Just Half9 mins 795 9 mins 795
Aryan was running with his open shoe laces, Sanya was running behind him with his lunchbox and making a committed effort to get his school bag ready. Aniket was ready for his office when Aryan came running to him and looked up. Aniket picked him up and made him sit on the bed. Aryan said, "Just one last time Dad, I promise," pleaded Aryan. "Just like you promised me yesterday," Aniket smiled at the naughty look, his son was giving while tying his laces.
Aniket took a precautionary look from the corner of his eyes, then winked and flew away some love towards Sanya. "Make my day," he smiled and looked at her. She smiled back and covered her face with one hand while doing so. "That's enough fuel to keep me running throughout the day," Aniket flirted and Sanya blushed.
Aniket touched his father's feet and then advanced towards his mother. She sensed him and raised her one hand while other running through beads.
Aryan was watching all this and screamed while waiving his hand to everyone at home, Bye! Their maid, Sharmila walked in with her daughter who was of similar age as that of Aryan. Kids had known each other for a while now and liked each other's company.
Car started, Aniket asked Aryan to put the belt on. Aryan followed him and asked a question, "Why does she study with me at our home instead of a school?" "Just because she can't afford, it doesn't mean she don't deserve it," answered Aniket. Aryan followed him halfway and lost in the middle. He remembered something and looked at his father mischievously. "No chocolates in the morning," told Aniket. "I didn't complete the homework," said Aryan. "Why so?" asked Aniket. "It bores me, doing the same thing again and again when I already understand it in the first time. What's the point? Will Miss expel me from the school?" scared Aryan questioned. "Champ! As long as I am paying your school fees, you should be fine," joked Aniket. He heard his son loud and clear as he always did. He knew Aryan was smart and sharp, so did his teacher say in every PT meet. "Why are you telling this to me and not your mother?" Aniket asked Aryan. "Because I am not scared of you," Aniket laughed, Aryan kissed his dad and got out of the car and ran into the school.
Security guard at office stood and wished Aniket, Good Morning, he smiled and replied back the same. Aniket was a Product Manager and handled everything better than anyone else in the office. He was respected and praised in the office for not only the work he did but the kind of person he was, always chilled out, high on energy, polite, warm and humble with everyone. He sat and settled down soon when his teammate came and informed, Sorry Aniket, couldn't complete the task yesterday. Aniket looked animated and said, "Meet me in the execution chamber, is the chair working fine now? Has someone removed the last body from there or not?" She laughed and her laughter had the belief that she will be just fine working with him. Relax, he said, smiled and grabbed his laptop and coffee mug and rushed to conference room.
Aniket always used to come home on time for dinner and their dining table was always blessed with food, love and laughter. Aniket always brought his laptop to home but never his office. He knew how to keep his personal and professional life separate. His parents couldn't have been more proud and wife couldn't have asked for anything more. He made sure that before he gets into bed, he spends sometime with his parents.
Time passed. Aryan had started growing interests in various things but was never too sure of following it till the end. May be he still needed some more time. Sanya was not keeping well and Aniket would often take off from his office just to make sure that it's not more than what his old parents could handle. Aryan would see all this and asked his dad, if he could help? Aniket would laugh and said, "Yeah! Can you please complete my ongoing presentation on Risk and Mitigation Plans?" Sanya laughed while she coughed, he stretched his hand and gave her a glass of water while confused Aryan asked, "How do you always make a joke out of everything?" "Because life is too short to be spent by being too serious," said Aniket and left Aryan thinking. Sanya was someone who didn't express enough through words but always good with gestures and expressions. She held his hand close to her and smiled. She always understood how Aniket gave small and yet important life lessons to their son. She knew this all will be paid off soon.
Sanya recovered with time and everything came back to pace and place. "I want to learn to play drums," said Aryan while everyone was having dinner. Aniket looked up and asked, "When?" Aryan hesitatingly asked, "May be after my board exams are over?" "Done!" an affirmative sound came and was heard by everyone. "That's it? You are okay with it and have no problems?" asked puzzled Aryan. "You are still too small to create a problem for me unless you are planning to keep and play your drums near your daadi's bed?" Grandparents were in a state of sudden shock, Sanya instantly giggled and hit him on his shoulder, Aryan laughed out hard.
