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#40, Coco's

Aman and Arjun were seated at their favorite seat, facing the pool at Coco's. Everyday they met here, to spend time together over drinks and dinner. And this tradition had not been broken since the past two years. #40, Coco's was the city's most popular diner. Both in their mid twenties, Aman and Arjun were friends since childhood. Their fathers were business partners and both of them came from affluent families. They sat talking and laughing, sipping their beers much oblivious to the preening eyes of Aman's mother from outside.

Aman Shroff was the son of Dev and Mallika Shroff, owners of 'Design' the popular fashion chain. They were a page-3 regular and Mallika protected her family like a fierce Lioness. She knew the right places to be seen at, the right clothes to be seen in and the perfect angle to be photographed at. Aman, their only son was a paparazzi favorite. With supermodel looks he always had women swooning over him and he was linked to some women or the other at any point of time.

It was when Aman decided to break the news to his parents, that it all went downhill.

Mallika sat at the driver’s seat, clutching the steering wheel. She remembered that fateful incident that had occurred three months ago. She had heard a loud sound and had rushed to her living room.

Aman stood there, red in the face. Dev, her husband was hurling abuses at him.

"What happened?" Mallika sounded tense.

Dev spat out in disgust. "Ask your son."

Mallika walks towards Aman and holds his hand.

"Beta? Did you do something?"

"Nothing." Aman replied.

Dev came rushing towards him and slapped him. Aman fell down.

Mallika screamed.

Dev looked up in despair. "Its all over. People will laugh at us now." He sat down and held his head.

Mallika began crying. "But why? What happened?"

Dev looked up and pointed towards Aman. "Our son says he's in love."

"Oh! Who?" She asked.

"Arjun Mann." Dev screamed.

Mallika sat down with a thud.

Dev goes to her and holds her. "Yes, our only son has just confessed to being a homosexual."

"Sorry ma, sorry papa. But what do I do? I am this way. Please understand me." Aman begged.

"Of all the people in the world, you got involved with my partner's son. What do I tell him?" Dev yelled.

"He already knows papa. Arjun told him.” Aman said.

"What did he say?" He asked slowly.

Arjun had to leave home. He has nowhere to go. Can I please get him here?” Aman begged again.

Dev looked at his wife, and then back at his son.

Please leave. We don’t need you anymore.” Dev said slowly.

No…” Mallika screamed.

Papa, please…” Aman cried.

Get out Aman. Take your things and leave.” Dev yelled.

Aman walks back to his room and grabs the packed luggage placed on his bed. He had an inkling that his parents would behave the same way like Arjun’s. He hung his bag over his shoulder and stormed out of his room. He gave a last look to his parents and walked out slowly.

Mallika had not seen him since then. She knew through her sources that he had managed to find a house and was living in there with Arjun. He regularly went to work and had cancelled all the credit cards that his father had given him. He never tried to get back to his parents. Mallika thought that maybe he was embarrassed. A lot of trash was being spoken about him and Mallika would hardly step out of the house. The friendship between Dev and Arjun’s father had become formal and they only met to discuss business. Not a word was mentioned about either son. Dev was almost reduced to a nobody because of mocking relatives and friends. Their life had been turned around overnight and Mallika would never forgive her son for that.

Her close aide had told her that Aman dropped into Coco’s everyday. After a lot of thinking, she had decided to come meet him today. She had arrived early telling Dev that she was at a dinner party. She looked at her watch. Seven pm. She was just about to switch on the stereo when she saw Aman and Arjun arrive. She was laying her eyes on her son after three months. He looked happy. A sole tear escaped her eye and she closed her eyes. She waited for the feeing to sink in and opened them. Aman and Arjun were no where in sight and she cursed herself for missing them.

She was parked opposite to the pool and was neatly hidden under the shade of a Gulmohar tree. She looked around. She caught sight of a red jacket next to the pool. Yes, that was her son. He sat next to Arjun and smiled at the waiter. He surprisingly looked good, considering the fact that he was away from his parents for a long time. He looked clean and sorted. Mallika did not like it. For the pain he had caused them, he did not deserve to be happy.

Mallika was determined to break her silence today. She was waiting to lash out her emotions at her son. The son who had failed her and her husband. She waited for the perfect moment wondering when to barge in. She looked at her son who was resting his head on Arjun’s shoulder. Disgusted, she looked away. And then looked back.

Arjun was now playing with Aman’s hair. They were talking and laughing together. Aman looked satisfied and content. Mallika couldn’t believe the scene. The boy who couldn’t stay without his mother for even a day had stayed away from her for about a hundred days. And worse, he showed no signs of missing home. He seemed happy and content in his little world, out here at Coco’s. It was too much for her to digest. The past three months had been hell for her and her husband. But not a strain of it was shown on the son’s face. Unable to bear the contrast anymore, she grabbed her bag and barged out. As she got out, she could hear her son’s laugh.

She stopped and stood stunned. She looked back at her son again. He was laughing with joy and there was a certain glint in his eye. Slowly, she opened the door of her car and sat back. She looked back at her son and smiled. For the first time in many days. Tears flowed down to her lip, but still she smiled. Her phone was ringing, but she did not hear it. She was busy looking at her happy son.

Mallika had never seen Aman this happy before. He had always scored the perfect grades and had brought home the trophies. His dad had celebrated his achievements with extravagant parties, but all Aman did was play along. He never seemed thrilled by all the fame and money. He never enjoyed his life as much as he should. But today, Mallika was seeing a different side of him. For the first ever time. Aman smiled so much that it filled her heart with joy whenever she saw it. They was a certain glow on his face and Mallika wondered what it was.

And then it hit her like a warm gush of wind. It was love. Her son was in love and she did not appreciate it. He had judged his choice ignoring the obvious. This was the first time her son was in love and she did not do anything good for him. Instead she had thrown him out, without giving him a chance to reason. No wonder Aman looked so happy today. He was free from the judgement. He was free from his dad’s expectations. He was free from his mother’s restrictions. He was free to love. How could he not be happy?

Wiping her tears, she left her bag on the next seat and walked out. She locked the car and slowly walked into Coco’s. As she reached the pool side, Arjun saw her.

Aman, isn’t that your mom?” He pointed.

Aman looked up and saw her. His expression changed. Suddenly his face looked all hollow and drained out. There was fear in his eye. He slowly stood up wondering what to do. Arjun stood up and slipped his hand into Aman’s. Aman looked at him and smiled. The glow, the love, the happiness all returned back on his face. He had nothing to fear. He was with the person he loved. Nothing else mattered to him now.

Mallika approached her son and looked sideways at Arjun. He let go of Aman’s hand and moved aside. Aman’s mother then smiles at her son, pats his cheek and hugs him tight.
This post is part of  Contest 8.. on
~ Soumya


  1. A wonderful post no doubt. B-)

    But it's sad that it's just fiction :(

    Stay Blessed ^_^

    1. Thank you.

      I agree, its about time people openly accept homosexuality.

  2. Good one... Liked the way you took the narration around the plot.


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