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The Dilemma

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Mr. Kadam, living in the opposite apartment, made a surprise visit to Satish at around 7 in the evening. Both were in their fifties.

“Am I disturbing you, Mr. Satish?” he said politely.

“Not at all. Please come in,” Satish said.

After he had made himself comfortable, he started hesitantly, “I need your help.”

“Oh! Please be at ease. Don’t worry. I am there for you.”

“See Satish, we stay in the opposite flats but there was no occasion that we interacted with each other. And straightway, I am asking for your help. I do not know how to ask.” Kadam was not at ease.

“Please don’t worry at all. Tell me how may I help you?” Satish said.

“You know, I have two sons. The elder one Akashdeep has finished his MS at Harvard University, US. After completing his MBBS here, he went to Harvard. Finished his post-graduation just last year. Now, he is getting married to an American girl who studied with him. Both of them are working with the city hospital of Boston. Since they are fresh with their jobs, they can not get long leave to come to India. So, we have decided that we will go to the U.S. to perform their marriage. You may be aware that the younger one Sandeep is autistic. He has crossed nineteen. And we find it difficult to take Sandeep along with us to the U.S.  You must have noticed, many times he is uncontrollable. He understands everything but he can not express himself. We don’t want to create a scene in the U.S. during Akashdeep’s marriage.” Kadam took a pause.

“Ok. Tell me how I can be of any help to you?” Satish said.

“I will be obliged if you can spend 8-10 days with Sandeep during our absence. Satish, you too have two well-settled children. You can understand the father’s position. We love our children. But sometimes we are helpless. My wife Aparna, doesn’t want to attend the marriage leaving Sandip alone at home. Daytime, he is occupied with hiscollege and there are caretakers to look after him. But you know, the paid services are devoid of the affection that is demanded by this type of child. It is not just a day or two but we need to be away for at least ten days.

We explained the situation to Sandeep, and he understood us. When we further asked him in our absence, with whom he would be more comfortable, he pointed at you. I don’t know when you interacted with him. But he feels at home with you.”

“Oh! Great! There were some occasions when he used to come to your window, and I happened to be at my window, I always wave at him with a smile. He also responds and returns a smile. I am glad that it has developed a bond between us. If he is comfortable with me, Mr. Kadam, don’t worry. I will be his guardian in your absence.”

Kadam felt a relief. A smile appeared on his face.

“We will make all the arrangements so that you will not face any inconvenience.  Now, we will perform Akashdeep’s marriage without any worries lingering with Sandip. Thank you so much.” Kadam got up and shook Satish’s hand.

“That calls for a coffee. We will have hot coffee and then only you leave. By the way, when would you leave for the U.S.?” Satish said.

“Two weeks from now, we will start for the U.S. Let me go quickly and tell Aparna about your readiness. She will also be very much relieved.” Kadam said.

Vidya, who was listening to the conversation, came forward and said, “A quick coffee won’t take more than five minutes. And you don’t have to cover much distance to reach home.” Saying this Vidya rushed into the kitchen.

“The daycare service will manage his college. Just last year, Sandip passed out H.S.C. and now he goes to the college for autistic students.” Kadam said.

Soon Vidya brought hot coffee. They finished it while talking about general matters. Kadam again thanked Satish and left.

Ten minutes later Satish saw Sandeep at his window looking expectantly. Satish waved at him. He responded with a smile.

Fifteen days passed quickly. Kadam came to Satish and told him that at around 11 at night, they would leave for the U.S.They would be back just after 10 days.

“Okay. I will come to your house at 10, an hour before you leave.”

“Thanks again. Satish, I hope you are not put into any uncomfortable situation by Sandeep. Treat him like your son. Don’t hesitate to punish him if he misbehaves. Looks like he likes you. He will understand whatever you say. You will have to have some patience.” Kadam was a little unsure of his son Sandeep’s behaviour.

But he again assured Satish that whichever way he treats him it would be appropriate.  “Just treat him as your own son and be his loving father. Everything else will work out properly. Satish, I am leaving this place with full confidence.Will be in touch with you sometimes except during the days of the actual marriage. I will also give a call to Sandeep now and then to estimate the situation.”

“No. Mr. Kadam. Don’t worry at all. There won’t be any situation that would upset you.” Satish made Mr. Kadam comfortable.

The Kadam couple left exactly at 11 and Satish took charge of Sandeep.

Both of them had finished their dinner. So, Satish made two beds ready. He saw to it that Sandeep slept before he himself fell off to sleep. Satish took out some novel and continued reading till he was sure Sandeep was fast asleep.

The next day, Satish’s day started at 6 in the morning. The day-care-taker arrived at 6:30.Satish went to his house and started his routine.

Here the daycare-taker woke up Sandeep and made him carry out all his daily routines. Sandeep was given a shave and then made to take bath. At 8:30 Sandeep took his breakfast prepared by the cook. Sandeep was sent to college by the school bus at 11 a.m. He returned home at 6 in the evening. After giving dinner by 8:30 to Sandeep, the daycare left.

At 9 p.m. when Satish went to Sandeep, he was received with a good smile. After making beds for Sandeep and Satish, the domestic help left.

