The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was first held in 2010. The challenge is that we have to post every day of April, except on the four Sundays. April 1st is a theme with letter A, 2nd with letter B and so on till April 30th which will be Z themed. This year, I’m planning to do short pieces of fiction (not a series), or a poem based on a word with that letter.

“You won’t amount to anything in your life, son.”

He had. From being jobless, to being one of the upcoming stars in the industry, he had scripted what most would call a rags to riches story.

“Your passion is worthless, it will bring you down, son.”

It hadn’t. It was his passion for words that made him the successful author that he had become. He was proclaimed as the next big author from the country.

“Giving up a big paying job for an experiment is not the way, son.”

He had proven it was. Yes, he had quit his job at a leading multinational company and the perks that came with it, to pursue what he loved to do, and what he knew he could put every beat of his heart into.

“Who will agree to marry you? Every decent rishta is based on the groom’s financial stability.”

He hadn’t gone looking for any relationship. If any girl loved him for who he was, she would accept that he was a writer, and believe that he can take care of her. And when his book had become a hit, the rishtas were beginning to come. He hadn’t accepted any of them so far.

“You are acting like a child still. It’s time to grow up. Act your age.”

He had continued to be true to what he knew he was. He lived life to the fullest, made new friends, took new trips, continued to play video games and read comics. He painted landscapes, excelled in pencil-shading.

“You are only book-smart, not street-smart. You’ll never survive the real world.”

He had. He had proven that he was book-smart. He had a degree to his name. He proved that he didn’t need to “act” a particular age to be street smart. He didn’t deceive anyone. No one deceived him. He held his own quite well. The way he lived, people respected him.

Today he was supposed to be receiving his first award. It was an achievement his dad would be proud of.

“You are such a coward, you wouldn’t even have the heart to kill yourself.”

“I underestimated you, son. I truly underestimated you,” his father whispered, struggling to see his limp body hanging from the ceiling fan.

Jeevan had proven his father wrong everywhere. Everywhere.

To write 26 days in a month on a theme, a moral support is quite useful I feel. This year, I’m taking the challenge along with my friend Bhavya. We’re writing on the same themes each day, and giving each other the themes on alternate days. Day 24, the word chosen by Bhavya was UNDERESTIMATE.

(24th April 2014)

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Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

18 thoughts on “Underestimated”

  1. This is a story that will resonate with many. Our parents sometimes go overboard in telling us what is expected out of us, what they think is right. And careless use of words can create a permanent impact on a person. A story that needed to be told, told brilliantly.

    • Yes Jb. They go out of their way, because they’ve seen more of the world than we have. And that sometimes gets them thinking that the world is the same through anyone’s eyes. The words said in the heat of the moment may not be meant, but like you say, it impacts a lot deeper than one can imagine.

  2. Oh, why did he have to prove his father wrong with the last one, Leo !! He could’ve let him win there 🙁
    Such a tale resonates with most parents…. people are quick to judge and underestimate. Realising a person’s true worth is not easy !!

    • Why is something I cannot tell, Sree. But expectation and parental pressure are sometimes too much for anyone to live with. And if there is no feeling of emotional support, then it becomes even harder, and easier to take the words to heart, no matter how ridiculous the words are or how they were not meant to be said, just said in the heat of the moment.

    • Thanks, Afshan. Yes, scenario in many homes, like you say. It’s the words that impact enough to come crashing down. If one were a little supportive, then it’d be wonderful.

  3. so very true.. I say it often I was an OUTSTANDING student.. always STANDING OUT of the class.. some of the teachers would say , they will resign if i pass, but here I am . and then when i was growing every parent wanted the son to be a doctor, so did mine , but sadly i was not a that material..

    I wish parents stop forcing the kids.. Sad sad

    • It’s sad, yes BM. I’ve heard of parents pushing so hard that even a 99 on 100 isn’t enough to satisfy them. To push children to do well is one thing, to completely disregard and discard their passion as worthless, or seeing only for the future, that hurts a lot more than people think.

    • Sometimes, words stick like glue, Vasudha. and the pain they cause hurt so much, the present feels like it doesn’t matter. He had everything going for him, but the pain of his father’s underestimation, to call him a coward without a heart, that stuck on and he just wanted to prove him wrong, that he did have a heart to do everything was considered out of his reach. It’s perhaps in excess, but a little encouragement, rather than discarding his passion as worthless, would have prevented that step.

  4. This breaks my heart. Most parents refuse to believe in their child. The child turns a rebel for the same reason. They would rebel against everything the parent said, to prove them wrong. Even if it means dying to prove a point. Sad truth of so many lives.

    • Yes. In that mood, the rebelliousness extends to anything and everything. It’s almost involuntary I feel, Soumya. It’s good to push, but not discourage.

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