Friday, February 23, 2007

Love, Tainted?

He seemed happy today as he quietly played solitaire on the new laptop. Raghav stole sometime from his books and just about managed to catch his fading smile. Raghav looked at the clock, "One hour", he muttered, "how much more time!" Raghav was getting impatient. He was finding it difficult to concentrate on his studies as the presence of his father distracted him. Finally it happened, he got bored of solitaire and unable to find the laptop of any more use for the time being, he shut close the machine and zipped it up. He left the room and Raghav let the tension ease. In another hour or so he would leave for work and it would leave Raghav relaxed and unfortunately, happy!

Raghav again felt guilty for this happiness. The loss of respect for his own father bothered Raghav. It left him confused, not sure if it was right to have these negative feelings. The care and abundant love for the son was all obvious but his father's loose morals, his laziness, his cowardice and his way of life had affected Raghav's feelings towards him. It had made him look like a man of no values and that left Raghav frustrated to the core!

Raghav recalled the conversation he had had with his mother a few months back, "So how can we afford all this", he'd asked. "What do you mean?", she'd asked, confused. "Well", he said, "we have the latest electronic gadgets always, we have 3 cars, we live a lavish life, don't we?" He'd chosen to ignore the disturbed look on her face as he'd continued, "one of my friends the other day questioned me as to how we are able to afford all this. Although I'd just laughed him away, his question has been really haunting me since and today I demand answers!" He'd felt a tremor pass through him and his legs tremble, but he'd continued, "I want to know how much do you invest and how are the household expenses split between.." "What do you think?", she'd cut him. "I don't know and so I'm asking. I thought over it and as per my knowledge, he doesn't earn more than Rs.30,000 and we cannot be earning more than Rs.20,000 from the interest cheques. We were never into stock market, so our monthly earnings.." "Why do you think we fight so often?" Raghav had anticipated the answer to his questions even before his mother had said it but he still had to be sure before he jumped to any conclusions. Too stunned to think, he'd continued, "..cannot be more than.. and our monthly expenditure is certainly.." "Raghav", she'd stopped him, "Don't you understand? Isn't it too obvious to you yet? If not then why don't you ask your father the same question, I would really like to know his say on this." Raghav had stared at his mother, he had been too disturbed to be still, he had felt it all too unbearable, he'd felt filth all around him, he'd felt cheated, he'd felt disgusted! It had made him lose all the respect he'd held for his father for all these years! "So I was fed on tainted money all my life? My education, my books, everything has been paid out of that bribed money?" "No! I worked so I could feed you, I worked so I could educate you, the money spent to raise you was earned by me. Don't worry, I raised you". There was nothing more to say, Raghav had quickly hugged his mother, he had been in tears, he'd looked at the woman who'd stuck to her principles and was still able to give him all the comforts that he'd ever demanded, whereas his father went on to live a valueless life! He'd felt betrayed then. He'd always thought his father to be a clean guy, now he'd felt cheated! Hadn't it been for his mother then, he would've had quit his home.

Cowardice or maturity, he wasn't sure, but he felt he'd done the right thing then cause he was later to learn that his father had helped numerous people with the same money. His father had actually been a God to all the needy workers who worked under him for a petty Rs.30 per day. He had spent on paying school fees for their kids, he'd spent on paying for their hospital bills, he'd taken care of them like his own family. All of them were helped without even them asking him for the same. His father had before tried to refuse 'the money', but the same had gone in someone else's pocket under the name of his father. Therefore, his father had sketched a simple policy, he would accept the money, though he would never demand the same, no matter what, this would never affect his work, he would always give it a 100%. Raghav had learnt this from a visiting labourer who'd come to thank his father for all the good that he had done to him. It had left Raghav a bit relieved.

Raghav never expected his father to be a rebel, the one who would stand up and fight against the corruption, but he still expected his father to be strong, a man with principles, a man who had it in him to say "NO" to temptations. However, Raghav had come to terms with the man his father was, and though the labourer had arrested and almost driven away all the hatred he had towards his father, he was unable to restore the lost respect.

12 comments:

heh? ok said...

principles, respect, strength...someone once told me that no principle is bigger than the human situation..i think i agree.

Pari said...

Profound!

Red said...

well written

another brick in the wall said...

@ sangy: may be u r right.. however my perception totally differs

@ pari: haila! profound! thanks :)

@ red: thank u :)

abhu said...

oye!! u know what, this is a bit similar to a story in out Alti bk, which sn, tj and myslf were discussing ystrday. we talk bout principles and right and wrong stuff, but i think its all relative. it depends upon the individual as to how they perceive things and hence act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

hmmm..u knw i don't know wat to say!its nicely written and makes one think! maybe i have read it wrong but i think i could slap raghav.

Divya said...

Waah bhai... split personality only u r! my testi was right... well written though u cud have elaborated on the dad helpin others wala part.. nice nice

another brick in the wall said...

@ abhu: i agree.. its very very relative!

@ sim: arey use kyon slap maarti hai re.. woh bechaare ne kya kiya? woh toh bas chup chaap gussa ho raha tha re :P

@ div: yeee! tu comment maara finally! :)
it does seem 2 end abruptly na.. but i was bored of typing re.. mereko laga bahut lambaa ho raha hai.. utter laziness is to blame tho! :P

Lost-Lawyer said...

shit man!!! the story is soooo cool man....well written dude!!!!! :)

raghu said...

what does human situation mean?

Sneha said...

heehee Raghav! first thing that popped intomy mind was Raghu. lol.

okay. serious. hmm.

nice, i must say. honestly, i was rivetted till the end. i mean, very few short stories can do that, you know. you tend to get bored. but this was good. no words were wasted :) hope you continue writing such short, crisp, rivetting stories :))

another brick in the wall said...

@ lost-lawyer: thanks a lot man! :)

@ raghu: i dunno

@ sneha: arey yaa.. bachpan se na mein raghu ke kisse likhta tha.. ab ismein raghu nahi daal sakta na.. toh raghav kar diya.. toh yea.. u guessed it rt :D

thank u woman.. am honored.. am happy u hav u kept riveted toll the end :D.. will write more! pakka.. raghav ki kahaniyaan :P