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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Picking up the pieces

This is a family where the children form the core of the household.

But all that is soon to change. While Ayush, the more independent son, left home at an early age, shy Divya their daughter, is soon stepping outside home and leaving for Bangalore for higher studies.

Though Arvind Verma, manager of Punjab National Bank, spends most of his time making official rounds in the city and returns home late in the evening, he realises that he will miss his children badly.

His wife Abha Verma on the other hand feels she will be shattered. She is used to spending hours looking after daughter Divya especially after their son left for Kota.

The parents, at the same time, are proud that the children are fast becoming independent and taking their own decisions.

And the couple too, is facing uncertain time as Arvind's posting is on the anvil.

'My wife is very depressed that both the son and daughter would be living far away from us. But we realise that they need the stability, especially since I have a transferable job. We do not want their careers to suffer because of my job,' says the determined father.

'When our son Ayush left in April his mother cried a lot. I felt that it was good that our son was capable of taking decisions from an early age. And he does that often as he stays alone' said the proud father.

'I know we would feel sad for some time. But this is good because I have been in a transferable job and this could pose a major problem in their education. Now that they would stay in hostels they would not have to move around with us,' added Verma.

Arvind is the role model for both the children because of his honesty and diligence.

'I was in the customs department before I joined the bank. There the environment was not suitable for me. I soon left the job because I smelled corruption. That place was unsuitable for survival,' said Verma further.

The parents are happy that their children are also interested are not only good in music but in other extra form of arts as well.

While Divya is a good guitarist, son Ayush is good with the keyboard. Divya has also learnt painting and has a melodious voice even without formal training. The parents would miss the family get-togethers, the duet songs between the father and daughter, as well as Chinese food.

But that does not mean that existence halts after their children. 'I have plans to teach the domestic help and their children to read and write. Also there are plans to join some social organisation. I would love to do some community work. I have also learnt computers which may come to use in free time,' feels Abha.

'The whole family used to visit places and we have been to southern, western as well as parts of eastern and northern India, except Kashmir. But now we have to go to either one of the children's place during the vacations" said Abha.

'My daughter and I are fond of Chinese food and in many occasions I have danced and sang with my daughter. We had a blast when we went to Goa for a vacation and danced on the deck of the ship. This would not be possible any more,' says Verma a little ruefully.

After the children are away to study, Abha plans to indulge in her old hobby of gardening. She has made a small kitchen garden at the backyard of her house that she plans to extend.

Abhijeet Mukherjee

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