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Dying Wish

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Sidharth gets a message late at night that his father has passed away. Though he feels sad, he doesn’t shed a tear as his relationship with his father has always been complicated.

“Dying Wish” by Santhosh Annabatula tells the story of a boy who was never told the truth until it was too late. It shows how choices against society were vilified and how innocents were victimised.



This contribution is edited by Sreekar Ayyagari & photographed by Pankaj Tottada.



This flash fiction is available in paperback & ebook.

Cover Photo by Pankaj Tottada

Sidharth rubbed his eyes to recheck his message. It said the same thing, “Your father expired last night. Planning his last rites today. Please come asap.” It was his maternal uncle who texted him from Bengaluru. It was late at night in Pittsburgh, and he got up from bed. Later he woke up his wife and told her he would leave immediately. She tried to comfort him, but he said he wasn’t feeling anything. This is just his duty as a son. He told her to take the next day’s flight along with Rohan, his 5-year-old son. Very soon, he was on a long flight to Bengaluru.

It was evening by the time he reached his house. There was a large gathering of people on the porch, and the mood in the hall was sombre. He had to meander his way to his room inside with people patting him and trying to comfort him. “It was a heart attack,” his uncle said. They took him to the hospital, but it was too late. His father’s relatives and friends were few, and some were wailing inconsolably. Many of them looked stern and indignant at Sidharth for not shedding tears for his father. His aunt pulled him near and told him the ashes had to be spread in the Ganges as per his last wishes. But he brushed the thought away. In a few hours, the last rites were completed, and Sidharth longed to return to the US.

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