The Blocked Mindset

‘Ravi, finish your glass of juice, don’t forget that’, screamed Kanta.

‘Ok Mom’, replied Ravi. He planted a kiss on her cheek and left humming ‘zindagi ek safar’; his favorite song.

Kanta was so glad and content watching her piece of heart so happy and chirpy, after a long time. She lamented how last few months must have been so difficult for him to cope with.

Holding her cup of coffee, she sat by the window side. Looking outside, she slipped in the past memories. Ravi was very special for Kanta and Aman; he was born after five years of marriage. He was, no wonder, a pampered child especially Aman would dote on him.

A shy and timid child, Ravi would have unique choices and interests. He would spend hours playing with kitchen set and dolls besides the cars. The parents would often be amused by his choices but they were fine with his demands; they didn’t find anything unusual about it.

Ravi had always been a quiet child; in class he would not make many friends. His parents would try a lot to open him so that he could mingle more with his mates but the child was never comfortable. He would prefer being at home playing with himself and his toys.

‘It’s fine Kanta. Every child is different. May be our Sunny would take a little more time to gel with his friends’, Aman would explain each time Kanta showed a concern.

As he grew up and proceeded to higher classes, his loner behavior grew further. Naturally, this led to an increased anxiety in Kanta. Ravi didn’t enjoy playing with the classmates, now would he go to park in the evening. ‘How far shall I give him the company’, she would wonder.

One morning, the situation got worse when he refused to go to school. On being coaxed further, he replied tearfully, “My classmates make fun of me Mumma. They say that I am not a normal boy as I like to sit with girls and I play with them. Are they true?”

Oh! Kanta hugged him tightly. “Poor child! So much is going in his tender mind. Why didn’t I ever realize his turmoil, his predicament?” she sighed.

Kanta comforted him, ‘No son, not at all. Even they are immature and small like you are, so they don’t know what they shall say”. The words pacified the little child and he finally agreed upon going to school.

Somehow, being the patient and calm parents they were, both Kanta and Aman stood by his side whenever he was bullied about his ‘not so normal’ and ‘girl like’ inclinations. While she was able to guide him, Aman supported at every step. They even talked to the school authorities for the kind of derogatory attitude of his pals, he was subjected to.

‘Just like painters play with all the colours on their canvas irrespective of their gender, you too love to explore all the shades. Maybe you would be our future Picasso’, these would often be her words. In return, Ravi would just smile slyly. Kanta knew though, it was easier said than done.

When Ravi entered the graduation course of Architecture, both Kanta and Aman were sure about the dreaded reality. They had also realized that their son needed their support, attention and healthy discussions. They were just waiting for Ravi to reveal about his inclinations and thought process, himself.

***

Still with the cup in her hands, she recalled the eventful day. It was five days ago, when one fine day, while having breakfast; it was Ravi who started the discussion. “Mom, Dad I want to talk to you regarding an important issue. I have finally mustered the courage to speak since it may not be an easy revelation for you to gulp down”.

He continued to speak, ‘I know I was never an easy child to be handled. I have come so far because of your support only. But now I want even more. I am not ‘a straight’ man; I am a gay’. By this time Ravi was trembling. Aman came to his chair and said, “Son, we are with you; don’t worry about this society”.

‘But papa, they will tease you too’.

“I know but we can’t do anything about their blocked mindset. We assure you, we are with you”.

The assurance was enough for Ravi to feel free; he was now least bothered about the blocked mindsets.

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Pooja Gupta

Pooja Gupta is a clinical microbiologist by profession based in Bathinda, Punjab. Her encounter with the pen is a recent one and since then she became completely addicted to it.

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