Crossing the Mirage:Passing Through Youth (Chapter 2, page 1 of 4)

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Chapter 2

When Chandra had graduated in commerce, Yadagiri wanted him to join him at the Princely Pearls. Though Chandra knew it was coming, yet he felt like it was a bolt from the blue. Having come to mirror his misfortunes in his father’s visage, the prospect of the paternal proximity in perpetuity sickened him.

‘But how can I possibly object to something that’s obvious, natural even!’ thought Chandra, and the more he thought about it, all the more he wanted to avoid being drafted into the family business. ‘Come what may, I won’t have any of it, that’s all,’ he resolved in the end.

So he began to stall the issue on one pretext or the other, all the while weighing his options, and Yadagiri, who envisioned grandiose plans for the Princely Pearls with Chandra in the saddle, was not amused by his prevarication. The inexplicable conduct of his pride-of-the-future perplexed the father in the beginning only to vex him in time. Chandra, for his part, could not conjure up a credible escape route though he thought long and hard about it. But, in the end, having come to know of an obscure management institute, he tried to sell the idea of MBA to his father through Anasuya’s good offices.

“I’ve more business tricks up my sleeve than the market feel of all the MBAs put together,” said Yadagiri dismissively. “They are but snobs in the tweed suits, these MBAs.”

With his hope of good hope too ending up in the deep desert, Chandra feigned sickness by way of finding an oasis. Losing his patience at last, Yadagiri forced the issue and fixed the muhurtham. Dreading the diktat and determined to avoid the draft, Chandra became pensive. But, slowly, pondering over his predicament, brought about by his parent, he felt outraged. The perceived dominance of his father, and his own inability to resist him, made him hate his parent and pity himself in the same vein. His sense of inadequacy to oppose his father overtly made him think of revolting against him covertly.

‘What if I run away!’ spurred on by the stray thought, he felt. ‘Won’t I be free then? Am I not qualified, after all? Can’t I live on my own?’

Plagued by the fear of the unknown and pricked by what was known---apprentice on sufferance---he thought he was caught between the devil and the deep sea. Compounding his misery was the thought of the effect his desertion would have on his hapless mother. Thus, he felt as though he was a bird caged at birth, not acquainted with the faculty of flying.

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