A road to the lost home! A Short story of family vs money

Spread the love

“Sahab, apka chhutta” (Sir, your change), said the taxi driver when Alok came out of the reverie. With moist eyes, he replied to him, “Keep it” and moved towards the same old neighborhood. Nothing was changed, the same cracked roads, the same unplastered brick walls of the houses, the same way of drying clothes outside the balcony and crossroads. Few ladies sitting outside their houses knitting sweaters and gossiping, basking under the winter sun. Latest Bollywood numbers playing on the radios and kids dancing on it. 

There were mostly new faces, a few old ones whom he could barely recognize. Kids were playing on the roads outside their houses carefree, as he used to play with his friends and siblings. Those unstructured games, fighting and screaming, holding hands together and jumping. Playing with the stray dogs, hitting the glass window of neighbor with the cricket ball and running by the fear of getting caught. 

Everything was the same except one. It was HE. He was no longer the same innocent boy who used to love his family. A nostalgia hit him hard and filled his heart with endless memories of his childhood and teenage years. The prominent smell of rajma transported him 20 years back when he ran away with his rich girlfriend, one fateful night, to start afresh in a new country, away from the miseries of life.

It was the first time, in the last 20 years, he returned to this place, the place which he used to call HOME, once. The glitters of the new fascinating life made him forget everything he had left behind, 2 younger sisters and old parents. All these years, he was busy making money and exploring the world and never tried to contact his family, except for a few obligatory phone calls which gradually stopped too.

His wife, 3 kids, and father-in-law was his new world. He set up a business in Dubai in partnership with his father-in-law who funded him. As he aided him in starting up a business, he was indebted to him from head to toe and lived like a robot acting on his instructions.

He was doing well in his business but was lonely. He had no one to talk to. His wife was always busy in parties and had her own life. She doesn’t like Alok to interfere in her personal matters. His kids were studying in boarding school as his wife doesn’t want to take their responsibility too. Father-in-law was always bossy. He felt incomplete. He wanted someone to lend an ear to his rants. He missed his family.

His mom who would understand his emotions even before he could say anything, his father who would always advise him and showed him the right path, his sisters who were his stressbusters and secret keepers, with whom he could share anything and everything. Then why, he left them? Why he chose a luxurious life over them? Why did he stop calling them? Is this the life he wanted to live? Alone, grieving? 

It was his 45th birthday and he was sitting alone in his office with these thoughts and memories. Nobody remembered his day. With closed eyes, he visualized how his family used to celebrate his birthday, with limited resources and how happy they were together. There was less money but happiness was in abundance. 

He could not stop himself that day and took the first available flight to India. He bought a few dresses and perfumes for his sisters and shawls for his parents. His heart skipped a beat with every step he took towards his long lost nest, flooded with the thoughts of how his family would react on his sudden arrival.  He had a constant fear of being rejected by his parents now. His legs were shaking and tears were flowing like a river. 

On reaching home, with trembling hands, he knocked the door. As his father opened the door, he could not believe his eyes and stood still to see his son for whom he was waiting for all his heart for ages. Alok touched his feet and immediately hugged him tightly. That magical hug vanished and healed all the pain and sorrow. Alok reached out to his mother who was sitting on a wheelchair in a pool of tears. Alok showed them the pictures of their grandchildren in his phone and his parent’s happiness knew no bounds. All of them cried and cried hugging together. Both his sisters were now happily married and parents were empty nesters. As he opened the fridge to get water for himself, he saw a cake inside on which it was written “Happy Birthday Alok”.  


You can follow me on:

Write Tribe
Facebook Comments
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
June 24, 2018 8:34 pm

We may forget the place where we have created our best memories but somewhere underneath we all have them. Your post beautifully tells parents have a golden heart that ibiwa only to love . There is no place of anger.

Beautiful read Vartika!!

Akshata Ram
June 25, 2018 2:57 am

that was heart wrenching but the end made me smile

Deepa Vishal
June 25, 2018 4:35 am

A very touching story!! Beautiful…

June 25, 2018 5:07 am

Beautiful can forget their parents but the love of parents always remain the same.

Just an observation, on your right menu there is a widget placeholder, remove it.

June 25, 2018 5:44 am

I loved the first part of the story where you have woven a scene of how local neighborhood looks like. The story too is very touching.

June 25, 2018 5:45 am

Well done Vartika. There is nothing new in the plot we can predict the end but you held the interest and made the reader be enthusiastic to know the end. You have a good style of narrating.

June 25, 2018 9:17 am

Very sweet and touching story. The end made me emotional. Very well written.

June 25, 2018 9:37 am

A very touching story. The glamorous life is not always the good life. Loved the ending.

June 25, 2018 9:59 am

What a touching piece, Vartika! Glad Alok ran away from his loneliness and misery and came back to his parents. Parents and siblings who are always there for us no matter what, even when the whole world turns against us.

June 25, 2018 10:06 am

Very touching. Loved the way you expressed the pain, nostalgia and how he missed his roots. But the end was awesome..

June 25, 2018 10:10 am
Reply to  Vartikasdiary

You are writing amazing. Do continue?

Sonia Chatterjee
June 25, 2018 11:12 am

Such a heartwarming story Vartika. Loved it.

Ashvini Naik
Ashvini Naik
June 25, 2018 1:38 pm

This was such a poignant read, Vartika.

Parents’ love is, always, purely unconditional.

Shilpa Garg
June 26, 2018 3:13 am

A wonderful story that evoked so many emotions. Great storytelling this is and a fab take on the prompt!

Esha M Dutta
June 28, 2018 5:15 am

What a touching piece of writeup, Vartika. It made me ponder on so any levels. Beautifully written, again!

Aritra Chakrabarty
February 6, 2019 4:55 pm

It’s true, that it’s so important to retain ourselves as we move ahead in life. Emotional write-up, loved reading it.

Mayuri Nidigallu
February 6, 2019 5:33 pm

Children may forget their parents, but it rarely happens the other way around. Your roots call out to you in the end, you showed this through your words so beautifully, Vartika.

Shilpa Garg
February 6, 2019 6:15 pm

That’s a heart-warming story. Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless, unconditional and forgiving.

Preeti Chauhan
February 6, 2019 8:07 pm

This sounded like a very cliched story in the beginning -the errant son, the self absorbed daughter-in -law and the pining parents . But the homecoming touched a chord and the icing on the cake was the ‘Birthday Cake ‘.A really sentimental story ! Apne to Apne hote hain !

February 7, 2019 1:30 am

I was in tears when I was reading….the end was perfect….loved the flow of the narrative. Lets all cherish our families and stay connected that is who makes us.

February 7, 2019 5:59 am

What a beautiful story it is, shows the importance of family in our lives. We run after earning money forgetting our emotions and relations. Well written.

Charu Chittwal
February 7, 2019 7:19 am

It is so beautifully written, I was so damn involved emotionally while reading this bit! Loved it, we definitely should never ever forget the start point of our journey, will definitely share the same with my friends too!


[…] years passed by but nothing changed. We would enter the lift together, exactly at the same time. I with the kids packed in their […]

October 28, 2020 10:03 pm

[…] a long way and love overshadowed the hatred of the families. Disowned by everyone, Dilip and Mita started a new life with absolutely nothing in hand. A piece of green silken cloth is all they had which they could […]


[…] a long way and love overshadowed the hatred of the families. Disowned by everyone, Dilip and Mita started a new life in one room rented chawl in Mumbai with absolutely nothing in hand. A piece of green silken cloth […]

error: Content is protected !!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x