The vacations were coming to an end. Savitri finally felt a sense of fulfillment and she was pleased with herself. Her application as a lecturer at S.V. College had been accepted and she was radiant. Her six years of hard work: balancing home and her work had paid off very well. She had worked hard to secure her postgraduate degree in Economics with the help of a scholarship. ‘My father is coming to spend his time with Vivek,’ she announced with a sense of pride. Her husband Harish was not very happy to hear this but still smiled. He was the district collector. Though he had his reservations about her job, he supported his wife. She was going to be teaching at the same Economics department where she was once a student, seven years ago.

Savitri’s father Devdutt arrived by the train early morning on Sunday. She hugged him and prostrated at his feet when he along with Harish reached home in the car. Savitri left early for college on Monday as she had to submit her project report. It was reopening after the twelve day Pujo break. ‘Baba, Harish has to go to the field. He might be delayed tonight. Don’t wait for him for lunch. Will you take care of Vivek?’ She asked hesitantly. Her father smiled and said, ‘Of course, Savitri. I came all the way from only to be with him.’ She was relieved and left home feeling happy.

‘Dada, will you play with me?’ asked Vivek innocently. ‘Of course, my boy,’ his grandfather replied as he held his hands on his chin. They went to Vivek’s room and sat on the bed where the toys had been strewn in a big tub. They began building Lego blocks and finally, after a point both of them got bored. They switched to playing Scrabble. His grandfather was weak in English and Vivek often laughed at some of the spelling errors his grandfather committed while playing Scrabble. The laughter would haunt Devdutt for a long time.

Her father often looked at his grandson in an accusatory way. Guilt and impotence rose to produce a violent torrent in his mind. They were alone at home. Tenderness took over him and he quietly approached Vivek. Her father sank to his knees, his eyes on the feet of his grandson. Crawling on all fours towards him, he raised his hand and caught his foot in an upward stroke. Vivek lost his balance and was about to fall on the floor. His grandfather raised his other hand to his hips and saved him from falling. He put his head down and nibbled the back of his legs. His mouth trembled at the tenderness of his flesh. He closed his eyes, letting his fingers dig into his waist.

The rigidness of Vivek’s shocked body, the silence of his stunned throat was better than Vivek’s careless laughter. The confused mixture of Vivek and doing a wild, unimaginable thing excited him and a bolt of desire ran down his genitals, giving it length. Surrounding all this was a border of protectiveness but he could not be protective him while trying to impose ‘discipline’. The young Vivek seemed to have fainted. He rushed to the kitchen and sprinkled some water on him. He stood up and saw his grayish liquid on his body. Again, her father felt a hatred mix with tenderness. The hatred for his grandson would not let him pick his grandson up. The tenderness forced him to cover him.

Savitri got home earlier than usual that day. She saw Vivek crying and saw marks on his face and scars on his hands. She questioned her father and he just dismissed it saying Vivek had got into a fight with local neighbours. She rushed to phone the police when her father aggressively cut the phone lines and snapped at her. They started yelling at each other. The unbearable noise made the neighbours call the police. ‘Leave,’ she said sternly and walked to his room. She packed his bags and pushed him out of the house. Her father kept trying to reach her on phone and once he threatened her by saying he was going to find her and kill her. Savitri called the police and he was charged for making threats.

Eventually, things became quieter. Savitri found another place to live and her father was asked not to visit her. She had got court protections. Recently, she took Vivek to the counsellor. The counsellor had been polite and asked Vivek how he felt about everything. Vivek hadn’t spoken to his grandfather for several months. He didn’t know if he wanted to or not and she told him it wasn’t necessary. In those three weeks, Savitri looked stressed out and Harish assured her that she had done the right thing. She was glad that her father couldn’t get close to Vivek. Though at this point in time, Savitri was still unsure if she must tell her colleagues at the college about this. 

P.S.: This prompt based on "The Home and the World" was posted under the BlogBuddy Mavericks Challenger Series in response to the challenge thrown by Omkar  


Omkar Jadhav said…
Hey a wonderful and surprising post Akshay. Such a captivating plot fit into this short story and wonderfully articulated. I wasn't expecting this. It is really amazing to see how prompt interpretations can vary and bring out some highly creative results.
Chandni Moudgil said…
Hi Akshay it took me a couple or reading to truly understand that what I was concluding was actually what was being implied. It was such a shocking take on the prompt . and so close to reality.
I feel very strongly against child abuse and your story is so close to the reality of life , most of these incidents actually happen at a place that feel safe in 'home'.
its good to see a positive end to the story , how the mother became a pillar of strength and supported the child to put things behind and start afresh.
you should write more fiction :)
Never thought the story would take such a turn. It's true when they say that children are most vulnerable at home.

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