Raja Is Just Turned Fifteen
Raja is just turned fifteen. His mom Mira has arranged a birthday cake with fifteen candles. She looks at the clock. It is already ten. He left home early in the morning without a word to her. She is still waiting for him.
Mira is much worried. Nowadays her son is not so attached to her. She felt he is going away from her. He her. He does not want to talk to her. He has begun to hate even looking at her. Her words and look irritated him.
“Oh God, where is my son going?” Tears of maternal affection rolled down her cheeks.
Raja’s dad is in Dubai. He went there to earn some quick money for his family.
“Who will care us if we don’t have money? We need a lot of money to have a house of our own, to educate our son and live a happier life.” These were the words Kumar, Raja’s dad, used to repeat often before he left to Dubai ten years ago.
Five years’ hard work of Kumar turned into a house with two bedrooms. Raja was ten when he met his father after five years of separation and was very happy with the things he brought for him from Dubai. He was happy to invite his friends to his new house on the house worming day.
Raja expected a lot from his father. Mira too. Both felt that there is a kind of gap between them.
Kumar wet back to Dubai after his vacation for two months. After that he didn’t have time to write to his wife and son. Phone calls also reduced. The money he was sending home began to dwindle.
On a fateful day, Mira was shocked to hear from one of Kumar’s friends say, “Kumar is having some illegal connection with an Indian woman in Dubai”. She even dared to end her own life. But her son? She has to live for him. And she is living. But on a bed of thorns!
Rumors have spread about Raja’s dad and they should have reached him.
“You want only money. That’s why…I can’t bear what others say about you,” one day the harsh word burst from Raja.
He had a few friends only to whom he shared some of his feelings. Ryan was his close heart. Ryan’s mom had much concern to Raja. Raja used to go to Ryan’s house for studies and chat. Both of them were good in studies helping each other. Ryan’s mom would books for both from the library. She helped them in their studies.
“Why my mom is not doing such things for me, but only worried about money? Always finding fault with dad”.
Raja preferred to be out of his house most of the time. Home has become a jail for him in the recent past.
“It is only your fault that dad is…” he swallowed the other words.
Mira couldn’t accept that it was her fault. It is the case of most of the Indian families. Unemployment in the country and easy money elsewhere have lured most of the Indians to other countries, especially to the gulf countries. Most of the families are shattered without the driving force of the fathers. Many a marriage has ended in divorce. The cultural conditions have deserted any families going astray. Women at home become easy victims of all kinds of social evils including adultery. Values have been lost in the globalized commercialism of the modern life.
Adolescence has been much affected by this changed condition.
The candles are still waiting to be lit.
The cake is still waiting to be cut.
But Raja has turned fifteen!
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