A short story of an empty nest! #myfriendalexa

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Varun: “Papa, I have told you umpteen times that I can’t come back and stay with both of you here. I have my own life in Delhi and here in Bhopal, there is hardly any opportunity for me. I just can’t leave my job and join your business here. Moreover, the income from your business will not be sufficient enough to run my house and meet the expenses”. And a few years later, Raghav would be starting his preschool and I can’t imagine him going to a local school here”.


Rakesh: “But beta, here expenses are much lesser than in Delhi, moreover you need not pay the heavy rent every month as you will live in your own house, so savings will be much higher than you save in Delhi. See, how well, I and your Mummy have been managing all these years. And regarding school, even you did your entire schooling and even masters from this city, are you not well to do today?”


Varun: O’ Come on Papa, you are living a boring life here, no weekend outings, no malls, no shopping, no eating out, no fun. Doesn’t suits our lifestyle. Radhika also has her own life there, a friend circle, a different life totally. She will not be able to adjust to this city and I can’t see her sad. I am happy to take you both along with me. Radhika will get a company too and you can also play with Raghav. We have a three bedroom flat and you can live comfortably in the guest room, it’s much luxurious than this old home. And can we please put a full stop to this discussion here once and for all? I am clear in my mind that I have no life, no future here. My family is in Delhi and I want to be with them. Now, can I please leave else I will miss my flight?”

Rakesh just nodded. Varun touched his parent’s feet, hugged them and left for the airport to catch a flight to Delhi.

Rakesh and Meena never wanted to leave their nest which they had made with a lot of hard work, sweat, love, and dreams, it was very special for them as they had started their married life there, then Varun was born and later got married in this house. So, they had truckload memories of a lifetime in each and every nook of this abode. They had treasured every toy of Varun in the best state in his room till now. His first bicycle, all his medals, and trophies, certificates everything was as new as it was years ago.

But at the same time, they had understood by now that Varun will never come back and stay with them. Varun was their only son so they always wondered what would happen to their house when both of them will depart for the heaven. All their relatives also favored Varun and convinced the old couple to concur. Somewhere in the hearts, the couple also understood Varun’s concern about his career and lifestyle so finally they gave in and decided to rent their home and move to Delhi with Varun and Radhika.


There was a flood of emotions while leaving their home. For them, it was not only a brick building but their soul. 40 years was a long time, after all. They glanced one last time all over the home and handed over the keys to the tenants asking them to take care of their place, water the plants and backyard kitchen garden regularly. With those words, they bid a final goodbye to their home sweet home, with a new hope, new dreams. The taxi had left for the airport but a part of Rakesh and Meena was left behind, on the main gate, garden, terrace, balcony everywhere.



Life was going on at its pace. Rakesh and Meena got used to their new life. Varun used to go to the office early in the morning and come late night so they hardly get any time to talk to each other. Radhika was fine with her in-laws but she had her own life and every other day was busy in kitty parties or friends outings. Raghav was the only motivation for the old couple now to live in this luxurious three bedroom flat.


It has all the amenities but there was no one to use them. There was a huge park down the apartment but none of them had time to go and spend time there. Unlike their home, this was just a house, a dwelling without a heart and soul.


Days passed by then months and years. Raghav got busy in his school and now the old couple was the empty nesters. They had no one to talk to in this big city. They came here to spend their time with Varun, Radhika, and Raghav but everyone was busy in their own life. It seems no one even remembered about this couple, that they also existed in the same house.


They felt dejected and very strongly desired to go back to their home, meet their relatives and friends but that option was not there too as it was the tenants place now and they could not just barge in. Trapped and helpless, they settled with the thought of surviving their lives together just waiting and hoping for Varun and Radhika to come back one day.


One evening while sitting in the park, the old couple saw a group of little children entering the park in a queue and 3 ladies escorting them. All the kids and ladies were wearing a jacket which had a logo. They looked like from a school. Curious to know more about them, Rakesh and Meena went up to them. After sharing the pleasantries, the ladies told them about the NGO they were a part of. All those ladies had been a victim of domestic abuse and divorced. They joined this NGO which was for the upliftment of orphans. They found a family in these innocent souls. They looked happy.

Rakesh and Meena were touched to hear the stories of those women. They realized life is even tougher for many. Back home, Rakesh hugged Meena and thanked her for being with him through thick and thin. They felt blessed. All their problems seemed trivial then. They were together. At least they could see their son and his family daily, play with Raghav occasionally. Their hearts froze thinking about the plight of those 3 women who were separated by their own children.

