Story of a boy- (I)

A boy was faltering in his studies. He wasn’t exactly excited about sports, or anything obvious to his parents. It seemed he was idle the whole day. He would descent at the dinning table religiously and palate the sermons silently, while the content of his plate disappeared bit by bit. Then he would disappear.

“what is going on inside that little head.” his parents wondered. They were both embarrassed and upset talking to friends, colleagues, house guests about him. Friends at school tried to cheer him up once in a while, dragging him around to what they thought fun and enjoyment. Brothers and sisters adjusted to him, his isolation, his habit of giving away, giving up. He tried to ignore the ripples he was creating around himself. He sunk deep not to make any. Tried to remain still. But it didn’t stop. The agitation within him was violent enough to cause the ripples and they traveled beyond his influence. He was becoming a subject, a reference,a matter of talk, a cynosure in a weird short of way.

One day, at the dinning table, he looked up and smiled. His mother was force-feeding his kid sister, while trying to serve others. Her heart warmed, she looked at him for a while lovingly. His sister broke free and ran amok. Wiping her hands in the napkin, she set out to pour some more food on his plates. His father was looking at him strenuously, while sermonizing. Probably thats how he looked at him all these time, he thought. He kept the smile afloat, while his father’s facial muscles relaxed, the wrinkles at outer corner of the eyes and that at the forehead wiped out, momentarily and then stiffened again. He had turned his glances around the table to distribute his smile. Dumped all at his father, it would have been a sign of shamelessness. He would look the same in a few decades, like his father. While the thought that he would not be that stressed up to have those crow’s feet was reassuring, the idea of few decades more was unbearable. He reminded himself of the 45 min commute to his school by suburban train he would occasionally had to endure. The crushing crowd, stifling smells, nudges, trampling he wondered what would cause the imminent asphyxiation he felt. He often got off mid way.

His mother’s hopeless stare was fixed on him. He gave out a smile, a very short one. The hopeless gaze turned to bewilderment-his mother tried hard to hide. His father had drawn up a sheet of paper and few lines, circles, arrows on it. Father usually did that when he was convinced he got the attention but unable to get across. He looked at the paper. It had a straight line with a oval circle at the right of it, several arrows went up from the circle to several names, a single arrow pointed downwards.

“I will do it”

His parents looked at him stunned as if he were mute all his life.

“You dont have to worry about me, I will do it.” he repeated almost hesitantly to reassure. His father put some numbers, held the paper up and resumed his explanation. He looked at his mother. She nodded. He calmly pushed the chair backwards as he stood up, turned carefully avoiding eye contact, slowly walked into his room and switched off the light.

Light in the kitchen went off after an annoying long time. He waited for the silence to thicken, then he switched on the table lamp.

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