Money for nothing
Driving his car had been the last straw. Such remarks seemed to be the latest fad that was doing its rounds. It was similar to that of the torn jeans that were once a rage and which nobody wanted to tame. It was a pity he realized that he of all people proved to be a guinea pig for tickling others’ funny bone. True that he possessed unlimited resources, latest gadgets, exotic vacations including his cool demeanour; things that made his friends go green with envy. What they didn’t realize was the concept of the grass appearing greener on the other side when it really wasn’t.
His buddies were nowhere close to being underprivileged yet chose to act as though they were. Numerous conversations about saving for a rainy day which apparently dominated in their households ended in a “Dan, you won’t understand as you are filthy rich.” Darn that statement. At least they had families under one roof even if they weren’t exactly downed in wealth. Parents who would attend days of significance expressing their solidarity. What his friends didn’t know was his dark secret of a broken home which if revealed would only result in bearing a brunt of further scorn or teasing.
All they knew about his father was one suave businessman whose work took him to the shores abroad, not realizing that this had become his permanent residence with a new family. How he missed those horses riding and golf sessions with his dad he ruminated ruefully. What had gone wrong? To worsen things, his interior designer mom seemed to flutter away in the glitz of the elite like a true social butterfly.
Dan had found his only solace in his martial arts master whom he looked up to as a father figure in his life. The adrenalin rush he encountered while mastering a move enhanced his concentration and proved to be a temporary getaway from his woes. Only he was aware of Dan’s sorrowful life of solitude and the unfair treatment meted out to him. “One day it’ll all turn out alright.” And Dan would just sigh impatiently wondering if that day would ever arrive.
An unexpected jolt of events one day in class, resulted in him hurting his head for which he was rushed to the emergency ward. His gang were waiting for him outside while he was being operated. Chatting in hushed tones, they couldn’t contain their curiosity levels about Dan’s father speculating if he would arrive in person or just sent an attendant with the desired amount. They were interrupted by a quiet voice in the lounge. “Dan’s parents are divorced and his father resides with his new family abroad. And his mother’s profession takes her out of the city mostly. He is mostly left with his housekeeper. Didn’t any of you know that?”
Silence and shock followed simultaneously. Divorced? Lonely? Housekeeper? Why hadn’t Dan mentioned a word? Guilt began to surmount furiously as they looked at one another in immense shame. How insensitive they must have seemed with their merciless ragging.
Adding fuel to the fire, the quiet voice continued to ramble on...”Dan had mentioned about his unlucky stance several times when the world had thought otherwise. Possession of wealth may certainly eradicate material discomforts in turn instigating envy amidst others. Yet it doesn’t guarantee a picture perfect life that others deprived of money seem to perceive. Often we envy others for something we lack in abundance which results in tormenting them in an unforgiving manner. Often we fail to realize that such ‘privileged’ souls may also lack something that is gifted to us. The grass appears greener on the other side, until we take the effort to explore the same only to find our patch far better in comparison. Dan’s life had lacked the real wealth of family bonding which most people are blessed with. Instead of your scorn, love, support and understanding is what he would require.
Consciences pricked and prolonged as minutes ticked away with bated breaths. They rushed towards the door in elation on seeing the surgeon step out with a radiant smile stating “He is fine”. An unspoken pact occurred as tearful words of sentiment filled the room much to the mystification of Dan. He looked at his teacher who gave a knowing smile and he turned to glance at his friends. His reassuring expression spelt forgiveness as he prepared for a new beginning altogether. Finally that day had come resting his impatient sighs as he recalled those words of wisdom.
He was glad to realize that his life wasn’t a case of money for nothing anymore. Especially not while basking in the affection of his ‘real friends’ at last along with his ‘father figure’ in the background.
Written for www.msn.co.in