It was the happiest part of the year, it was Raksha Bandhan. Anshul, a 10th-grade student, waited for this event. After all, being a part of a big family, he expected his sisters to come and tie a rakhi, which he loved. Hence, the kid got up by 6 that morning, was ready by 7 and constantly looked towards the clock.
However, God had other plans. It started to rain that very morning. The clouds got darker and, the rain became more intense. To divert himself, he helped his mother in the kitchen, who was preparing meals for the gathering. As the rain got a bit lighter, Anshul’s dad called his sister to know the plan, she didn’t pick up. He then received a call from his younger brother and, there was some sort of argument on that.
Perceiving that, Anshul was sent to his room. He could sense that something was wrong. He eavesdropped the conversation between his parents and found that his aunt and his uncle had denied coming to his house instead proposed his father to come to a place which they knew he didn’t fancy. The rain stopped around 4 and, there was a ring on the bell. Anshul ran anticipating his sister but stopped in a corner as the door opened.
(2 years ago…)
The peon enters the class, Anshul was planning the team which will feature in the volleyball match against their arch-rivals. The peon told him that the Principal had called him. Unsure of what followed, his brain was clouded with doubts. When he reached the Principal office he found his father, asking him to pack his school bag because of his grandfather’s demise that morning. He packed and started to leave. Anshul and his parents departed for Jhansi, his aunt’s place, where his grandfather passed away. When they reached, everyone broke down except the kid, who was still comprehending the gravity of the situation.
After his grandfather’s death, the family began to divide. His dad lost his job and was in debt. It became immensely difficult for his father to manage the expenses and arrange Anshul’s fees at the same time. In social gatherings, Anshul and his parents were pushed aside by his own family! This left him dejected. All this created rage inside the mind of the kid. He wanted to take everything in his stride. Nonetheless, he was paralyzed under the circumstances. His parents told him that he shouldn’t be going against his own family. As time passed by, the kid became adamant on the fact that he will ask everyone why they did this to his parents when they really needed them.
As the door opened, Anshul found his aunt standing behind it. His mother asked her to come inside instead, his aunt demanded Anshul’s father come out. During all this, Anshul’s eyes searched for his sisters but, he couldn’t locate them. When his father requested her to come inside, she refused it and tied the rakhi on his hand while facing the staircase. The kid was shocked to see this, he never imagined this stuff occurring. All this resulted in a direct outflow of emotions embedded in his heart over the years.
That year his hand remained empty, his dad cried all night; but, he never notified this or his feelings to anyone, not to his closest friend.
Over time, things changed. His dad re-established himself, the family tried to get back again. Albeit, the kid felt a knot in his heart from the things he had seen unfold. His sisters visited him the next Raksha Bandhan and Diwali. Howbeit, they never knew that the kid, who used to eagerly wait for them and that festival, was lost in that fateful night. He remained drowned in his own emotions. He smiled but also cried behind that.
Whenever they tied him a rakhi or put a tikka on his forehead, it reminded him of that year when his hand and forehead was empty.