The only time I ever cried in public, when I didn’t care how much sound I was making and how much scene I was creating, was in the first year of my college.
My father was working in Dubai then, and I was in South India, studying engineering. My mother and my sister used to live in this house my dad constructed, on his family land, with monetary help from his only elder brother. His elder brother, who was a divorcee and like a family member to his younger brother’s family, held the land in his name. He had divided the land in two parts, one was used by my father for constructing our house, one by their sister who also constructed their house and used to live there. We also had a flat, around 20 km inside the then underdeveloped Gurgaon city, which we had rented out to tenants then.
Let me give you a brief summary of relations between my father’s elder brother and our family. He was worshiped in our house. My dad used to address him as his own father, used to touch his feet too. He was a divorcee, so would come visit us in all occasions and holidays. He treated me and my sister as his own kids, spoiled us with goodies and candies. All in all, he was our Santa.
Due to some internal family politics and lust for family money, all my relatives from dad’s side conspired against my mom, to remove us from our home, in order to grab the entire piece of property there, along with the well constructed house. They had an advantage too : my dad not being in the country. He was away for most parts of the year due to work.
They convinced my father’s elder brother to make the call. He called my mom and gave her 8 days time to evacuate the house. 8 days.
I remember I was taking this quiz, when my sister started calling me. When she didn’t stop calling after I hung up twice, I knew something was up. I went outside and picked up. When my sister told me the entire story, I couldn’t believe my uncle could do this. I remember feeling sick.
But I was not content. It was just impossible for my fair heart! How could he do this? There has got to be something! He loves me!
I called my uncle right then. He picked up in 3 attempt.
He : “Yeah say Nishant!”
Me : “Uncle, why are you doing this? Why are you taking us out of our house?”
He : “Son, you are small now, you wont understand. That’s my house. I need it.”
Me : “Okay uncle, but please wait till dad returns India. How will mom and my sister evacuate on their own? Please have mercy, 8 days is no time.”
He : “It’s okay, don’t play with me. If they don’t get out by 8th, I will personally remove everything on 9th.”
That day was the only time I felt this weird sensation in my body. It was as if something gave away, like something just broke. I knew it back then, a bridge broke. I started crying my eyes out. I didn’t call anyone, just sat there, in front of the main academic block of our university, and cried my eyes out. I think that was the day I gave up on my father’s family.