At around 9:30, Sandeep lay on his bed and went off to sleep. Satish continued reading a novel for some time and then he also slept.

After an hour or so Satish was awakened by some movement. Satish found Sandeep lying near him with his one leg on Satish’s leg. Slowly Sandeep stretched his one hand onto him. Satish was surprised. Then Sandeep’s manhood was touching his body. Confused, Satish pushed aside Sandeep’s hand and turned to one side of the bed. While doing so, he opened his eyes and looked at Sandeep. In the dim night light, Satish saw Sandeep staring at him with the same emotions as he would return whenever he had met his eyes while they waved at each other from the windows. Satish realized even then his eyes had the same expression.

But this time Satish was annoyed with Sandeep. He sat straight up.

“Sandeep, what are you doing? This is not right.” Satish said in an irritated tone.

But Sandeep was still begging him to help him out of this feeling.

Not knowing what to do, he quickly said, “I don’t expect such an action from you.”

Hearing this, Sandeep’s mood changed. Without saying any word, he made some sounds requesting his pardon.

“Ok, You are pardoned. But henceforth, behave yourself.” Satish said.

Sandeep got out of Satish’s bed and went to his own bed and slept.

After a few minutes, Satish heard sobs from Sandeep.

Satish was moved. ‘Whom did I tell to behave himself? To the boy whose faculty of expressing himself is underdeveloped? Oh! That was very cruel on my part. He trusted me and expressed his desire to help him to handle his feelings. Probably, he could not communicate with his father. So, he must have thought I to be the friendly person to open out to. Oh my God! I have been atrocious with him. I have hurt him very severely.

To think of it how could he have sex with any female? That would create a very complex situation. Same-sex was the easier option. But then to whom should he vent out?

I think self-gratification is the only way out. But poor Sandeep. Who would tell him how to satisfy himself? Somehow, he needs to release his energy whenever he gets intense sexual desire.’

Lost in thoughts Satish slept without any consideration for Sandeep.

The next day, Satish woke up at 6:30. As the day-care-taker came, Satish went to his house.

After dinner, Satish came to Sandeep. Sandeep forced a smile when he saw Satish with an apologetic expression on his face.

Sandeep lay on his bed and tried to sleep. Satish continued with his novel lying in the easy chair. After an hour, he closed the book. While going to his bed, he saw Sandeep lying down with his eyes wide open. Satish was disturbed seeing Sandeep sad.

Satish pulled a chair near Sandeep’s bed.

“Are you angry with me Sandeep? Don’t mistake me. My child, I am your best friend. It was a bit unexpected. So, I was a little upset. I am very sorry.

I love you as much as I love my Aniket.  I know you are in your prime youth. Such intense sex feeling is inevitable. I don’t blame you. You don’t worry at all. I am not going to say anything to your father. Once again, I am sorry, Sandeep.”

Sandeep seemed to be relieved. He made some sounds. Satish saw an innocent smile on Sandeep’s face.

Satish got up from the chair with a heavy heart. He bent further and kissed Sandeep on his forehead. “Love you, my child,” he said.

While Satish was going away, Sandeep held his hand and pulled Satish near him. He further made gestures preventing Satish to go away. Satish understood, Sandeep needed some help. Satish got himself into the teenage shell. He explained to Sandeep the process of self-gratification.

Sandeep was extremely happy. Later both of them slept on their respective beds.

The following night, Sandeep greeted Satish with a grand smile.

But now Sandeep was independent and he did not need any help.

The remaining days passed peacefully.

When Mr. and Mrs. Kadam returned from the U.S., Sandeep was extremely happy to see them. After freshening up, they went to Satish.

“We don’t have words to express our gratitude. A million thanks, SatishJi.

Here is a small gift from us for the celebration of Akashdeep’s marriage.”

Mr. Kadam put a small robot in front of Satish. “This will do all your house cleaning work. I hope you like it.

Now tell me how was Sandeep? Be frank and tell me whether he troubled you anyway. Satish, I know you would not come out even if you were troubled by Sandeep. But I earnestly request you. Please, please tell me if he has caused you any trouble.

Ok. I give you a day to tell me. Tomorrow, in the evening I will be back. Please be honest. I need to correct him in case he is wrong. Ok, see you tomorrow.” Kadam left hurriedly.

That night Satish could not sleep properly. He was in two minds regarding the incident with Sandeep.

Satish was in dilemma, To tell or not to tell the incident with Sandeep, to Mr. Kadam.


Image by Satheesh Sankaran from Pixabay

Vijay Likhite

The author is a B.E. (Electronics) from Mumbai University in 1971. Owned a manufacturing unit. A few science and technology based articles in Marathi were published in Sunday Edition of local newspaper.


  1. Avatar

    Mr. Vijay Likhite has handled a delicate and taboo topic in “The Dilemma”—the topic of human sexuality. Problems related to sex are avoided by most authors, because of the inherent complexity of human sexuality, and the associated embarrassment, both for the writer and the reader. Yet, Mr. Likhite, focused in this story on the sexual problems of an autistic adolescent, and handled the theme successfully with sensitivity and skill. I found the story very moving.

  2. Vallinath

    Very bold theme. Vijaya Likhite over came his age to conceive a contemporary theme. I congratulate him.

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