Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reversal (Micro Fiction)

Pic by Aqseer
Shekhar frowned at the thought of his son. He talked all too much about feelings. “What’s with the boys these days?” he complained to his wife, “I don’t remember airing my thoughts and emotions so much. We mostly kicked ball or spent time doing house errands. All Pat does is jabber and sit around with friends over God knows what all; they call it chilling I believe. I hope he is not doing drugs?”

Shamita shooed him off, too busy surveying her pantry. Growing boys were such hogs, dinner time was approaching and she had her usual challenge of putting both quality and quantity on the table. “The snacks vanish from our cabinets before I can get them in, Prateek demolishes the reserves too. I feel so nervous when guests visit; there is nothing in the house to offer them.”

“Pat! Sam! Mug! What a waste of those elaborate naming ceremonies, why do we Indians even bother, these children are ruthless with shortening their original names!”

“I feel so disconnected with this “want it all” generation, may God bless them with wisdom and patience!”

The father gathered up his papers, unperturbed that neither the wife nor he was hearing the other, they both had peeves to air and time came at a premium. Pat had miraculously come home for the night and Shekhar was not about to waste this event. The youngster often slept over at his friends’ and was so self-absorbed  at home, an array of digital gadgets plugged into his physiology that it took forbearance and tremendous self-esteem to break through the opaque exterior.

Reaching out with trepidation now, Shekhar knocked at the teenager’s door, Pat liked his privacy. “Could he be watching pornography?” the father shook his head to clear the thought. He entered hesitantly at the silence from inside. There was the sound of water rushing in the toilet. Brushing aside his ‘deer in the headlight’ moment, he decided to wait, lowering himself on the single bed in the room. He skimmed the usual disarray in the room, looking up at the sound of the latch clicking. Pat had frozen at the sight of his father bunking in his room.

“Dad, please say you are not parked here to discuss my future plans! We have gone over that an umpteen number of times. ”

“Well, I did hope to bounce some thoughts off you…..” Shekhar trailed off lamely.

“I am good on email father, how about shooting me one, I promise to be prompt.”

Shekhar stared at the floor, his heart heavy and then heaved himself up, fighting down images of the two year old toddler he used to carry on his shoulders. His dismissive young son had already busied himself with rummaging around in his dresser. ‘How trustingly the baby would snuggle into his neck that lifetime ago’ Shekhar continued to reminisce. Back then, the roles had been reverse, Pat was the one seeking closeness. The older man nearly tripped over the doorway on his way out but what was this, Pat indeed was calling out to him, “Hold it Dad, have you any use for these? I am going off action for a while, need to keep it together, my SAT and all, you know how it is. I can’t afford distractions at this stage of my life.”

The room went suction vacuum still as the man squinted with his mid-forty vision at the packet the boy was holding out.

A cheerful pouch of Kamasutra Wet n Wild! 

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