Dhaya was a specimen. He was shunned by his relatives, tolerated by the society, liked only by children and loved only by a few. The few being his father, mother and sister. They were there for him, but studiously maintained a distance. Not because they wanted to avoid embarrassment. But because they understood that Dhaya was fighting his own battle. And victory could come only if he found the meaning of his struggle, all by himself.
His father was an industrialist, his mother was a homemaker, his sister too was a successful professional and his family was comfortably affluent. And yet here he was in the streets. His relatives felt he was an irresponsible brat spoiled by not having to struggle in life. A ‘born with the silver spoon’ syndrome. His friends first tried reasoning out to him, then mocked him and now had consciously forgotten him. His fiancé tried understanding him and tried to change him with her love. But very soon she could spot a chilly cold blooded wall develop between them each time she tried to ‘change’ him. It almost seemed as if he was possessed by a spirit so ugly, so unruly and so obstinate that no one in the world could save him. With teary eyes and broken heart, she left him. Not because she didn’t love him. But because she loved him far too much to see him like this. And after all, she too had a life to live. The neighbourhood too were wary of him since they felt he was a wrong influence on their children. And yet they couldn’t shoo him off their lives. They needed a workhorse for their daily vanities and he was there. And his Dosas and Rotis made the people momentarily forget all ill will they harboured against him.
Dhaya was a bright student from the same neighbourhood. He went on to complete his BA (Economics) from one of the most reputed colleges in the city. He followed it up with a MBA from one of the premier institutes. An eligible bachelor in the eyes of many a people. A man set to achieve great many things in life for others. And yet he decided to live a supposedly mundane existence. It was almost like he was personally trying to erase himself from the consciousness of others. What drove him to this? What peculiar trait he had that made him do this?
Bharani, his father knew it right when he saw Dhaya sitting mum for all of 3 full years (right after his birth) without uttering a word. While his mother and others fussed over why it was taking him so much time to speak, his father knew that here was someone extremely individualistic. Not for him the trying to win the attention of people. If it comes, it is good. If it doesn’t, to hell with it. ‘Surely a kid of 3 culdnt be so evolved? ‘ thought Bharani. And now after 20 years when Dhaya had passed out of his B-school and had stated the path he was to take, it became crystal clear to Bharani. Evolved he may not be, but stubborn he is.
His son had set out on a path very few had attempted. A lot of people have thought of what he wanted to do at some point in their life. But no one did. It was either because of the social mores which despised volitional abstention from wealth creation or because they were shit scared to come out of their comfort zone. And yet Dhaya had done that. ‘Good’, thought Bharan, ‘At least he will find out the truth by himself rather than simply nod his head to what others say and believe’. His mother was indifferent. Not because she didn’t care. But because of the sagely knowledge that come what may, Dhaya was HER son. And nothing which he would do OR the world would do to him would change THAT fact. His sister was distraught. Together Dhaya and his sister had dreamt of lots of things. And now all of this was up in smoke. She couldn’t understand why he was doing this. Was it some kind of self inflicted penance? But still she loved him. And supported him.