Friday, January 30, 2009


News - City Real-life Amitabh reels from son’s ‘Baghban’ shock

75-year-old takes up job as clerk to buy his wife an anniversary present after son throws him out of his home

By Nilesh Nikade
Posted On Friday, January 30, 2009

It’s like a scene straight out of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Baghban. An elderly father sells his house for the sake of his son, only to be mercilessly thrown out years later. Sakharam Sadvelkar, too, still knows how to look after himself and his beloved wife Damayanti. At 75, he took up a job so he could buy her a sari and cake to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

On Thursday, Sakharam received his first salary as a clerk with Thane-based NGO Madat Seva Sanstha, and headed straight for Thane’s shopping haven, Gokhale Road.

After scouring four sari shops, he found the perfect yellow sari to gift his wife, and purchased it for Rs 600. “I’m as excited as I was on my first wedding anniversary. Even then, I had purchased a sari for Damayanti. I hope she likes it, though. I am still not very sure about her choice,” he said.

Sakharam lost his job as a mill worker in 1982. He supported his family by taking up small jobs and sold his house at Kurla so that his only son Ashish could get a good education. “In the late 90s, I managed to purchase a flat when my financial condition improved,” he recalled.

In 1998, the responsible father had his son married. But it was all downhill from here on. “Ashish wanted to move to Mulund. I sold my flat so he could buy one and moved in with him. However, with a working daughter-in-law, Damayanti was forced to do the household chores. Two years later, when Ashish had a son, we gladly took on his responsibility, too. But we were never respected by them and would often be subjected to false allegations.”

After five years of living together, Ashish asked his parents to move out.

The callous son offered no help even when Damayanti had to be operated on for a stomach tumour, and Sakharam collected funds by taking up odd jobs.

Sakharam Sadvelkar (top right) and (above) with wife Damayanti in happier times

By now, the couple had been forced to take shelter with their adopted daughter Trupti Chavan at Dombivli. A month ago, her husband lost his job and once again, Sakharam had to fend for himself.

His hunt for a job brought him to Madat Seva Sanstha. The NGO plans to arrange for a small place for him in Thane.

His boss Shashi Agrawal said, “It is very saddening to see Sakharam working at this age. He works like a young man, though. We all will celebrate his anniversary. We just hope that like in films, his story will have a happy ending, too.”

Copyright 2008 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. . All rights reserved.


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