”Whenever I see my son I feel proud”, said Aman’s father to his wife standing next to him, on seeing his son studying for the SSC board exams which were just over the head. ”He has always lived up to my expectations and I am sure like always this time also he will score exceptionally good scores. I want him to have an excellent career in engineering and to attain that position which once I ever dreamt of but failed to achieve”….. and he left the room with tears in his eyes and memories of his past.

“Sometimes I feel scared when you express high expectations for him”, said Aman’s mother. ”By gods grace, we have a son who is respectful, obedient and good in studies. I fear if any day he is not able to bear the burden of your expectations then what will happen”.
“Oh! shut up. Don’t think otherwise. He is my son. He will never let me down”, said Aman’s father and turned to sleep.

A couple of months later the results were out. ” Did you see that, our son has scored 90 percent in SSC exams”, said Aman’s father jumping out of the chair in excitement on seeing the results on the computer.

”I knew he will be able to make it. Invite all friends and relatives, we will be celebrating tonite”, he said and left for office.
At night celebration began. All the near and dear ones had arrived and were enjoying themselves with food and drinks. Aman’s father was extremely happy and was boasting about his son’s achievement amongst his friends. Suddenly he overhears the conversation going on between his son and one his friend.
“What’s next beta, what are your future plan?'”,before Aman could reply anything his father intervened and said,” Oh he is opting for science for HSC and after that will pursue engineering”. Aman kept quiet and didn’t utter a word. He wanted to open out his heart to his father but stepped back and thought this was not the right time to do so.

The next morning Aman woke up and saw his father busy reading newspaper. He thought now the time has come to open his heart out to his father. He quietly sat next to him and in a subtle tone said,” Papa I wanted to share something. I need you to know that I love you both very much and don’t want to think that I am against you”. His father was clueless and said astonishingly,” What are talking about my child, I didn’t get you”.

“Papa I want to study Arts rather than science for my higher education”.

“What????”, his father exclaimed. “What are you saying. Arts?? Brilliant brains study science, my child. Arts will lead you nowhere. Your goal is different. You have to become an engineer”.

“No papa, becoming an engineer is not mine but your goal”, Aman replied softly. His father was shocked. He sat on the sofa dumbstruck. He was unable to speak anything. Words fall short of his mouth.

“And what after Arts? Your career? What do you want to be in life?”,his father said. “After that I want to study journalism and mass communication”, Aman said confidently. His father’s head shook down in disappointment. He moved out from there without initiating any further communication.

Aman’s mother went to him and consoled, “Let him study what he wants do and where his heart truly lies. Putting burden of our expectations on him will lead him to a phase where he will not be able to do justice to his work. Trust him and his abilities. He will not let us down. Our main motive is to see him successful and happily settled in his life. Which medium he chooses to attain that doesn’t matter. He should be self contended in whatever he wants to do”.

Next day the Sun shined up. “Aman..Aman..get up fast”, his father said. We are getting late. Aman and his mother looked at each other surprisingly. Come on dress up fast we have to go to your school for admission. Registration for the Arts stream closes at 12. We have to make up before that. Aman hugged his father lovingly and gratefully said, “Thank you…..thank you, Papa, for everything”.

And for the first time, the tight hug between the father-son duo was…..emotional…..satisfying….without any expectation & only out of love!!!