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Team: Maverick X

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Tara’s demanding schedules meant that the Dutta’s hadn’t had a proper family vacation for years. And so when her boss decided to give her a few days off for working too much, Shekhar and Roohi got together to make the plans.

“Yayyyy. I am already dreaming of making my own castles on the beaches.”

“Tickets? Check. Clothes? Check. Hotels? Check.” Father and daughter were busy at work sorting out all the formalities while mom was occupied with work as usual.

Though Tara was engrossed in her laptop with last minute work, Shekhar knew that God’s own country with its pristine beaches, the backwaters and the beautiful landscapes would give her time to relax and enjoy with their little princess.

With greenery as far as the eyes could see and its unspoilt beaches, Kerala provided the perfect getaway from the din of Mumbai. Though Tara couldn’t avoid taking the most important calls, the time she spent with Roohi and Shekhar day after day made her understand the importance of family.

One of the days, she was so busy having fun that she even forgot to call her sub editor. Initially, she wasn’t too excited to be on this holiday, but now she didn’t want it to end. It had been the best thing she had experienced in years.

While they were having their sweet little holiday, a little further away, Cyrus and Anne were making their bond even stronger than ever.

Away from the hustle and bustle of city life and a family that was more silent than the walls, he felt peaceful lying on Anne’s lap. She was the sunshine of his life. The lazy mornings, the long chats, the walks on the beach in the moonlight, the coffee, the vodka, the passionate kiss – all with the girl he loved the most. Life seemed perfect far away from his childhood when he missed his father’s love and care making him irritable and short tempered.

But memories have wings and they remind us of our worst memories even in the best of times. They took him to the 10 year old Cyrus who longed for meeting his father for days.

Born to Parsi parents who were much well off than almost anyone he could ever think off, Cyrus got all the gadgets and things he wished for from childhood.

Whether it was the latest phone or car or even trips to Europe, USA and the likes, Cyrus had a life which others couldn’t even dream off. But what he didn’t have was love and care. All this had made him a recluse with not many friends to speak of.

Most of the time, his dad was busy attending meetings all around the country. His mom had once told him that dad wasn’t even there during his birth since an important meeting was scheduled for the same day.

He was just 12 when his mom had passed away. She was a really good woman who cared for him and dad more than anything in this world.

Despite knowing that dad was always busy and rarely stayed at home for much time, she always waited for him for dinner. He was sure that if she was alive, she wouldn’t have let things get spoiled to such an extent.

Cyrus’s fights with his dad grew worse as the days went by. One of the days when his dad was at home, Cyrus confronted him head on.

“Do you even know what grade I study in?” Cyrus looked at him with incredulity.

“What kind of stupid question is this? I know you are in the 6th standard. Don’t irritate me with these kinds of questions. I am in a hurry.”

“You are always in a hurry dad. Have you even spoken to me properly for ten minutes? Do you even know what I love and what I don’t? Have you ever thought how I feel when you don’t call me?” Cyrus was seething with rage.

“Do you realize that I am working so hard only for all of you? All you do is sit and complain all day.”

“You work hard for us. But sadly you don’t seem to have any time for me. It seems to me that I have been a liability for you all these years.”

And as soon as he uttered those words, his father responded in the only way he thought possible – by giving him a tight slap.

This was the usual sequence of events over the years. Knowing fully well, the way his dad reacted, Cyrus had started doing what we wanted. Whether it was wasting money on useless things or hanging out with the wrong set of people, he was quickly going down the wrong path. The years passed by and Cyrus was now pursuing law at college.

When he couldn’t bear his life being controlled anymore, he decided that enough was enough. He wanted to get out of this.

“Thanks dad. Thanks for all that you have given me over the years.” And saying this, he walked off. His dad tried contacting him over the next few days but couldn’t. Days turned into months. And months turned into years.

He was tall and his big specs gave him quite a nerdy look. Add to that the beard on his chin which made him look like some sort of a loner. Cyrus was tired of his protected life within the four walls of his house. And so he had decided to pursue his dream of doing design at the National Institute of Design (NID). He didn’t care that he had left his law school midway. Anyway, only his father’s insistence had made him join it.

When in NID, he felt like a free bird for the first time. Free from the clutches of rules and regulations. Free from the constant nagging of his father. Free to choose his friends and live life on his own terms.

Once he completed his course in NID, he decided that specializing in Aerospace Design was his calling. He had left law way behind in his life and was happily moving into something which he knew he would love to do.

His journey took him to Turin in Italy. For the avid tourist, it was a cultural center replete with palaces, churches, city squares and the likes. But for him, it was the destination of his dream.

As irony would have had it, his mom was from Turin. And so he had some level of exposure to Italian at home. With time, he started to integrate himself into the culture and sights and sounds of the city. He loved every moment. But he surely didn’t know what was waiting for him at a place which he once believed was his home.

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