From New York to Nellore

From New York to Nellore

3 mins 10.9K 3 mins 10.9K

Dawn in Nellore. It was an ordinary morning for the rest, but for Sharmas, it was different. A good different. Their son Rakesh had returned from America last night after four years.

 Sharmas lived in an ordinary neighbourhood, not too chic. Double deck houses lined both sides of the streets, some were recently painted on the occasion of Diwali. The lanterns were still hanging around the front porches. Earthen lamps blackened with soot, juxtaposed to create a sort of runway for the visitors along the doorways. Half burnt papers from firecrackers laid inert after a glorious night.

Mrs Sharma filed into the kitchen through the living room passing by Mr Sharma, who sat reading newspaper on the wooden chair as old as him. Clung. The steel tray hit the granite kitchen table. “He just woke up and asked for tea, without brushing let alone a shower”, babbled Mrs Sharma as she came back into the living room side-lining the curtain bordering the two rooms. “It’s called bed tea, wife”, Mr Sharma explained. “Don’t you start taking his sides now, you want to become an angrez as well or what? This is not how we raised him. Just four years…” Mrs Sharma stopped as Rakesh entered.

Rakesh was in his late twenties. Almost six feet tall and heavily built, he was a younger version of Mr Sharma. He wore an ivory T-shirt, big enough to cover his tummy which was a result of binge drinking in States. Below that, a washed blue jeans hanged on the two love handles. A matte brown Gucci sunglass was tucked in the V of his neckline.

Rakesh sat across his father on another old chair, by the showcase made of ply with glass doors. Books from his school and college were stacked in no particular order. The room was filled with just three people sitting around sparing room for one more. A small wooden coffee table was in the centre, with a vase on it filled with plastic flowers.

Mr Sharma realised that Mrs Sharma was upset with Rakesh. As soon as she could open her mouth, Mr Sharma started chatting Rakesh up. “So how was your flight?” Mr Sharma inquired signalling his wife not to start an argument. “Yeah, it was good. Had a bit of trouble at the customs, but otherwise it was fine”.

Rakesh searched through his pockets, got a cigarette pack out of one and moved into kitchen to get the matches. He came back to stand near the chair he was earlier sitting on and tried to light the match. After three trials, he got his cigarette lit. Mrs Sharma could not believe his son smoked. She felt light headed and kept herself from falling on the floor. Mr Sharma did not approve of this, but he decided to remain silent. After one long puff, Rakesh blew the smoke in front of his dad. Mr Sharma had it enough “Is this what you learnt in America, blowing smoke on your father’s face?” Rakesh mockingly replied “It’s cool, dad” in an accent as fake as Gucci he bought on the restless New York streets.

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