Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dilemma (Micro Fiction)

“Where will I learn the most Dad? I want to do great things.”

Sandeep stared at the young face, fearful at this talk of life and passion and motivation. “This kid is setting himself up for disappointment,” he thought gravely, casting about in futility for something, anything to help him base his castle upon.

“The National Defense Academy is a great institution Sonny, you would be our third generation graduating,” he made another, half-hearted attempt. “NO way! Never!! Too much discipline and structure for me. I want to fly. I want to do what I love,” the young voice rang resolutely.

“What is it that you love son?” Sonny fell silent before admitting quietly, “I am figuring that out. I am only seventeen, remember!”

The liberal, modern parent that he was, Sandeep walked Sonny into the city’s foremost college, a day later, togged out in their crisps, the two. They walked through the color and splash of dreams beyond the high gates, “Yes, German would be a good option, let him take Statistics as well,” they struck off the subject options at the academic department.

For days after, the father would search his son’s face on his return from college, waiting for the rays of knowledge and inspiration to light up. 

Sonny hung on for three months, believing the fire would find him eventually. He had made friends yes, but he was also fighting fatigue with the omnipresent academic indifference. “No one cares if we learn anything at all,” he admitted to his friend out of earshot of the parent. “My science practicals are antiquated; the lab assistants help with precipitates and residues. I am not sure the reagents are pure.”

Sonny watched his professors busy themselves with petty staff and administrative politics, wondering when they would turn to nurturing his spirit of enquiry. No one had spotted his desire to know, his ability to reason, his stamina for the good and the just. “If this is among the first ten science colleges of the country, what intellectual mayhem must there be in lesser portals!” He flopped down in front of his laptop, clicking on the link reading:

“Dad,” he called out with urgency.

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