Hyderabad, Nov. 21: As the three men walked out of the village graveyard in Chittoor, they wouldn’t have been grieving for the mother they had just left behind.
After all, Parvatamma wasn’t yet dead.
The ailing 62-year-old had merely been left to die, without treatment or a roof over her head, because the sons had important business elsewhere.
Nagaraj couldn’t possibly neglect his patients in a nearby village where he ran his medical practice. Sudhakar had to finish tallying his books at his grocery in Nellore. And Ramesh needed to resume lecturing to his pupils at a private school in Tirupati.
Parvatamma, though, took all of four days to die, because her neighbours would not, like her sons, mind their own business.
They got in touch with the media, police and district administration and she was carted to a government hospital where she passed away on Monday evening.
It ended five years of loneliness for Parvatamma, which began with the death of her husband, a tailor, in their village of Pacchikapallam, 568 km south of Hyderabad.
She managed to survive the first three years without help from her sons. But two years ago, they sold the house. Parvatamma didn’t want the monthly allowance they offered her, she wanted to live with them. “She pleaded with her sons, but they wouldn’t take her with them,” said Sujatamma, a villager.
When the allowance stopped coming after a few months, Parvatamma dragged herself to Puttur town and began begging and picking rags for a living. A few weeks ago, she collapsed at her new home, a bus station.
An unknown Samaritan brought her to her village in an auto-rickshaw and left her at a shed near the temple. “When we informed her sons, none of them was willing to come. They told us to get her treated, promising to reimburse us later,” the sarpanch said.
They did finally turn up but, on Thursday, decided that enough was enough.
All three sons have been arrested on the charge of attempted murder.