My Maturing Experience

By on Sep 12, 2011 in Fiction

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My  Maturing Experience graphic

Two years flew away. During this period I was busy with my job in New Delhi and lost contact with Mohan. One day, I got a telephone call from Mohan.

“Bir, I want you come immediately.”

“Have you any problem?”

“Yes, a serious one, and I need your help,” he said. “I’ll explain it to you as you arrive.”

When I reached Mohan’s residence at the college campus, I learned Mohan’s wife, Carol, had tuberculosis and was on her deathbed.

“Mohan, from where did Carol get tuberculosis?”

“Her father stayed in Kenya, Africa, for ten years and died of tuberculosis. We never suspected she had it, since Carol tested negative in England.”

“What about you?” I said.

“So far I have no symptoms, but I’m worried about Satnam. He stayed with us during his summer vacations,” he said. “At present, please help me to cremate Carol.”

“All right, I’ll wire for twenty days vacation and be with you.”

“Good, I’ll be obliged. I’ve one more request.”

“Mohan, what’s that?”

“Please approach Amrit. Ask her to forgive me and come to me here.”

“I’m against that. You have ruined her life. You might have tuberculosis, and she should not risk her life.”

“I beg you. At least give it a try,” he said.

“After the cremation of Carol, I’ll speak to her.”


Two days later Carol died. The college doctor incinerated all the furniture, clothes, carpets, and curtains in Mohan’s house on a big stockpile. Mohan carried the corpse to his village, where full cremation ceremonies were performed. After the ceremonies, I talked with Amrit: “Amrit, Mohan is sorry, and he wants you to forgive him and move to his house at Amritsar.”

Tears trickled down Amrit’s cheeks, and she said, “Well, Mohan is my husband, and he has not divorced me. Now he is in trouble, and as a wife, it is my duty to serve him.”

I was astounded at Amrit’s faith and generosity. She was not afraid of getting tuberculosis from Mohan.

Amrit moved to Amritsar college with Mohan, and I left the happy couple.


Six months flew away. One day, I got a telephone call from Mohan: “Bir, tuberculosis has attacked me, and the doctor is sending me to Simla Sanatorium. Can you come for a few days to see me off on my road to my death?”

I reached Amritsar, and I drove Mohan to the sanatorium. Amrit resigned her job and rented an apartment near the hospital. Satnam was sent to the grandparents. What a tragic breakup of the family! Amrit walked to the hospital and stayed all day with Mohan. She still believed God would work a miracle for her and that Mohan would recover.

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Born in Punjab India, Raghbir Dhillon's father was an English professor and famous writer. He excelled academically, graduating first in his class in college with a B.A. and topping the university when he earned a BSCE in 1947. For 11 years he was a railroad engineer in India before immigrating to America, where he earned his MSCE from Purdue University. He served with several consulting firms in America, retiring in 1987 as chief engineer with Campbell & Associates. Together with his wife, he has written 90 stories and had a few of them published in Indian papers and American magazines. They have also completed four novels.