Inspirational stories from life!
Naveen’s parents realize that their baby is taking his first flight from their protective nest when he steps out of their house to reach his office for the first time in his company’s cab.
In a very short span of time, Naveen’s hard work quickly qualifies him to spread his wings wider to soar much higher, his dedication and performance makes him qualify for a long term work assignment at their client’s place at USA.
The following year, when he comes back home on a vacation, his parents waste no time to fix his engagement with his childhood friend and maternal cousin Revathi.
Naveen shows reluctance in the beginning but submits to his father’s pressure without revealing his relationship to anyone about Tracy Andresa, his onsite colleague and girl friend. He fails to muster courage to disclose his feeling towards Tracy knowing consequences which he may face from his father and conservative family members.
In less than six months, fate takes an unfortunate turn, Naveen’s father fails to wake up from bed. Naveen rushes to India and heads back after completing rituals by promising his mother Savitrama that he will take her soon to US.
After a while, Naveen decides to take a toughest decision of his life and this time he even prepares to face the consequences. He knows that this decision will alienate him from his relatives, neighbors and many friends yet he goes ahead and calls off his engagement.
After this incident, Naveen avoids making telephone calls to his mother because his mother persistently puts pressure on him to change his mind. She advices Naveen to leave everything and come back to India.
Naveen shatters Savitramma’s hopes in one of his telephonic conversations he informs his decision to marry Tracy, which sends shock-waves of unacceptable ripples not only to his mother but across his family and her community circles.
In her entire life, this is the second time Savitramma grieves, first time when her husband dies and second time when her son betrays her trust. Depression engulfs her strength as she starts to grieve the death of her husband as well as losing her only son to fate!
It is been over two years since Naveen avoids India to evade wrath of host of his relatives and maternal uncle.
When Savitramma hears about Tracy’s pregnancy, she speaks to Tracy for first time, she tries to communicate her emotions in broken English but fails to understand when Tracy speaks in her Brazilian accent, which Naveen successfully translates but fails to emulate emotions between these two women.
Unfortunately, that is the first and last time Tracy speaks to Savitramma. Following week, Naveen gets an emergency call from his uncle about his mother’s heart attack, he rushes to India.
Doctor informs Naveen about Savitramma’s fragile condition and suggests someone to be around to take care of her diet and medications. Naveen stay back for a while during this time his relationship with mother gradually appears to get normal. Unfortunately, Naveen moves back to US to meet his project deadlines and before leaving, he leaves a ray of hope in his mother’s barren life by saying that he will come back with his family to India and spends rest of his life with her.
At this instance, she is left at the mercy of her house-maid who double up as a nanny. As a child, Savitramma lived like a princess in her mother’s household and queen at her husband’s sprawling house but now living a solitary life. She often visualizes her bleak future and in her heart she knows that Naveen will not return, at least during her life time.
Unfortunately, Naveen comes back along with Tracy and his son to India but only to perform last rights of his mother Savithramma. She was found dead by her maid, no one were around at the time of her death so no one knows what her desire was during final moments.
A week after Savitramma’s death, Naveen’s uncle gets a shock of his life when he sees KFC chicken nuggets on their dining table, being Brahmins and staunch non vegetarians it is not only taboo eating meat but brining it home is a forbidden sin.
He gives a peace of his mind to both Naveen and Tracy. He is visibly upset at the turn of events in Naveen’s life that he goes a step ahead to say that he is happy that their parents are not alive to see this day. Naveen remains silent with visible apologetic expression, however, Tracy who is unaware of the sensitivity of the situation reacts vehemently.
That is when uncle reveals to Tracy how Naveen has shattered his daughter’s life by calling off engagement, until that moment Tracy was not aware of this important turn of events in Naveen’s life.
She too feels betrayed and later that day she insists Naveen to book the earliest flight back to US.
It is over 5 years since his mother’s demise, he never visits India or calls anyone, and it looked like he had severed every root from its bud. Their locked house looked abandoned and once a beautiful garden bore deserted look with weeds and pests. Naveen and Tracy’s relation too build up weeds and once happy couple starts fighting on trivial issues. To patch up their relationship Naveen decides to sells his ancestral house in India to buy a pent-house back in US.
Naveen finds a potential buyer and looks at the house one last time before handing over the keys to the new owner, this time he avoids meeting any of his relatives including his uncle. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes to witness punches of memories hitting him hard in his mind one after another. First, he visualizes his dearly loved father who looked at him waiting with his scooter to escort him to school; then, his mother calling him to climb down from mango tree to taste hot payasam (sweet dish), then he see himself running around and playing hide and seek with his cousins around the house, and his uncle carrying him on his shoulder…
This reminiscence of bitter-sweet memories starts cascading blurrily in his moist eyes. Abruptly they start to fade away in tears as though someone had pressed rewind button of life. He walks towards the cab with a swell in his throat to catch his last flight as a family man.
Meanwhile, in their new penthouse everything seems to be fine for about an year until Naveen loses his job due to the recession. Initially, he manages to get few consulting assignments but fails to get full time job. He gets into depression and takes up drinking to overcome loneliness, he recollects while sipping his drinks that being the only son he was not there when his parents needed him the most and a feeling of betrayal everyone’s trust haunts him like a ceaseless rain.
Now Tracy keeps away from most of the house-hold chores and comes home like a stranger.
There was a noticeable change in their life style due to mounting bills and adding to this their dwindling income put in more pressure to their straining relationship.
Until one gloomy night when Naveen was busy with his third serve of whiskey, Tracy informs her decision of walking away from their relationship; when she asks for divorce Naveen agrees for it after a very long unusual silence without any defense, argument or remorse.
All will be over and done between Naveen and Tracy which takes roughly three months as it is a mutual separation and Tracy gets son custody.
Naveen and Tracy use the money for mutual settlement of bills, EMIs and whatever left will go to legal dues and son’s future education. After losing everything in his life, Naveen makes up his mind to shift to India and this time he does not regret his decision as he see no other alternative. Tracy decides to move with her new husband David, who was their mutual friend and colleague. Beaten and down, Naveen rents an apartment which is incidentally closer to a palatial mansion where once his childhood house stood majestically.
Naveen who is over 50 years now with the history of diabetes and without any savings looks out for a full time job not to start a new life but to continue mere existence of lonely life. At last, manages to get a job and this time there is no family, relatives and any reasons to cheer on this new found job.
Irony of life in case of Naveen is that for over two decades of hard work, onsite travel, robotic existence and sacrifices has given him nothing. He lost everything he ever had – lost his parents and was never there when they needed him the most – lost his childhood friend Revathi and host of relatives – no savings or security in life and to top it all he lost his ancestral house, lost his wife Tracy and his beloved son!
Next day again, which is just another day, he steps out of house for work. He does not have anything to look forward to in his ordinary pattern of life. Let us wish Naveen that this hope and surviving instinct will give him strength to lead his remaining life.
© Haris AW