngest of course had no choice since he was staying in the property. Sukh Ram however insisted that they all will have sit to decide on the division of the booty. So finally after much reluctance,on the table they came. The two brothers, a sister along with their spouses all similes and exchanging pleasantries on the table over some hot tea and even remaking that thanks to this property we are meeting together after so many many years.
At last Sukh Ram spoke declaring that the lions share should go the youngest since he was perceived to be financially weakest of the lot, the sister should get some and since the eldest was in a foreign land earning in dollars he could keep the change.
For a little while there was an uneasy silence in the room. Each one was trying hard to avoid the eyes of the other, some shifted their chair some looked around endeavouring to frame a pleasant reaction to what they just heard. At long last the eldest spoke saying their was no need for him to come all the way to hear this decision. Sukh Ram intervened to say that it was not a decision but a proposal he wanted them to discuss and come to an agreement . That’s when the cat was out of the bag.
The deliberations that followed was a shock to the patriarch. The eldest who claimed he needed nothing was at his best and displayed great skills with his arguments. The sisters husband taking cudgels on her behalf was his hypocritical best while the youngest egged on by his wife got down to explaining in detail how he and his wife had served Sukh Ram over the years.
Sukh Ram had well and truly stirred a hornets nest. In the end nothing was resolved. You do whatever you want ; you should not have called us was the common refrain. Leaving Sukh Ram wondering how an insignificant little property had disturbed the peace of his family and relations nurtured over such a long time where lost for ever on being scratched.
After the chota peg!!!