Here’s a short story on a not so ideal middle class family. The members of the family are in a complete mess since a few months. Fights have become a routine and there are days which become too serious for them to bear. Now, let me tell you the reason why this family can’t be the perfect happy one. The reason is their elder sixteen year old son Jai. This is not what I think rather this is what the parents think. According to them Jai has grown up to become a spoilt boy not meeting their expectations and above all is their being middle class drama making them even more worried about their son’s future.
“You can’t go on missing your tutions like this, it has been a week ”
“Are you even listening Jai”,said the infuriated mother.
“I have a headache”, replied the Jai calmly.
“And what did you have yesterday, stomach pain or something?”
“No I had a tooth pain.”, replied Jai again very calmly.
“A tooth pain! Aren’t you ashamed mocking me like this when I am blowing my mind on you. God knows how on this Earth you get sleep by taking away ours. Your performance in class is pathetic and next year is your board exams. You will be in college then. Your friends have already started preparing for entrance exams and you are still struck in passing your school exams. What has made you so lazy in life. You look like a complete idiot. Somehow we agreed to give you tutions saving everything we could from our salaries and look at you, you don’t even bother to attend them also. I pray to God everyday to give you awakening but I don’t know what wrong have I done that God is not listening to me”, shouted the mother.
Jai who was sitting on the chair with a book in his hand stood up.
“It’s time for Pia’s school bus, I should leave.”
Jai returns home with his sister Pia. Pia is the youngest in the family and is out of all these issues going around her. She is in a very jolly mood and runs straight away to her mom in kitchen.
“Maa I got selected in school’s badminton team.”said the twelve year old girl with a big smile on her face.
Jai who was in next room heard this and came running to his beloved sister.
“Wow,that’s a great news Pia. I am proud of you” uttered Jai smiling too. It would be probably a couple of days since anyone would have seen him smiling.
“That’s good.” replied the mother and continued ,”Jai you have mid semester results tomorrow?”
“Yes maa”, replied Jai trying to avoid eye contact with his mother.
“Were you trying to hide this from me? I can’t believe you have got down to this level. You better get good marks and start getting serious about your future .”said the frustrated mother and left for her room.
“I better don’t get any result then.”said Jai tauntingly.
“Bhai do you think Mum loves me, she talk’s about you all the time and is least bothered about me”, Pia whispered.
“Oh Pia,I wish Mom was least bothered about me, it’s not good to be in my place mind it .”
“How was your match last week?”, asked Pia.
“Oh the chess one, I couldn’t participate in it”.
“But you were in finals Bhai”.
“It wasn’t that important match Pia and I have other things to do.”
Next morning Jai was really worried, he never took his Mom’s words very seriously but he knew today his father is going to be involved in this. This made him very scared as he dared not to reply back to his father and his temper goes too high these days. Above all he was so nervous that he refused to accompany his father to school. Father must be on his way and reach home at any second.
“What marks did he get?”, asked the mother as father entered the hall. Jai was sitting on the sofa with face almost white.
The father threw result card on the table and asked for a glass of water. Mother brings water and as he was about to drink he stopped and began to shout,” Huh, what do you expect him to get Divya highest, second highest or something. I hope he will be happy to know he somehow managed to pass in all subjects. Our son is among the last rank holders of the class with a score of fifty percentage overall. What a shame has this boy brought to us. He is good for nothing. We provide him with all we could only to secure his future. But this fool is carefree about everything. How will you survive in this world , we have nothing to leave for you on which you can depend in future. There are so many job opportunities these days if you are good in your studies to can easily grab them. But I think his dream world is still not over so that he can think about his real world. Though we are living less comfortable lives but I have always tried my best to provide you with best education so that you have a comfortable life but I don’t know why you can’t understand anything. Have you even thought what you will do for earning in future, you loser?”
The father’s anger was at it’s tip. It seems he wanted to speak more but no voice was coming out of his heated throat. Jai was listening all this silently. His mother went to kitchen to resume her work. He saw his father drinking water.Suddenly the father said,” Not a single word he has to speak. I don’t know why he has grown up to become this worthless. At least say you will focus from now and change yourself if you have little bit of shame left in yourself or else don’t show me your face from now. Your habits have irritated me more than enough. I have nothing to do with you now.”
“I did what I could have done. It couldn’t have been done better”, said Jai in a very low voice.
Father goes to his room shutting the door loudly. Jai walked slowly to his room. He tried to sleep but he couldn’t then he took a book from his shelf and sat on the chair but then he kept his eyes fixed on the roof of his room. Nobody knew what thoughts were occupying his mind but he was still looking at the roof.
It was evening time and Pia was back from school. She ran straight to her mother.
“Maa I need a new racquet , will you buy me”.
“But you have one in your hand right now”
Meanwhile Jai comes out of the room hearing Pia’s voice and saw them arguing over something.
“This is not a good one. I have to play for inter school championship next week. This wont work , I need a branded one. Please maa, I will lose if I play with this.”
“You don’t have to take it so seriously Pia. You know we can’t afford such costly sports stuff. After all this is just a sport , you are not going to get any grades for this in your report card and I doubt your father will allow you for that inter school thing. Forget it for now , we will talk about this later. You have played enough for today .Go to your room and concentrate on your studies.”
Pia was so disheartened to hear these words from her mother.She was about to cry. Jai was seeing all this. Suddenly he goes to Pia and took a paper which she was holding in one of her hands and then walks in his father’s room.
In a very clear confident tone he said,”Pia has a tournament for inter school badminton championship next week. She has to go to different schools. You need to sign this form for her right now.”
“Wan’t it enough for you today, what do you want me to do now beat you up for behaving like this with me. Don’t tell me what I should do.” said the father trying to keep his calm this time while on otherhand his son was losing his this time.
“No why , why can’t you sign it. Why can’t you people let us do what we want to do. You have done this with me and now I won’t let you do this to my sister.”
Jai brokes down and begins to cry. He then screamed,
“I am no loser. I won the school’s chess tournament last year. It is you who made me a loser. You did not let me play at state levels. Yes I was a fool to have agreed with your decision which was never mine. I can’t do any better in studies but I know now I can do much better in my game. All these days I have been killing myself listening to you and mom’s stuff without sharing a word of mine. But I can’t do this anymore. I want my life back and I know what I can do for my future.”
Jai’s face was wet with tears. All these words were coming right away from his heart. He was still crying. His father did not utter a single word. He took a pen from the table and signed the form kept in front of him and goes to sleep.
I think Pia got what she wanted to. I also think Jai is clever enough to continue his chess game which he left for one year .I hope this was their last fight over their son’s topic.
Now there is something we need to understand many a times parents take too much care of us showing us the right direction and encouraging us do what they think is best for us . Especially in a middle class family where the parents want their children to be employed as soon as possible. They are not wrong in this ,every parent wants the best for their child’s future but we are wrong if we do not make them realise what we really want to do. It is our duty to take a stand and make them believe in ourselves. Jai did a bit late in doing this , I hope you don’t.