Sometimes we love someone so much that we fail to correct them.
Mr and Mrs Dasgupta had three children- Shalini, Sharmila and Sayan. Mr and Mrs Dasgupta belonged to the old school. They did not look at all their children equally. Sayan was given all new toys, new books and ample love. Whereas, Shalini and Sharmila had to use Sayan’s used books and toys. Even in the matter of food there was partiality.
Sayan was given all the chocolates and was asked to share it with his sisters; Sayan ate almost the whole of it and gave his sisters tiny pieces. Sharmila was a quite girl but Shalini was quite a rebel. She complained to her parents about her brother’s naughtiness several times but of no use. Her parents always replied to her politely but firmly that boys are naughtier than girls and such events should be ignored. However they also promised her that they would talk to him about his behaviour. Sayan’s mistakes were always covered up by his parents be it in public space or personal space.
Sayan from a very early age had understood that he was the apple of the eye to his parents. They could lay down their lives on his wish. Soon he had developed a superiority complex within himself. He always scored more than his sisters in the exams, it is not that his sisters did not have the potential but that there was no one to help and guide them. Shalini and Sharmila had to assist their mother in household work from the age of thirteen in spite of the fact that they had ample domestic help.
Sayan three years older than them would just sit back and watch television and nobody would bother him.
Shiela devi, their mother said girls should learn household work from an early age or they develop a distaste for it. This difference in attitude poked both the girls’ heart. Shalini had repeatedly shown her distaste in domestic work but Sharmila had been submissive throughout.
Days passed, the children grew up. Sayan had begun to assist his dad in his business. Shalini also wanted to work with her father but her parents said that’s not the sort of things girls do. If she wants go out and work she could think of more feminine professions like a beautician or a chief. Shalini was disheartened but she decided to cross the obstacles and become a strong independent woman. Sharmila had no such desire. She happily followed the way her parents showed her. By the age of twenty four she was happily married.
Sayan had married a rich girl and moved out with her. Sharmila now with her submissive attitude had won her parents heart whereas; Shalini’s behaviour was repeatedly tagged as transgressive. She married at the age of thirty with a man of her own choice much to the displeasure of her parents. Sayan was his parent’s best child and Sharmila their best daughter. She felt that there was no place for her. Her anger had turned into hatred towards her sister. She thought Sharmila could side with her but she chose to be a part of them and that she had no desire to do something with her life. That would make it worth living.
Years went by; Shalini had given birth to a son and Sharmila to a daughter. She had begun to look at her as a superior to Sharmila’s daughter and he was a boy. It is hard to say whether it was patriarchy that sunk in or was it the hatred and anger towards her sister that she let pile up in her heart for these long years. Shalini had never seen Sujata as her niece but as her son’s competitor. To the entire world she had to prove that her child was the best among all the grand children her parents had. Sayan had a daughter but she lived with her mother after her parent’s divorce hence she was not much of a competition. Srijit and Sujata were friends from childhood but this innocent friendship could not last long as Shalini implemented the seed of superiority in her son’s heart. ‘
Srijit was a challenge to his mother. She wanted to show the world that her upbringing was the best. But from an early age he was spoilt with all the riches.
His stubbornness shook the world. Shalini could not control her son’s behaviour and acts anymore. He had grown up to be a lawyer like his father but his behaviour was rude and arrogant. He flaunted his riches every now and then. He did not pay heed to the words of his parents. Whenever they wanted to enquire about his beings he looked upon it as intrusion. He cared for none but himself. Sujata had grown up simultaneously but to become a responsible young lady.
Shalini realized the blunder she had done. But now there was no going bath the path of life that she already had crossed. In midst of blind love for her son and hatred towards her sister she had destroyed her son’s life. Her heart filled with regret, her eyes with tears.