That night they didn’t sleep. Silence prevailed. They knew what they wanted to do now. The next morning filled their life with the rays of new hope and new dreams. Though their birds flew out of their nest to chase their dreams but there were many who needed them and they decided to give wings to those tiny human beings. They found a new nest, a nest which was not empty, it was full of love, giggles, and warmth.

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Anshu Bhojnagarwala
September 1, 2018 9:54 am

It could be a true story, Vartika! All of us will go through this one day, especially new age parents raising single child. I believe both sets should remain happy in their present life. Parents can’t change their old ways, but they should stop yearning for kids to come and stay with them. Kids should be happy where they are too. We are all born to fulfil our destinies, sometimes that takes us far away from our loved and beloved ones.

Sonia Chatterjee
September 1, 2018 2:05 pm

This is the story of most of the parents in their old age. The kids leave for studies and then jobs, only to stay away forever. Hadn’t I returned 2 years ago, I would have said this is my own story. Beautiful writing Vartika.

Neha Sharma
Neha Sharma
September 2, 2018 8:00 am

Loved the story and your way of expressing emotions is just amazing. I feel the only solution is acceptance and letting go. Accepting the life as it comes our way, changes it throw on us and letting go the attachment to materialistic things and remembering that memories reside in hearts, letting go the fears, only then we can open our soul for the new things.

September 2, 2018 8:09 am

It is so important to take care of our elders. With this fast pace of life we tend to neglect our parents. That is simply not done. #JaiSReads #MyFriendAlexa

September 2, 2018 8:39 am

Such a sweet story. You have captured the emotion of the old couple very well. I can relate to it Coz we were once in the same boat. It was tough convincing FIL to move. The end is written very positively!

Sitharaam Jayakumar
September 2, 2018 8:42 am

Great post Varthika. It is indeed very important to take care of old people and not get carried away with the pace of our own lives #JaiSReads #MyFriendAlexa

richa mina
September 2, 2018 8:49 am

it’s so true by both prospective parents to want to be close to children when they ask to visit and children are busy dealing with so many issues so they don’t have time… so it’s the hard truth of life

September 2, 2018 8:58 am

I kept wondering where was the story going with the issue of old parents vs young couple. I am glad that you took it to such a ln optimistic conclusion. Or another beginning I must say.

Shri Krishna Sharma
September 2, 2018 9:00 am

Very nicely written. Yes we are overwhelmed by our emotional attachments to things and places, but life is quite harder for many.

September 2, 2018 9:00 am

Tough but that is the reality. Nests do get empty. Instead of caging the bird, it is better to let them fly. Sometime they comeback. Every son / daughter and parents face the dilemma. Some get to live together. Others don’t. In the west, because of their social structure, parents develop their own circle and get busy. In India too this will happen, if not already happening. It is not easy to get out of ancestral house, which is full of memory from marriage, to child birth, trysts and travails of destiny, ultimately son / daughter’s marriage. Neither it is… Read more »

Maheshwaran Jothi
September 2, 2018 9:00 am

Very nice story. Loved the ending. Yes always be happy with what we have is best mantra. But he story also has a lesson for young gen. It easily portrays the dilema and practical problems due to globalization!

Aditi Kapur
September 2, 2018 9:11 am

Many people can relate to your story today. Empty nest syndrome is affecting middle aged people today more than ever.

Deepti Menon
September 2, 2018 9:46 am

Vartika, you have touched on an issue that is very real in a world where nuclear families are the norm. Thank you for ending the story on a positive note. You have brought out both sides of the coin. Kudos!
#DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

September 2, 2018 9:48 am

Sad but a true story. Well written.

September 2, 2018 10:20 am

Loved this story! It’s always important to have a purpose in life, a retirement plan is not always about money but also about things to help you fill the void left in your life when most of your work seems to be done.

Harjeet Kaur
September 2, 2018 10:25 am

I wish my son would come back too. I live alone and he lives in faraway Mexico. The loneliness is killing me.
#MyfriendAlexa #Wordsmithkaurreads

Harjeet Kaur
September 2, 2018 5:31 pm
Reply to  Vartikasdiary

Thank u Vartika..that’s so nice of u…God Bless u my dear..all the love and hugs to u too 🙂

Anmol Rawat
September 2, 2018 10:26 am

I was a little skeptic because I thought it was going in the cliched direction, but I just loved the way you ended it in a whole new direction. It is a lovely story and I believe reality for many and there are so many aspects to it. I’m just glad the route you took gives everyone to learn something! Happy that this fell into my reading list today!
Much Love!

