My Parents were the most positive people I had ever known. My mother was a retired school teacher. After leaving the school, she took hold of our home, and my father became the only student for her after that. She would work hard the whole day to discipline him. She started controlling everything – from his habit of smoking when he was sad to his medication for low blood sugar level. My dad never complained about anything my mother did. He would just listen to whatever she said and never ever said NO to anything. They both loved me a lot and treated me like an angel. Being their only child, I got all the necessary attention from my parents and they worked hard to full-fill all my wishes. I developed a silent nature just like my father. I kept my head down, whenever my mom scolded me. My friends went home after school to get away from the strict teachers of school. I used to go home to live with a strict teacher. She made sure I never skipped my school and completed my homework every day.During the exam time, she sat with me after school and helped me to study. I scored well in every exam. She was the one who wanted me to join an Engineering college to pursue a career in engineering. My father dreamed of seeing me as a doctor, but of-course he didn’t get to choose. Nor did I!
While I was in second year of engineering. My aunt came home to meet my mother and insisted her to marry me as soon as my studies are completed. My mother was firm with her mindset to see me working with a multinational company. So, she made sure my aunt never walked inside our door again with such kind of intentions. She asked me to focus really hard on study, so that I could get a job from my campus placements. These expectations and rules of my mother made me a studious girl in the class. Most of my friends were with me so that I could help them during exams. I kept my mind under control against all sort of stuff, other girls did. But one day something different happened with me.
I was studying with Renuka in her room in girls hostel of our college. Aisha walked in the room all drunk and high. She came near me and said. “You have to come with me. I am done listening to your excuses. Now just stand up and walk with me.”. She was forcing me to attend this party happening next door. The girls had managed to slip booze inside the hostel. They had a setup with the warden. I never attended parties like this. But in my mind, I wanted to experience insanity. I stood up and walked out with Aisha. I didn’t try hard to avoid her. I walked inside the party room and found the girls sitting, lying and dancing all around. Each one either had a bottle of beer or a smoke in their fingers. Aisha handed me a bottle of a half drunk beer and asked me to finish it all. I sipped it and it tasted really hard. I had never imagined this taste before. I continued drinking and then something came to my mind and I checked the label of the bottle. It said Budweiser. And I fell in love with this word. That night I didn’t show up at home. I called my dad and told him about the group studies we were doing. He believed me and so I felt bad.
I started attending more parties and started drinking more beer. I had developed a taste for Budweiser. Aisha said, I drank it like a pro. The girls talked about everything from their life in their home town, to the crushes they had on boys in campus. Their worst PMS stories with their boyfriends and how they discovered that Lavanya was a gay and had crush on Aisha. After these parties, I developed a strong bond with Aisha. She became my first best friend and she said, I was her partner in crime. She knew about Lavanya but she felt helpless. Atleast this is what she told me, because when Lavanya asked her on a date. She said yes and was not seen at the hostel that night. Our girls group was suspicious about her and kept on poking her. “It was a one night thing….”She finally said. Aisha was bold, beautiful and a dreamer. She always said, she wanted a job that could take her everywhere in the world. I’d imagine, how it would feel to roam around the whole world.
After college my bond with Aisha slowly turned weak. She moved on in her life and went back to her home town in Gujarat. While I was placed in an IT company in Indore as wished by my parents. The pages in my life were all new. I enjoyed my work. Every month end when I used to get my salary. I went shopping with my friends. Everything went smooth until my father once asked mom about my marriage. He said
“She is of age now. What do you think?”
“I know. Lets start searching. It will take around a year or two to find a right boy” Mom replied.
The era of searching for a perfect boy began. It included the collaboration of the so called respected society. They took hold of this matter and they started using their respective resources to find a match. My father created my profile on a matrimony site and kept checking it everyday. There were some frequent people in my house every alternated days. Some of them came in with a great match while some just came to inform they were working on it and drank two cups of tea.
One day, while I was working on something, my mom walked in my room. She sat close to me and said.
“I am sorry. I know, everything is a mess right now. But this is how it works and this is how the society wants it to be.”
I never understood, how would the society get affected by a personal decision of my life?. I could never feel, that the society cared about anything related to my happiness!. Suddenly, from where these people walked into my life with their opinions?. I had just stepped in my adult hood and believe me, I got no answers till date. I just learned to ignore the questions and the agony of the society.
About The Author
Raviraj Mishra, born in Pune, India is a writer and an entrepreneur. He is the author of the book – The Feeling of Being Loved. He started writing when he was 12 years of age and soon he developed a habit of reading stories and creating one for himself.
He started blogging from 2014. His blog mostly consisted of short stories or dramatic scenes. He wrote more than 50 short stories and poems before he started working on his first book – The Feeling of Being Loved.
Being a newbie in the publishing world he decided to publish a short book of his 11 selected stories for an experience. The book was called ’11 Stories – Stories of Love, Life and Everything’. It was published in June 2019 and after 5 months, he published his first full novel “The Feeling of Being Loved”