19 comments

Contemporary Coming of Age Drama

I woke up at 6 AM today. It is 22nd October, the second last day of Durga Puja. The sky was overcast and there was a nip in the air. When I entered the dining hall, I saw Samar sitting there with his glass of milk and Meera halfway through her bowl of cornflakes. We were now past the awkward step siblings’ phase and since I was only a year older than them, we got along just fine. My family is not very usual, in the sense that we are all different people with different lives who are brought together under the title of the Chatterjee-Roy’s. before I move any further, I want to explain why our family is distinct. I am Arun Roy, and I am 13-year-old. My father is no longer alive. He died when I was 11. For two years, it was just me and my mother Shakuntala Roy. Then one day my mother met Mr. Debashish Chatterjee and for the first time I felt that she was genuinely happy. A year later they got married and Mr. Chatterjee became my new baba. Baba was previously married to a woman and had two kids who were twins. But apparently his first marriage did not work out because it was an arranged marriage which took place without the lady’s consent. She was not happy in the marriage and left the kids in baba’s custody. When Ma and baba got married, Samar and Meera became my step-siblings. I was grateful for them and baba in my life because they were genuinely nice people. I got along with the twins but Ma had a bit trouble with them. The twins did not know why their mother left them and were not ready to accept Ma as their mother. They were nonetheless very polite and respectful towards her but there was always a bot hesitance between them.

so today was the day when we had to go to see the pandal. We all had new clothes and the air was filled with the fervour and the positivity of the festival. Outside the hawkers were selling toys and offering flowers. Samar and I were getting ready in our room when we heard a knock on the door. Samar opened it to reveal Ma standing there. I smiled at her and went back to brushing my hair. Samar was shyly standing there wearing his pyjamas. Ma warmly smiled at him and said “Samar, will you please go and call Meera? I have a gift for both of you.” Samar ran out of the room and a second later both he and Meera entered the room. Ma beckoned them towards herself and took out two packages. She said “I didn’t know if you both had new clothes so I bought these for you.” She had bought a blue kurta for Samar and me so that we were matching. And then she took out the beautiful yellow lehenga she got for Meera. Meera was struck by the shiny crystals on it. She was smiling wholeheartedly and thanked Ma by saying “thank you Mrs. Roy.” Ma’s face fell a little by the fact that the twins still called her Mrs. Roy instead of Ma, but she understood that the twins would need time to accept her as their mother. We all made our way towards the pandal. Ma held Samar and Meera’s fingers and I clung onto baba’s hand. We prayed to Durga Mata asking for love and prosperity for our family. Then we had some khichuri, as a prasad. Baba bought toys for all of us and we walked back home.

In the evening, Ma had invited a few guests for dinner. She had decorated the house with lights and paintings and invited all of baba’s office colleagues. She made all the delicious food and we all were enjoying the spicy begun bhaja with tea. And there was also our loud and pompous neighbour Mrs. Datta. She was walking all around the house and swaying her oversized saree. I asked her to sit down but she wrinkled her nose at me with distaste and quipped “don’t order me to do something.”

Meera was entering the room with a bowl of chutney for the samosas and Mrs. Datta happened to be in her way. All of a sudden Mrs. Datta tripped on her own saree and fell down. Meera jumped in surprise and spilled the chutney on her saree. That seemed to throw Mrs. Datta into hysteria. She started screaming at Meera for ruining her “expensive saree” and held her roughly by the arm. She said “no wonder you are undisciplined. Lack of a mother causes this type of behaviour in children.” I was shocked to hear her say such hurtful words and I saw that Meera was at the brink of tears. That’s when Ma stepped in., she told Meera to go inside and change her dress. Then she made her way to Mrs. Datta who was still making a great fuss about her saree. On seeing Ma approaching she started a furious rant on how she was going to send a dry-cleaning bill etc. Ma looked her straight in the eye and said “I don’t care how much your saree costs. If you think that it is justified to hurt a 12-year-old child due to spoilage of a mere piece of clothing then I think it is someone else’s mother who did a terrible job bringing her up. And as of Meera not having a mother, it is not true. I am her mother. Arun, Samar and Meera, all are my children. So, don’t you dare set foot in my house again and call my daughter motherless.” Mrs. Datta went red with anger and made her way towards the door all the time muttering about what a ridiculous family we were. I ran up to Ma and gave her a tight hug. Then we both made our way to Ma’s bedroom where Meera was sobbing quietly. Ma went up to her and said “Meera, you never have to feel this way ever again. You are my daughter. And no one can treat you in this manner on my watch. All three of you are my children and I love all of you equally. You mean the world to me. I love you.” Meera had tears in her eyes and she softly whispered “thank you Ma”. Both of them had tiny rivulets of joyful tears running down the crevices of their cheeks as baba called us to take a family picture. And for the first time in two years, I felt that my family had become whole again.

November 27, 2020 17:45

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

19 comments

Wont Tell
14:00 Nov 07, 2022

Beautiful it was

Reply

Show 0 replies
Nistha Bhargava
16:18 Dec 03, 2020

Very beautifully written...gr8 going ..Keep going Ananya

Reply

Nidhi Dubey
17:06 Dec 03, 2020

Thank you so much

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Bibha Dubey
12:43 Dec 03, 2020

Very well written story Ananya...keep going, sky is the limit👍👍

Reply

Nidhi Dubey
13:52 Dec 03, 2020

Thank you so much 😊

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
22:28 Dec 02, 2020

Good job ananya.

Reply

Nidhi Dubey
11:32 Dec 03, 2020

Thanks shilpa

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Sunil Bajpai
18:40 Dec 02, 2020

Lovely touching Keep up

Reply

Avinash Dubey
02:22 Dec 03, 2020

Tx dear

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Manoj Khurana
17:11 Dec 02, 2020

Very touching story and very well written

Reply

Avinash Dubey
18:01 Dec 02, 2020

Thanx a lot sir !!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Anil Parmar
16:12 Dec 02, 2020

Wonderful. Keep it up... 👌👌

Reply

Avinash Dubey
18:01 Dec 02, 2020

Thanx dear Anil.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Anju Tyagi
16:04 Dec 02, 2020

Well written dear Ananya... Congrats beta ...All d best for future ❤️💖💐🍫

Reply

Avinash Dubey
18:01 Dec 02, 2020

Thank you Anjuji

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Sarathy S
15:50 Dec 02, 2020

beautiful story, very well described !

Reply

Avinash Dubey
18:03 Dec 02, 2020

Tx buddy in fact Ananya is trying for BA English litrature and creative writing course from top US university I look forward to ur guidance.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Falgun Mistry
15:14 Dec 02, 2020

Keep it up. 👏👏👏👍🏼. Very meaning full. Good going 💃

Reply

Avinash Dubey
18:03 Dec 02, 2020

Thanx Baka

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.