It was only a matter of time before I found myself standing in front of the gates of my parents’ house. I stood there for a few minutes before I could gather the courage to go inside. I was there standing in solace, only me and my thoughts of what was about to happen. After a few minutes, I finally decided to knock. After only a single knock my father opened the door with a huge smile engraved on his face.
“There you are, my child. We’ve been eagerly waiting for you since the morning. I am dying to hear all the stories from your new world, and I can’t wait a minute longer.”
“Get in beta. You must be tired from your journey. Get yourself a quick shower and relax. I’ve kept your clothes on the bed. Oh! And don’t take too long. I’ve cooked your favorite Pongal, which is already getting cold. Your Appa’s been sneaking around the kitchen ever since the morning to grab a bite of it, but I won’t let him have it. I’m not sure if he could control his temptation for a single more minute.” Amma intervened.
You know, that smile on Appa’s face melted my heart away. Even Amma had been up early cleaning up my room and making my favorite breakfast. There they were, standing tall with all the pride in their hearts, oblivious to what was about to happen. And, here I was, stranded in an island of sheer dilemma amidst the dashing waves of guilt for a crime I was about to commit. My options were pretty clear, either, to pursue my dreams and shatter the hopes and expectations of my parents or to continue to wear the robe of the perfect child and let my dreams fade out forever. But I had made up my mind this time and was prepared for the consequences, even though, I knew I was not going like them.
It was in the evening on the day of my arrival when I decided to confront my parents about the decision to quit my job. Things got pretty intense as soon as I told them and the sever looks on their faces was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Clearly, they weren’t happy with what I told them. In fact, Appa was so keen on making me rethink my decision that he threatened never to see me again if I didn’t go by his way. Never had I ever countered anything that my parents said or did about my life. But this time, it had to be done my way. Moreover, there wasn’t much left for anyone to do this time as I’d already sent my resignation to the HR earlier in the afternoon.
Things were definitely lousy that night, and none of us had our dinner. I hoped for the best anyway and thought they would understand. After all, they were the same people who’ve loved me with all their heart. It didn’t happen though and quite honestly, I was not at all prepared for any of the incidences that followed.
When I got up the next morning and went to Appa for an apology in his room, he gave me a grave look and said that he’d already fixed everything. I didn’t understand his gesture at first, but then I saw my guitar lying down next to him, with the neck broken. I was confused and was gradually being torn down to pieces by the thoughts of the unexpected.
“I know you have been following that idiot singer for a very long time now. But you must understand what happened to him is not going to happen to you. We are mediocre people with mediocre needs, and that is how we are meant to be. We cannot have big dreams because they often tend to break and when they do, we are left with nothing but agony. We are simply not supposed to have those kind of idiotic dreams. We have our families to feed and responsibilities to take care of. I believe you’ll get back to being normal now since I’ve taken care of that shitty instrument you played. Now, go and send an apology email to your office asking for their forgiveness after your foolish impulsive behavior.”
What did he do? Did he… Did he break my guitar? The one thing I loved more than anything in life.
“Appa, I don’t understand. How did the guitar… Did you break it? But why Appa? Why?”
Tears came bursting out of my eyes as I picked up the guitar. I did not utter anything else. Not even a single word and went straight out of his room holding the broken guitar in my hand. I had made up my mind. I wouldn’t give up on my dreams this time, especially not after what Appa did. Later that day, I packed my backpack with whatever I could, put my broken guitar inside its case and booked my tickets for Kolkata. When my parents went to sleep that night, I slowly left the house without telling them. I just left a note written in shaky hands and a few drops of tear on the table for them.
“You didn’t want to see my face if I pursue my dreams, right? Well, guess what Appa, now you will never have to see me again, ever. I won’t bother you or Amma anymore. Not in this life. No! And, please don’t try to contact me, you won’t find me in the office or at the PG.”