Sunday, May 19, 2013

Silence in the "Bond By Birth"

After the work at office, Ashish was back to his home at night. That night he was not hungry, but his mom insisted that he should have some food. But, Ashish was just not hungry. As he was untying his shoe laces, loosening his tie, he was cogitating something. Deep, lost in his own thoughts, Ashish was making himself at home. Prerna, his younger sister was happy that her brother was at home, but she was surprised that , that day Ashish forgot to bring Dairy Milk for her. But as a small child she was, she did not mind it, Ashish loved Prerna a lot, his sweet younger sister. 
Certainly, Ashish was inside some deep thoughts. Mom asked, what is wrong? Ashish looked at her into her eyes but did not say anything. Dad in his usual strident tone asked him, "Why are you so late today?". Ashish replied, "Dad, today there was a strike at the Metro station". But the truth was something else, Ashish knew in his heart. He had loved his home as a child, it had been a place that had instilled in him virtues that he had seen being ridiculed in outer world, but he had guarded them fiercely close to him.  It was the place that had given him every book he wanted to read, peaceful times, good food, and what not. His yester years were surely beautiful at home. So, what was the thing that made him anxious? What was it that was disconcerting to him that he was plunged into a silence that night? 
Ashish laid down his head on the bed in his room and opened up his diary. As a child Ashish had never had any friends, and so he always had his diary to share his thoughts, his good days, his bad days, his worst days, his dilemmas and everything. He opened up the page. There in just popped up the photograph of his beloved, it brought a smile. Ashish was not late due to strike at Metro, he was late because he was with Juhi after office. He flipped through the pages and then put the date on the blank page, 19-May-2013 and began writing: 

"Dear Diary, 
Home is good , but I do not feel happy here. I have very nice parents, I am what all today due to them. I know I have responsibilities towards them, towards my family, towards Prerna. But somewhy , it is not as peaceful as it used to be when I was in school. Or may be I never had paid attention. Sure, there were bad times even then but not like these. There is a lull between me and my parents. We do not talk, at all. They feel I have become indifferent. I know I have not. Then why don't I feel at peace here? Is the peace no more inside me? Why does not coming to home excite me? Why? 
Well, yeah I know. Because I am fed up of complains , things we do not have, things we could have had, things we should have, things that we should not have...blah blah blah. I am earning and earning enough to afford everything that is required, Prerna has been admitted to the best school in the locality. She is a brilliant student, I am proud of her. She is a caring sister, innocent and clean hearted. I hope she always remains like that. 
Dheeraj, my younger brother left home 2 years back, because he was fed up of daily dramas in home. Dad regularly shouted that his kids had been spoiled while mother felt they became indifferent. Being elder son of the house, I had to behave maturely. I made Dheeraj understand , but he had looked into my eyes and said, "Bhaiyya, mujhse nahi saha jaata". He never said, he would return and he has not till now . I felt bad for mom and dad. And I knew I have to be with them. Yeah....yeah, I am not planning to leave, elder most children are gifted with fortitude to endure everything. 
The thing is that I and dad do not talk at all. Why? There is no reason. We are like strangers in the same home, in the same room! Sure, I have grown, become responsible, but that chord between me and my parents never got set at the right place. I know they have sacrificed their every small desire to bring me this high in life. I know everything. But , why could not we be like real kid and parent. As I matured with time, I feel, I separated from them while we should have become closer. Never happened. I know they are not happy, I know Dheeraj is always on their mind. And now I know, money cannot bring happiness. Money cannot make a family. 
A family is a bond of understanding each other even where there is  little money but enough to meet the best of facilities. People outside my family, my friends and colleagues never miss an opportunity to remark, "Ashish is the most genuine person we have ever met, honestly caring and understanding". I think about this remark and then wonder, "then how come I do not feel the same for my family. Why don't I feel I care for them? Why don't I feel I understand them?". I do...

He closed his diary after writing the last line : "We are emotionally distant from each other".

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