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by Arjoyita Roy
(Durgapur, West Bengal)

“Have you ever wondered what the future might look like for you?” Asked the businessman to the younger child, the war had just begun. Arhan wanted to be a dancer, but he knew it was not easy to convince a parent who found solace in stability. Creativity was nothing but a leisurely pursuit in the eyes of the experienced father. He frowned with concern at his son’s choice because he worried that this preference of his may not let him guard his son against the ugly and insinuating “ways of the world.”

“I know what’s the best for me,” said Arhan to his elder brother Aranya who tried to straighten out the matter. Aranya, about a decade older than Arhan was unable to either side with his father or brother. His father was not completely wrong either. Creativity does not promise success. When responsibility comes to the forefront, creativity takes a backseat and it is dismissed as a mere hobby. The once-ignited passion corrodes, and regret creeps in, but the past remains unchanged. Aranya was baffled at the irony that the father-son duo was both right and wrong. Subjectivity is strange, every other concept is relative and nothing is absolute. Hence, in life, nobody plays the villain out of their own free will. Only unfavorable situations forcibly turn one character into the bad guy and the other becomes a victim of their unfortunate circumstances.

“An experienced man possesses
the intellectual acumen to comprehend what the future might unravel.” Said Aranya to Arhan with a deep sigh. “Is it the same person I am talking to?” blurted Arhan. Aranya had consistently supported his brother through the thick and thin but now he refused to do so. Would he like to review the past? Does he regret living his life on his terms now? How did he become so docile? Was it the same brother Arhan was talking to who always stood for what is right?

Aranya refused to let his brother uncover the bitter truth.

Only if he had listened to his father, he would not have had to go through a separation. His father had anticipated the outcome ages ago. If he had obeyed the highly-experienced gentleman instead of being headstrong and adamant, life could have been different today. As is customary, he was warned by his parents, but now his mother only smiled from the frame hung in the hallway next to the entrance.

A man of good repute is torn apart from deep within. Although he befits the image of a gentleman, in all truth, the real man hides behind the epiphany. Aranya kept the truth to himself; he managed a way out to resolve the matter. Time and experience allow a man to articulate the situation in his favour and keep the matters of the past in the past, “dead and buried”.


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