"Ooooh God... You made me a widow, now who is there to take care of me and children?...Akaaash, Anu... Your father left us...! " The loud wailing of Seethamma accompanied the sound made by the pooja vessel dropped from her hands. She had just returned from the routine morning visit to temple when she noticed the awkward pause in which Rajagopal master, her husband, was lying on an easy chair, head backward, motionless and eyes closed. The newspaper that he was reading lied on the floor and the cup of tea that Seethamma gave him before she left home was still on the teapoy, cold and probably a graveyard for some unfortunate flies and gave her the notion that she has indeed become a widow.
Aakash and Anu, the former wrapped in a towel, with shaving cream on one half of the face and numerous cuts and scratches on the other and latter with a piece of bread toast inside the mouth and rest on her hands, came rushing to the scene accompanying the chorus. Chaos prevailed for some moment. Then Aakash noticed a slight movement on the dead man's body. "He is alive!"
Ten minutes and many embarrasing scenes later, Master sat with a hot cup of tea on his easy chair. Seethamma was faning him with a magazine although the ceiling fan was revolving full speed on the cool December morning. Master was a retired mathematics teacher from a government school, whose fame had spread throughout the neighbourhood and even in nearby villages. He was considered a pious person, dedicated to his work. His students regarded him more as an artist. Artist of numbers! Because he was a mathemtical wizard. No puzzle was unsolvable to him. In quiz programs, he used to give puzzles designed himselves! He was a winner of several national and state awards that are usually given to dedicated teachers of the country.
"I feel tired Seetha. I feel numbers are leaving me, and instead a vacuum is developing inside. I don't think I will ever have the power to do a calculation rest of my life."
"What happened to you? Are you unwell? We will go to hospital immediately, Aakash call a taxi."
Maths was the life for Master. He sees, interprets and analyse world through numbers and calculations. If he feels tired of numbers, it was something really bad. That thought made a void inside Seethamma's mind. She had given up hope.
"But what happened?"