Arjun slammed his plate of food to the wall on the right-hand side. Everybody at the dinner table looked startled, to say the least.
"Can I eat now?" Arjun roared and there was silence from his side of the table to the other end where his father sat.
His father looked at him his eyebrows arched and his face slowly turning red. Arjun didn't give a shit he stood upright, took an empty plate, filled his plate with some food and quietly went upstairs into his room where no one would ask him questions about him choosing literature for post-graduation, where nobody intrudes his solitude, where he can just be him.
Arjun was a mama's boy from the beginning and when his mother died he wanted his father to be with him and hug him as tightly as possible, that never happened. His father came after all the final rites are done by some funeral service company and he didn't come alone.
Arjun become completely silent after his mother's death, he was 14 years old. His father took every decision for him since then what should he choose to study, where should he choose to study, what should he eat etc. And Arjun simply followed everything not because he was an obedient son but because he was scared that his father will throw him out like he did his elder brother Giridhar, when he decided not to follow in his father's footsteps. Giridhar's absence caused Arjun's mother's health to deteriorate bit by bit. Arjun can still hear his mother whispering Giridhar's name in her sleep and he used to sit beside her helplessly, after all, he was a 13-year-old teenager back then who loved watching anime with his brother, helped his mother cook food and hated going to school.
When his father spoke Arjun never replied he simply acknowledged his father's words as orders and tried his best to blend in with the extended family he has, but the more he tried to talk with his extended family members the more he hated them. He understood that they were all here because of his father's money and Arjun's father knew that as well but he wanted them to stay because he is the only person who knows that at the top of the throne it's always lonely.
Everybody went into their respective room after dinner. Arjun is standing on the balcony of his room looking at the naked sky without any stars and a crescent moon.
Arjun's father knocked on the door and Arjun replied "yes, come in" he knew it was his father, but he didn't turn to face him.
"Did you have your dinner?"
Arjun didn't speak a word. The silence stretched between the father and son. After a few seconds, he felt his father's footsteps coming towards him. Both of them stood there in silence, the only sound they heard was the sound of wind blowing hard in their faces and sending shivers through their spines.
"I met Giridhar this morning," Arjun said his face still facing the sky.
"He looked very happy. He is working as an Editor for The Times of India newspaper."
"Good for him," his father said looking down at the compound wall of the house.
"Will you not ask him to come back," Arjun asked facing his father now.
"I never asked him to leave in the first place," his father replied looking Arjun right in the eye.
"I saw what happened that day," Arjun said his voice raised a little bit. His breathing increased rapidly "you literally threw him away from the house holding his collar" he gasped.
"And he chose to stay away from family" his father replied.
"How can you say that?" Arjun questioned, his moist eyes now shined in the moonlight.
"I can say whatever I want this is my house and if you choose to disobey me you are free to leave like your brother, follow your dreams and all that sorts of bullshit."
Both of them faced each other now. Arjun's eyes are moist, his father's eyes bloodshot. Arjun turned away from his father looking at the darkness that's widespread in the sky in the absence of the moon he said: "It's good that mom divorced you when I was a child otherwise I would have grown up to be just like you A Piece of Shi.."
Arjun's father got him by the collar "is this how you're mother brought you up?" he cried so loud that all of the family members woke up and came running towards the source of the sound.
Arjun got hold of his father's hands and forcefully took them down.
The wind felt stuck and both father and son could hear each other's heartbeats; the father's face turned completely red with fury and the son's heartfelt liberated and sad, liberated because he finally saved up the courage to take his own decisions and sad because he has to do it this way. He left the house that night and went to his brother. Giridhar woke up to a knock on his door and when he saw his brother standing in the doorway he knew what happened but he hoped that he would be wrong and his brother came to watch some anime during the night with him. Arjun didn't speak a word his face was sweaty like he ran a marathon, he looked his brother in the eye and said "I didn't come to watch anime" his eyes were now filled with tears but he had been holding them off very well. Giridhar let out a sigh and hugged his brother so tightly that momentarily they both couldn't breathe. A few weeks after that he joined post-graduation in English literature and published a novel called My Own Birth which chronicled the story of a young graduate, who decides to renounce all his possessions and hitchhike across the country. During this journey, he encounters several situations that change him as a person. On his 26th birthday, he came to his brother's house in India to celebrate. Giridhar gave him a package that didn't have any address on it, looked like someone placed it on Giridhar's doorstep. Both of them looked at each other and Giridhar nodded. Arjun open the package inside it were some newspaper cutting, a book and a letter. The newspaper cutting is from the articles Giridhar edited and a hardcover of Arjun's novel. Giridhar came and sat beside him while Arjun opened the letter. The letter said:
Proud of you.