Anmol recently posted This lasagna looks exquisite; let me share it on my Instagram!

Mayuri Nidigallu
September 2, 2018 10:27 am

Giving someone else what you want is the best way to get it for yourself. Beautiful story, Vartika.

September 2, 2018 11:38 am

A heart-warming story. This is the harsh reality in so many households. There are so many hearts aching for love, and so many being ignorant of it.
Loved the way you ended it…

September 2, 2018 11:58 am

No matter how sad it seems but it indeed is the reality. Young blood has different aspirations and age leave not many options. if both partners are together during the dusk of life it is the biggest blessing because no one understands then better. Very nice write-up Vartika.

September 2, 2018 12:24 pm

Though it is fiction, I’m pretty sure that something like this or worse is happening in reality. Very earnest writing, Vartika. Good luck for #MyFriendAlexa

September 2, 2018 12:43 pm

Beautifully expressed Vartika! This is the story of the every other person in our neighbourhood. We, being parents, need to understand that we cannot bound our children forever and we, as kids, need to understand that our parents deserve as much love and care in their old age as we being kids received. It’s just the moral support and affection that will go a long way to build a strong relationship forever.

Nihar Pradhan
September 2, 2018 1:14 pm

A story mirroring the reality that had dawned on most of us. The rapid development of towns and cities. The moving of family. The migration for better opportunities. The growth in company and our career. There is this change that is swiftly sweeping us and we need to adapt to this fast changing world. There is this generation gap and it is widening. The relationship between parent and children are so special and with time it takes it turn and many things then don’t remain in our hand and we have to live a life that comes our way. Never… Read more »

Maya Bhat
September 2, 2018 2:09 pm

Very well narrated story.. Two generations wanting to live lives their own way. A usual Indian family scenerio. ☺️

September 2, 2018 2:20 pm

Enigmatic end. Am guessing they turned their old house in a shelter? Emotions come through clearly.

Ms Arora
September 2, 2018 2:23 pm

I am so touched with this story. Finally they got some rays of rope. Beautifully written
Ms Arora #msarorasays

Nayantara Hegde
September 2, 2018 2:33 pm

This is so true for so many families. Empty nest syndrome and finding no meaning in life. I am glad this old couple found some happiness again. Eager to read more such stories from you Vartika.

September 2, 2018 2:53 pm

The empty nest syndrome is one that every parent/caregiver will encounter but making your life wholesome and living for “yourself” early on is what helps one tide over it.

September 2, 2018 3:08 pm

Touching story. Parents want to spend time with their family in old age but kids are too busy with their own life. There is indeed a silver lining to it though. Getting involved in activities is therapeutic.

September 2, 2018 3:24 pm

Many many older couples from smaller towns are facing this.. Some go to bigger cities and some to other countries.. sad reality of life..

Mahati ramya adivishnu
September 2, 2018 4:08 pm

That’s awesome story Vratika and ofcourse it’s TRUE that old parents cannot adjust to the city environment if there is no one to talk to and love.

September 2, 2018 4:33 pm

I think there are many Varun’s around. The first decade of career is a mad rush that flies by with overwork and then comes the settling down phase. Well intentioned but with with scarce time parents are often neglected. Good Post.

Gunjan Upadhyay
September 2, 2018 4:53 pm

This is such a great story Vartika. Seems much like a true story. Kudos to your writing. #MyFriendAlexa

Dipali Bhasin
September 2, 2018 4:55 pm

Such a heartwarming story! A reality that many parents face sadly. The pressures of modern life have affected families on a scale greater than we could envisage. I’m glad you ended the story on a positive note. I enjoyed the story. Great writing!

Kapila Rattan Bhowmik
September 2, 2018 5:04 pm

It is very difficult to leave the house you made a home out of. Such a heartfelt story.. I felt a lump in my throat while reading it.. very well written

Prerna Wahi
September 2, 2018 5:20 pm

Heartfelt story. I wrote a similar piece sometime back and can totally relate to your thoughts.

September 2, 2018 5:28 pm

Worth a read, loved the way you have narrated the emotions of the old couple. Keep up the good work 🙂

Arjun Gupta
September 2, 2018 5:48 pm

You have touched a cord in the heart again. You have a real talent for that. Following for making me feel something 🙂

Paresh Godhwani
September 2, 2018 5:51 pm

Yes, today’s generation like big cities, malls and their activities leaving their parents unhappy but I always try to see their happiness because I am in this world because of them. And I was moved when one of the colleagues (whose some was settled in US) of my father told him that ‘you are lucky that your children live with you. We go and find neighbours for help when we are in problem or are in need of something.’ I loved the ending of the story of finding happiness finding that they are still living the better and helping the… Read more »

Holly J
September 2, 2018 5:54 pm

Ah, lovely. I do prefer happy endings, even if I don’t always WRITE them, myself. Does that make me a hypocrite? Anyway, it’s good to see that Rakesh and Meena don’t give up all the “things” just to come be with loved ones and feel ignored and anchorless – I’m glad they found each other again (right there, all the time) and a new purpose to recharge their reason for being.