Later that day Aryan came to Sanya, "Mom, I just can't believe how easy it is to talk and express to dad." Sanya placed her hand on his head and said, "Never disappoint him in your whole life. Make him proud."
Aniket laid curled up in his bed thinking about his last day in school. There was a tradition where selected students were picked to speak on stage what do they want to become and how they have planned to live their life after school? "Why me God, when I don't even know what will I speak up there on the stage?" his irritated inner-self got tired in a bit and he slept like a baby. A few days later, Aniket came to know about his son's tension and fear of what to speak in front of such huge audience. He exactly knew how to calm his nerves down. He went in his room where he was preparing his school uniform to wear for one last time. He felt the pride his son was carrying while he arranged his Prefect and NCC badges. Aryan saw dad standing and observing him, he smiled and said, "Are you here for the pep talk?" "Are you expecting one?" Aniket questioned him back. "No," said Aryan in a firm voice. "Then I am not here for one," said Aniket shrugging his shoulders. "I came to know from your mother about your speech for tomorrow." "Oh! the one which still has no words in it or probably is it too soon to call that even a speech?" said an irritated Aryan.
"I don't understand one thing, if you know what you want to become and where you want to be, why do you have to prepare a speech for it. Just go and speak. Don't try to find complicate answers to simple questions. Just relax and enjoy your day tomorrow. We all will be there for you, Daadu and Daadi agreed to come too." Aryan looked lost and said, "Thanks, though he did not know what was it for." Aniket gave a pat on his back, "You will be fine tomorrow. Sleep well for now."
Everyone looked excited and were on time to leave for the school. Sanya asked Aryan to sit in front with his dad. Aryan was still lost. The words his father said to him last night were constantly reverberating in his head. "What do I really want to become?"
Gathering was huge and all Aryan could hear was a mix of voices, everyone was mumbling, his mom, father, grandparents. He shook his head in an instant attempt to make it clear. He saw other father parenting their kids for the ceremony and in desperation looked out for his dad where he saw him gazing at the play field and watching an ongoing football match. He was clueless, of what clay is his father made of? There were others telling their children of what to speak and here he was, watching a match with as much interest as he coached them for this day. A hand rested on his shoulder and he turned with pressure drops on his forehead to find his mother standing right beside him. "He is not like others, he has confidence and believes in you to do the right thing. Moreover, parenting is not done occasionally; it's woven in a person's character right from childhood," said Sanya to Aryan, who instantly felt like these were the exact words he was looking for. He wiped off his head and felt his head more clear than ever. He shouted, Dad, let's go. It's about time. Aniket joined them and settled in the auditorium. Aryan whispered in his dad's ears, "You were right, I shouldn't have been thinking that much." Confused Aniket looked at Sanya, who was smiling and saw Aryan running towards the backstage when his name was announced to be the one next up.
While running towards the stage, Aryan was feeling as if there was a flashback of memories in his head where he finds answer to every question ringing in his head for past few days. He slowed down, collected himself and walked towards the podium. His family was clapping in excitement upon seeing him on the stage. He adjusted the mike and cleared his throat.
"I would like to apologize in advance if my speech doesn't match the conventional speech everyone is expecting to hear. I feel we have missed one very important point here. It's not only about what career you want to pursue or what degree you want to earn. It's about who you want to become. I am sure we all will do wonderfully well on whatever path we choose to walk on, all of us will become either a Doctor or a CA or an Engineer or Businessman or an Entrepreneur and what not. But is that what you only want to become? To be frank I have still not made up my mind what profession I would like to choose after school." The moment Aryan announced this, many already had started gasping and judging him. He was unmoved, looked more determined and confident than before and continued in a catching and loud voice, "But...if in my whole life I could be just half of what my Father is, if I can be just half of what he is like, just half...I would definitely have made peace with my life and my parents proud." Aryan continued and by the end everyone in the auditorium was standing and clapping out loud, everyone but one.
Aniket couldn't move an inch while the tears were the most mobile thing on his face and they continued to roll down. His throat was full, he never expected this to happen. Sanya turned towards him, wiped off his tears, held his hand tight and both looked and nodded at each other. He stood up as he saw Aryan running towards him, quickly gained his normal self and hugged him hard. Aryan asked everyone, "How was it?"
"You look like a grown up man now, just about right time to get married, what do you say?" joked Aniket leaving Aryan in a state of shock and everyone else into splits.