Days Like These: A Story by Aaradhana Agarwal

Kiya’s parents were envied by their relatives for their lavish lifestyle. Their excursions, expensive branded outfits and accessories, and every update on their social media platforms created a wave of jealousy in their circles. However, they were unaffected by this. They were busy enjoying every moment of their life. Traveling by air, staying in five-star hotels, relishing sumptuous meals, and purchasing expensive couture are the highlights of their life. Risk-oriented investment in real estate and the share market was their favorite choice.
It was not the scenario till two years back. Days like these were dreams for the family. Kiya’s parents were transferred to Mumbai from Kolkata with little Kiya. They enrolled her in an expensive English medium school. The series of her quarterly tests and exams kept the family engaged throughout the year. During vacation, their budget-friendly tours were limited to visiting neighborhood tourist spots for a week. Only to celebrate birthdays and marriage anniversaries, they visited restaurants. They always placed orders for two rounds of Rotis without butter, paneer curry, and one plate of veg biryani. Soup, ice cream or cocktails were deliberately avoided but a half Kg chocolate cake made every occasion special.
Kiya was a commerce student and pursued her career in charted accountancy. Her parents spent most of their income on her study, expensive books, study materials, coaching classes, and formal attire like blazers, suit etc. But they never did shopping for themselves. Only the most needed items were bought. Since Kiya’s childhood, during the exams, their relatives suggested her parents leave her alone at home and be social. But they never did it until and unless it was an emergency. They sacrificed much to arrange resources for their daughter Kiya to acquire a professional degree.
In the last twenty years, the family neither went for fun-filled lavish vacation trips nor attended any out-of-the-city family ceremonies and never organized house parties. Days passed. They became non-existent for their relatives. The invitations from family and friends were stopped coming to them.  Meer formalities were maintained through verbal information about ceremonies. The entire world seemed to indulge in merriment except them. They were kept aloof from social affairs.
The family had achieved their goal by providing Kiya with a well-secured future at her early stage. They were currently stress free, and so living their life king-size. People were awe-struck to know about Kiya’s achievement so early in life. Kiya’s parents gave a befitted reply to those who humiliated them by labeling as protected parents. They had become role models for the new parents who wished their children to succeed.