Anagha Yatin
September 2, 2018 6:20 pm

Life is about moving ahead, accommodating, adjusting and existing… not just living. Good story with great message Vartika.

Vandana Mathur
September 2, 2018 6:51 pm

This is the present day reality. Empty nest syndrome is very common these days. When children grow up, we need to find new aim of life.
#MyFriendAlexa #thefoodfundareads

September 2, 2018 7:52 pm

elders are important. very well captured emotions here. Happy Alexa Month.

September 2, 2018 8:09 pm

I think everyone who resides in metros can somehow relate to this and such heart warming story this was

Jayanthy Govindarajan
September 2, 2018 8:36 pm

This is an excellent example of our modern Life. However, we all must find our goal and move on. Well said, Vartika. There is always someone for everyone.

Aditya Sathe
September 3, 2018 4:53 am

Knock on any of the closed doors in highrised buildings of huge cities, you will be welcomed by many such stories… That’s the true fact of today’s lifestyle, values and habits. I loved your story. And thanks to the two links, I ready two of your fabulous posts… 😕

September 3, 2018 10:33 am

It is the story of our lives. We moved out of our nests and spread our wings. And, out r parents supported us. 🙂

Ishita Hurkat
September 3, 2018 11:24 am

I love that they reinvented themselves & found a new purpose for their lives.
A very positive message

Leha Divakar
September 3, 2018 11:47 am

Lovely story Vartika 🙂 Lot of reality in there. Touched me.

Pragnya Mishra
September 3, 2018 12:47 pm

It feels like a true story. Parents want kids to have good education and job. Once kids are set in new life they do not want to return. Parents are unwilling to leave home and with kid’s new home. Though they love and care for each other yet they are far away.

Pragnya Mishra
September 3, 2018 3:18 pm
Reply to  Vartikasdiary

True! As a parent many exhaust their time and energy on kids without an ounce of self care or love. Each one has a purpose and goal. Hope most find it before it’s late.

September 3, 2018 4:53 pm

Hmmm – thought provoking.

Keerthi Vydyula
September 3, 2018 7:59 pm

It is indeed the hard truth. I saw my grand parents go through that phase. We wanted them to be with us and after a lot of persuasion they agreed. We were glad as the home at our native was 200 years old and in a very bad state. No repairs could have made it better for them to stay.

September 4, 2018 8:57 am

This is so touching. And an actual reality of today’s world. Best of luck for MFA 🙂

September 4, 2018 11:23 am

The story resonates. So much of the aging populace goes through this.

September 5, 2018 12:44 pm

It’s a reality that we need to face now. Loved the ending and how the parents found a new purpose 🙂

Sashwata Roy
Sashwata Roy
September 6, 2018 1:28 pm

This might well be the story of every second urban household. Nicely conceptualised and written. Loved it!

September 7, 2018 9:48 am

A beautiful weave of emotions blended with truth in it. Yes, people do get attached to the places which they have so many memories in but sometimes it is just impossible for the children to come back. What is most important is that if there is a possibility of staying together, then that should be done irrespective of the place. Home is where your loved ones are… At present, I am going with similar situations with my parents. I want them to move in with me but they don’t want to leave our old house. I am still in the… Read more »

September 7, 2018 11:04 am

So how exactly does this story end? The old couple join the NGO?

September 8, 2018 3:32 am

so hard truth of life, well explained of parents & children’s relationship …its a lonely life from both the sides

September 10, 2018 6:44 am

A beautiful story showcasing the real life predicaments of old and young in this new age set-up. I am happy that the couple found a purpose for their life.

September 10, 2018 6:38 pm

Very nicely written Vartika! I liked the way you ended the story on a positive note. There is perspective to both sides and I wish both understands each other and accept the reality. The essence is happiness which should not be lost wherever we stay! Keep it up!

September 15, 2019 8:46 am

This was so relatable; some we have seen around us and often feared it could be us! But in present scenario, we need to find a consensual ground lest we spend our days pining, bitter and remorseful.
Beautifully penned.

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