By Anita Rau Badami
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Extra info for The Hero's Walk
Money, she took pains to remind the old man and the dozens of other people who always seemed to be in the house--money was no problem for her. Narasimha had left them well-off. She was here merely to ensure that her children were acquainted with their only great-uncle. Sripathi always felt angry and humiliated in that opulent house. He despised himself for laughing uproariously over every one of Hari Mama's jokes, even when they were laboured and unfunny, and for leaping up to fetch a glass of water each time the old man coughed.
I, Sripathi Rao, mediocre, trivial purveyor of words, he thought miserably, am placidly alive, while my daughter... He could not complete the thought. Could not bear to put the incident into words. A truck loaded with broken concrete reversed down the road, furiously honking its horn all the way, and stopped in front of the gates of the house. Sripathi watched the lorry vomit its load with a great sliding roar of sound, cutting offall access to the house. A cloud of grey dust rose slowly above the pile and hung motionless in the air.
He was in no mood to see all those sympathetic faces, to hear their condolences. No. He would go to Raju's house. He felt calmer at the thought of visiting his closest friend. And then he would have to visit the travel agent on Pyecroft Road to find out about flights to Canada. "Where are you going? " Sripathi hated himself for the words that forced themselves out of his mouth. They seemed to have a life of their own. "Oh? You don't have to save the world today? You can help your father with mundane things like airline tickets and all?