With an introduction that she wants to tell me something important, she tells me that my journalist younger brother employed with the Indian Express – Calicut at the time, wishes to leave home and become a Sannyasi (Sannyasa is the renounced order of life within Hinduism).
I was shocked but tried not to loose my composure. We did know for sometime that he was praying a little bit more, I did worry initially but my worry was quickly replaced by the optimism that I can talk to him out of it and the thought that she may be attaching too much importance to it.
He apparently met with my brother-in-law at his office and announced his intentions some time before. Brother-in-law immediately started admonishing and requested him never to do so. However, he clearly told that he is not unnerved by our feelings and no matter what we had to tell him he has taken the final decision to leave.
But nothing we knew that his inclination to prayers would transform into something as radical as leaving home and choosing spirituality as a way of life. At the hospital, my wife, and prematurely delivered children in a special ICU were recuperating well. However I now had a tougher problem in hand which is potentially much more serious than her hospital stay and the premature birth of my children.
I thought long and hard about the proposition of him leaving home. The implications are one but the agony of brother leaving for ever was unthinkable. At my home, my younger brother and mother lived together. Two sisters living with their husbands, he was the one who we all relied upon to look after our home and aged mother. His work was cool reporting for the New Indian Express.
Until the time I left the hospital, nothing was done regarding the matter except that in the most close family circles, we kept talking and thinking how to deal with it. Immediate task was to shield the news from our Mother whom we thought would be utterly devastated by the news.