At home - short story

I can't sleep.
I have to board a train to Goa early tomorrow morning.
Is it excitement? I wish, I so wish for it to be excitement.
I try to analyse what I am feeling... Restlessness, anxiety and even, fear.
I am going with my college friends.

I met them almost three years back on Day 1 of college.
I, with my awkwardness and shyness, was dreading ragging from seniors. These friends of mine took me under their wing. All four of them were from the same school, and they had the confidence to get friendly with the seniors.
The ragging phase was bypassed for them. And for me too.
Though silent, I was accepted as a part of that group. And I was happy. After a long time, I felt I'd come home.

My actual home doesn't feel like home. I live in a joint family with many aunts, uncles and cousins. But no parents - my parents passed away years back.
I am told that I am lucky to have such a good family taking care of me.
I hate being ungrateful, because I am taken care of. But there is no one person in the family, for whom I am the most important person. In this big family, I am invisible.
I wish this home felt like home.

When did I become the punching bag of my college group? When did I become the butt of every joke. And when did I decide to smile through it, because I felt I belonged?
Everyone in college knew me, because I was part of a popular group of students. I was visible.

I get up to go to the kitchen. May be I will make myself some tea, sit by the hall window and enjoy the rare silence of the house.
As I open the door I see that the light is on in the hall. I take a step back into my room, when Tauji (my father's elder brother) calls. "Who is it?"
As I come forward, he smiles. "I can't sleep either, Beta. Come, sit".
He's sitting on the swing. His demeanor is royal as usual. I join him, taking as little space as possible on the swing.

I sit there, not knowing what to say. Tauji has never been one for talking too much.
He must strongly believe in 'actions speak louder than words'. Being the head of the family, he lives a disciplined, selfless life that everyone respects, and follows, at least in front of him.

"So what's your plan now?"
I hate this question, because I don't have an answer.
I sit, pondering over what to say, so that I don't sound as foolish and lost as I feel.
"Your father would have wanted you to do what you love", he continues, to my surprise. "He always regretted not following his heart to become a writer. He took up a job because that's what was expected of him. By the time, he realized what he really wanted, he had responsibilities. And now... Don't do things that you don't want to."

I have my head bowed and eyes on his feet the whole time. Now I look into his knowing eyes. No one ever talks about my parents when I am around.
Does Tauji understand my turmoils and insecurities, I wonder. I feel strangely at peace, at home.
He smiles, pats me on the shoulder and leaves.

I do sit by the hall window, minus the tea though.
As dawn smiles at me, I feel excited.
After a long time, I feel like I have something to look forward to.

And I missed the train...

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


  1. beautiful. The smile of that insignificant kid

  2. I so related to this Nimi. Thanks for sharing this. All the best

    1. Thanks Anupam. Since I like your writings a lot, I am especially happy that you liked this one...

  3. Turmoil and the exchange of thoughts in ones mind nicely depicted in this post. Very well written Nimi.

    1. Thanks a lot, Shweta. Glad you liked it...


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