Monday, March 16, 2015

On That Fateful Day

For a background info on Yuva, head on to the Yuva Prequel story.

Yuva suddenly felt something heavy, weighing down his heart, and it felt as if something so laden was grabbing his heart and succeeding more by the minute. It almost gripped his entire chest and he was having difficulty in breathing, then after a few seconds, which seemed to linger for hours, tears came down washing down whatever was trying to choke him. He tried to run off to his room but fell head first suddenly as his knees became numb. His pain in his nose only helped in more tears. He walked off to his room and cried into his pillow and drifted into sleep. The red colored mark on his cheek still very much visible.

He loved his grandfather. Although they met for only a brief period of the time every year, they shared a bond similar to that of best friends. His paternal grandparents are the only family he has now, for his maternal grandparents hardly ever visited him. And now his grandfather has hit him. Not in a light teasing way he does whenever he listens to a joke, mind you, but he slapped Yuva so hard it choked him.


“Everyone becomes saintlike as they advance in their years on earth, but you've become quite the opposite, you're becoming a monster,” said Grandma barely able to control her anger.

“How can you say that to me, dear?” asked grandpa, with such a tone which indicated both remorse and woundedness.

“Or what? You always frowned upon his habits saying he was becoming un-Iyer like. And now you go on to hit the poor soul like he was your nemesis. For god's sake, he's our only grandchild, and the poor guy lost both of his parents. How can you beat him and that too so hard? And someone can make gloves for you just by looking at Yuva's cheek, which has your hand mark like its engraved,” said she, and went to Yuva's room with a hot porcelain cup in her hand which was fuming white clouds like a steam engine.

She put the cup on his bedside table and softly pulled a chair to the bed and sat on it waiting for him to wake up.

Grandpa came into the room, softly dragged another chair and set it beside that of grandma's and sat in it.

The fuming hot filter coffee was working its telltale magic. Yuva's nose twitched a little and then there was a slight twitch on his lips and he woke up groggily looking for coffee. He took the cup and took it to his mouth and almost drank it when he suddenly saw the audience sitting in his room. He then remembered it all, remembered why was he was sleeping at such an ungodly hour. Resisting his temptation, he set the cup back in its place and turned his head away from the hopeful audience.

Before sleeping he tried to think, if in any of the novel he has read, had there been ever a case where grandpa beats his grandson, he couldn’t think of any such situation, which angered him even more. Only Indian fathers had the right to hit their sons, but in his case even his dad never as much as patted him, for Vishnu, Yuva’s dad died before Yuva was big enough to wreck something in the house.

He was worried about the disclosure of the news about alarm since he and AD damaged it that morning, but didn’t think it would call for such a harsh punishment, moreover he thought he had at least a full day before he would have to confess about that since grandpa would touch that alarm again only in the night, to set it up, besides that alarm broke while in AD’s hands, so technically he can’t be blamed for it.

But why would grandpa beat him in such cruel way, what is more, he never seemed to have any use for that old alarm, since it was more of ritual for him to set it up, as he always woke up before it and stopped it before it even made any barely audible sound. It was always as if the alarm and grandpa are in an eternal race.

All Yuva wanted was to hear what kind of sound the alarm made. He and AD took turns in unwinding the key and thereby letting the alarm make its sound, helping it let go of the bottled up, or rather, wounded up potential energy and frustration. But after a couple of turns by him and AD, it stopped making the sound, even though it had few more turns of the key-unwinding left.

But the fact that his grandparents were waiting patiently by his bed by the time he woke up meant, he was in the command of situation and thus could make demands rather than negotiations for the pacification of the situation.

“That's filter coffee, your favorite, and your grandma made it especially for you. Why not drink it? You are always pestering her for a coffee.”

Yuva turned and faced his grandma and addressed her, “Grandma, call Bapuji or Vinobaji or anyone in the ashram, I'll be going back today.”

“Look at me, Yuva Iyer,” grandpa addressed him, he always called him by his full name, except in the case of AD, their servant. He didn’t feel it right to call a person just by his first name, always quoting, “If it's not meant to be used, why the deuce do we have it in our name? That's the proper way to call a person, with his/her full name.”

“Look at me, Yuva Iyer, I'm sorry that I hit you. I hit you for your own good. I don't have any grudge upon you. All I'm trying to do is make you a better person. That thing which you did was something that can't be escaped from punishment. I used to hit your father even more.”

“And what happened?” Grandma interjected, “He went on to marry a British girl, not that she was bad. She was a darling, though.”

“If I hadn't hit him, he would have gone on to become even worse.”

“How worse can it get?” yelled Grandma.

“Hey, hey, time-out. Talk with me. What did I do that attracted such sound slapping from you? You need to get your facts right before hitting me. It wasn't me. It was AD who spoiled the alarm. It got spoiled while in his hands.”

“Wait? You mean to say you and AD dinged the alarm? Why are always moving about with that servant and destroying my things?”

Yuva bit his tongue and said, “Wait, you mean to say you didn’t know about it?”

continued in part 2

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