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The lioness in winter

Parvati Parab, 75, won a seven-year-long legal battle against her US-based son, who abandoned her while she was sleeping, reports Aditya Ghosh.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2007 03:32 IST
Aditya Ghosh

Can a court order a son to meet his mother?”

This question has been haunting 75-year-old Parvati Parab ever since she won a weary, seven-year-long legal battle against her son Dilip this April.

Despite the court upholding all her pleas, Parvati says it still eludes her what prompted Dilip to leave for the US ten years ago when she was asleep, locking all the rooms in the apartment but the one in which she was sleeping.

In its order, the Mumbai family court restored Parvati in the apartment that was bought with her husband’s savings. Though the house is registered in Dilip’s name, the order ensures that he will not be able to sell it till Parvati is alive. Dilip will also have to pay her a monthly maintenance of Rs 5,000. This is now deposited monthly in the court, and in turn transferred to Parvati.

Parvati’s daughters, both based in Mumbai, can also visit her now at home — something which Dilip did not allow earlier. Besides this, the court has also directed Dilip to pay his mother Rs 10,000 to compensate for her litigation costs.

Parvati and Dilip’s case isn’t an exception. Over past two years, cases of parents demanding maintenance from their kin has increased by ten per cent in the Mumbai family court.

But even though she has won the case, Parvati’s biggest regret is that Dilip never came to Mumbai while contesting the case — something she had desperately hoped for. "I thought if I file a case, I will at least get to see him and ask — ‘What did I do wrong in bringing you up?’ I have not seen him for ten years now. My heart bleeds… after all, I am a mother," she says.

And it was this desire to see her son — even if it was while fighting each other in court — that drove Parvati to make several rounds of the courtroom, despite her diabetes, high blood pressure, a host of eye problems and osteoporosis.

Says Sandhya Sharma, secretary, Family Court Bar Association who contested for Parvati, "Dilip contested the case through his lawyer here. It was not a criminal complaint and in such cases, a person cannot be deported from the US. We tried to explain it to Parvati but she clung on to the hope."

The heartbroken mother is now trying to come to terms with the fact that law cannot engender love.