"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan

All the books that he could lay his hands upon and all his 'google search', couldn't show him another story like his - nowhere else was there a son, who had wilfully led his mother astray; but he still didn't feel any bit ashamed for it. "Its all a part of life, and I am merely a catalyst" would be his usual excuse but he could not escape blaming himself too.

Nevertheless! there was blame, but no shame..

He had heard there were two dominant forces in anybody's life - one's own Will (as in Free Will) and the sum-total of all other Wills, which we call Nature. Furthermore, the choices made by Nature are called 'Destiny' and those made by one's own Will is called 'Life'. In the night of Reason, Destiny and Life huddle together and use the blanket of Faith to weather the cold of an unknown future. In his case, Life and Destiny fought all the time, and both seemed to win, at his cost!

Ever since his childhood, the only persistent memory was of his father's flaring tempers. When he had heard the description of hell for the first time in school, his dad's picture had flashed across his mind. Misunderstanding, blame-game, Suspicion, Bad-mouthing... anything that tears the fabric of a family, his father had 'been-there-done-that'. The man never indulged in physical abuse, yet most of the time he made physical-abuse look far more bearable! His mom always faced the music and he had always cried on her behalf; But dad would say 'Boys don't cry' and quickly strangle his tide. Over two decades, he saw a decadence of family values. He witnessed his dear 'mummy' go from just a 'distressed partner' to being a 'punching bag' for dad's frustrations. She lived like a maid in her own house. Dad almost treated her like some furniture in the kitchen. She had lost her smile. He saw her suffer in silence, yet how she put all her life and time in keeping the family going. He couldn't find the courage to face his dad but one day, he had mustered the strength to open up to his mother and asked her why she doesn't walk out of the marriage. "A known devil is better than an unknown angel," she had replied, "In our days, divorce was not the solution for a bad marriage. There are issues in all families, yet people live somehow. If I leave your dad, where will I go? Our society is an evil place for a lady without a husband. And whatever your dad does, I shall always be thankful to him for the one priceless gift he gave me... You!" Hearing that, he had fallen in love with his mom, all over again.

A month back, his music teacher visited their house. The teacher was an exponent in his art and a lifelong devotion to music had him given a magical persona. The musical icon had remained unmarried even at his ripe age. 'Mummy' had a lot of admiration for music, and he noticed how his mother had gelled so well with the music teacher. They seemed like childhood buddies lost in their nostalgic discussions. After a long time, he had noticed his mother smiling. From then on, he started making excuses to invite his teacher home and everytime he found his mother swaying to the discussions. A childishness had returned in her smile, It seemed like she had fallen in love all of a sudden; but when the dad returned home, gloom would descend again.

Then one day, he read in a magazine that a woman's heart survives on the food of love. The article said, "A woman can bear any pain in the world if it comes wrapped in love. Men thrive on love, Women survive on it. Love refines a man, but it defines a woman. A woman has many faces, she wears many masks, she will fight, cry, cringe, shout, but a warm hug at the end of the day puts her soul to rest. As is popularly misunderstood, Sex wasn't really made to satisfy the lust of a man, its actually made for a woman, as a charging station, where she renews her vows with love." This passage gave him tremors of a weird kind. Suddenly he saw light at the end of the tunnel - but feared it could be that of an on-coming train. It was still worth trying. Coincidentally, the next day was his parents' anniversary and he saw that as an omen. He had seen his mother enjoy her moments with the music teacher. His mother was sapped of her love all these years and he wanted to give her a way to 'charge' herself. His music teacher lived alone and this was the right setup for his 'plan'. He took his 'mummy' out on the pretext of going to the temple. He suggested they visit the teacher on the way and mom happily accepted. Once at the teacher's house, he waited until their discussion settled into a 'smiling' mode. At this point, he faked a call and escaped out of the house, giving the desiccated beings their privacy. He let the adults take their own comfortable course and just... hoped for the best!

While he waited around the corner, he got a call from his dad and he lied that they were at the temple. Dad had wanted to know the reason, and he was shocked that dad didn't even remember his own anniversary. Anyways, what use of an anniversary when the marriage didn't exist anymore? 

His hands were trembling, his eyes were moist - and he didn't know if it was for fear or joy. He had just done something unheard of, an experiment that a son would probably never do with his mom. If it wasn't for the circumstances, he would never have done something like that.

Nevertheless! there was blame, but no shame..