Greed

Chandru sobbed as his grandfather held him.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Grandpa prodded gently.

“It was horrible, grandpa. I cannot unsee…”

“Calm down. What happened?”

“Remember the school that collapsed some time back? My company wants to build a new school in the same location. While surveying the property, I came across these.”

Chandru placed a pair of dusty, cobweb filled shoes on the table.

old-shoes-cobwebs

“More than 80 children died that day…All because of some greedy official…”

Grandfather remembered. Afterall, it was he who had approved the low-quality school building for 2,00,000 rupees many years ago.

Tears of regret streamed as he joined his grandson in mourning.

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting yet another edition of Friday Fictioneers. This week’s prompt is from Sarah Potter. Go, read other entries and enter your own here.

 

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74 thoughts on “Greed

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    1. I’m sure Grandpa might have been suffering in silence since the disaster, but seeing his beloved grandson condemn (albeit unknowingly) his past actions might have been the ultimate punishment. Thanks for the comment, Sascha

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a well-written and tragic story, Varad, and it led me to consider whether Grandpa would be kinder to his grandson if he kept the truth from him and just carried the pain of guilt on his own shoulders. The grandson in this story is already distressed enough, without learning that his grandpa (whom presumably he loves and looks up to) was a greedy, corrupt official who caused the death of all those children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think that Chandru or anyone in their family knew about Grandpa’s sin. And I do believe that Grandpa will carry his secret to his grave. Thanks for reading and providing a great prompt, Sarah. Cheers, Varad

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure Grandpa would have been suffering all these years as a result of his actions. Now to know his actions being derided by his beloved grandson (though he never knew that it was his grandpa’s greed) would have just heightened his misery. Thanks for reading and commenting, Susan.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I read about Mexico city a couple of hours after I wrote the post. Very tragic. There was a similar incident in Kumbakonam (City in South India) a few years back when 94 children burned to their death because of poor infrastructure. Children deserve to live, explore new things in life, grow up, find their passion and fall in love, not suffer at the hands of psychopaths, disasters, diseases etc…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You make a good attempt at tackling the big themes of grief, guilt and regret. It’s a dramatic story, and you’ve imagined it well. The irony of grandfather being the corrupt official gives the story great power.
    All the best
    Penny

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Neil about the earlier finish. I also wonder if he would mourn with his Grandfather if he knew of his Grandfather’s role in the original tragedy. Great story, and adds a lot of power to the image.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really wanted to leave the story a bit earlier as I mentioned in my reply to Neel. But there’s always this internal debate on how much is enough, that makes me take the final call. Sometimes it comes out just about right and sometimes it just makes me add that extra layer of M&Ms.

      And I’m pretty sure Chandru’s reaction would have been one of shock and outrage if he had known the truth. Thanks for the comment, Iain.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Very tragic news indeed from Mexico. No child should suffer in this world. There should be some mechanism for transferring a bad fate that a child might suffer to someone who is actually deserving of such a fate.

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    1. I guess the incident might have been plaguing him from the outset, but to see the shoes might have really been the tipping point.
      Thanks for the comment, Rochelle. Cheers, Varad.

      Like

  4. A tragedy, indeed. I wonder whether grandpa will ever confess. If he does, I think ,Chandru’s reaction would be a part of grandpa’s ‘hell on earth ‘ .
    Great story, Varad .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story. I’d be tempted to remove most of it after “shoes on the table” and let the reader fill in the detail. You’d still have to find a way of working in the grandfather’s complicity of course

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I wanted to. I wanted to finish with the last sentence after the photo. In the end, I added those two extra lines to give a bit more clarity into grandpa’s deed. Thanks for the comment, Neil.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How about:

        Chandru sobbed as his grandfather held him.
        “Do you want to talk about it?” Grandpa prodded gently.
        “It was horrible, grandpa. I cannot unsee…”
        “Calm down. What happened?”
        “Remember the school that collapsed some time back?’
        Grandpa remembered only too well. He had approved the building design, saving two million rupees. His heart beat faster as Chanru continued. ‘My company wants to build a new school in the same location. While surveying the property, I came across these.”
        Chandru placed a pair of dusty, cobweb filled shoes on the table.

        Liked by 3 people

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