Different and Better

Different and Better

Rajesh enthusiastically waited for the bus. Minutes later, Ishaan got of the bus. Rajesh was startled to see his son Ishaan who had just finished his first year. He was looking different, which is expected when you gain fifteen kg. 

But he soon overgrew his consternation; it could happen to any teen. 

Few days into his vacation, Rajesh felt distressed by Ishaan’s aberrant behavior. He had become sluggish and short-tempered. What worried him the most was Ishaan’s lack of acknowledgment for his elders. Wife Pushpa’s pacifying and justifying remarks didn’t help. 

“Tell me something about your friends,” Rajesh asked casually.

An excited Ishaan told everything about his friends; how they kept talking till late hours, how they had frequent hangouts and how they had a beer and skittles time all year.

Rajesh had got the answer to his doubts.

Two days prior to the staycation ending, he brought Ishaan near an organised cabinet. The glass that bordered the cabinet bounced the pride that was emitted by the trophies Ishaan had earned over the years. A nostalgic Ishaan looked at the awards gloriously.

Rajesh’s words broke his reverie, “It doesn’t look like there is going to be any upgradation to this collection after noticing a changed you.” 

The tension in the room was thick enough to be sliced by a knife. 

Watching him silent, Rajesh continued, “You were a brilliant student back in school. Your good habits were something we were proud of. But now! Just try to remember those old golden days. Do you see the difference?”

Ishaan stood silently wholly soaking the conversation that unfurled itself in front of him. 

“Having analyzed your routine, I am not too optimistic about your first year result either.” Rajesh’s final words pinched him and he stormed out of the room with anger cladding him like a warm jacket on a cool winter day. Rajesh smiled as he knew he had hit his son’s nerve. 

A week later, Rajesh got a call from a dejected Ishaan. As he had anticipated, his result was below anyone’s expectations. 

Being a mature and tranquil person, he knew lambasting Ishaan would not be the best approach. 

A calm Rajesh replied “Son, we are a reflection of the people we spend majority of our time with. If you are ashamed with result, it’s good because it means you still care about your performance. If you would like to ameliorate, you need to make some changes starting with your friend circle. A good company is all you need. We are always there with you.”
Today again, Rajesh waited eagerly at the bus stop. Ishaan was coming home after 6 months. An anxious Rajesh was growing jittery to meet him. 

Wait was finally over and how. A beaming Ishaan got down from the bus. Rajesh’s eyes glistened with joy and admiration as he touched Rajesh’s feet. Pushpa looked at her slimmer son with a visible shine. 

Ishaan felt ecstatic as he remarked, “You seem different and better!
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