Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bearing the sole brunt


-By Swetha Amit
He rushed through his project work that day. It was an evening he had been waiting for ages quite eagerly. The invitation had reached his parents a couple of weeks ago stating his cousin’s wedding on his paternal side. How long ago it seemed. He recollected those memorable days of playing in the huge garden indulging in notorious pranks that were inimitable of kids. A decade almost had gone by and things somewhere down the line didn’t depict cordiality. Certain issues which had cropped up had led his family to the brink of estrangement from the rest. Too young to understand the intensity of such problems, he had hoped things would die down as each went their own way. Never did he see his cousins, uncles, aunts or grandparents since that tension filled afternoon. For some vague reason, his parents seemed to avoid this ‘tender’ topic whenever he tried to broach it with a firm stress on academics and scores.

He missed those vivacious get- togethers especially when he would hear of his friends’ family reunions. Yet he let it pass thinking that his solitude would end at the right time. And indeed it was almost here. Didn’t that invitation embark it? It would just be like old times again where he was sure that such pettiness would be submerged under a pool of warmth. After all wasn’t blood thicker than water?

He reached home to find an uptight expression on both his parents’ faces which he ignored. A stoic silence prevailed in the car as they drove down. As they reached the venue, he jumped out being the enthusiastic twenty-year old he was and ran inside the hall. The crowd was yet to come and the rest of the family was already present. As he walked towards them with a smile on his face, he stopped in his tracks suddenly. What he saw seemed almost unbelievable. The reciprocation of his warm smile was met with such severe frozen stares that would have put Alaska to shame. Some of them turned their backs at him. It couldn’t have been mere tension as they were making merry a minute before he had spotted them. As his parents entered, the animosity further engulfed the air.

“Arush!!! Is that you?” As he turned, he noticed his cousin’s ecstatic face beaming beside him. How much he had grown into a handsome young man and now all set to enter into a new phase in his life. At least one person was happy to see him. Nothing had changed his affection towards him. They started to catch up only to be ushered by his uncle who gave a stiff nod of acknowledgement.

The rest of them seemed to look at him like a worm which had crawled out from nowhere. He spotted his grandparents nearby and rushed to touch their feet with a hope of breaking the ice. To his dismay they moved their feet and instead posed a question that pierced through his heart filling him with incurable agony. “Where were you all these years?” Couldn’t you even look upon old souls”? We didn’t realize you would turn out to be ruthless and selfish like your parents.” As he asked rather politely that they didn’t seem to exhibit any signs of knowing about his whereabouts either; he was rudely interrupted by one of the members who said he seemed to have inherited his parents’ "arrogance."
A stupefied silence followed and left the ambience like that which would be in the presence of a corpse. His parents’ face went red with indignation as their son was been made a scapegoat all this while. Feelings of disgust surfaced and a heated argument followed which led to pointless accusations and hurling like weapons in the olden day wars. It was proving to be an embarrassment and his expectation had entirely turned into a nightmare. As he mulled over in anguish, he found himself dragged by his parents who were seething with rage. Reaching home, he shut himself in his room and pondered furiously about the incident.

Was he living in denial all this while? An illusion of a happy ending? Bitterness carried over after several years even with one's own kith and kin. Whatever happened to the good old days? Will they ever come back or had too much water flown under the bridge? What was his fault? Had the love of the elders towards him faded away along with that for his parents? Why was he targeted? Why did children have to get embroiled in such controversies?

As he forced himself to sleep; he couldn’t forget his grandparents’ remark which stayed with him all night and life. Everything came at a cost and yet he was paying one of the heaviest prices that even a millionaire couldn’t afford. Those happy days were recollected as he dozed off rather exhausted. He could almost feel his grandma’s voice calling out to him only to wake up startled from what had been a dream. Sadly, he slung his backpack and glanced at the calendar. Infinite years of solitude were what it spelt out while his parents acted as though nothing happened. In spite of having innumerable friends he realized a void which had been created in him only never to be filled again.

Feud in the family tree is quite known to occur over several issues. Yet what remains important is the fact that friction between those concerned should strictly be retained within their chambers of dispute. A carry over to the others would only upset the apple cart. As adults, a mature stance should be adopted to let their children remain unaffected and discourage their involvement in matters concerning grown ups. Allowing such dishevelment to be exhibited towards grandchildren especially can cause immense insecurity in them. While trees and branches are spread out, it takes strong roots to firmly hold in unity and not let any branch bear the brunt unwarrantedly.
Written for www.msn.co.in

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2 Comments:

Blogger Whirlwind said...

Comments on MSN:

sharmishtha - calcutta on 10/16/2008 7:53:30 PM
harshl but true story in case of most famillies, its really strange, we come to this world for such a short duration, yet we fail in loving a handful of people. superb story.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

khiva - chandigarh on 10/18/2008 10:36:57 PM
this is the bittter truth of life. and i dont believe in this quote "blood is thicker than water".this qotation fails again and again.if one is in harmony with his relatives he/she is the luckiest person but otherwise if one is not then search for new friends and believe me u will live blissfully.but do choose friends wisely.

9:10 PM  

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