Satveer (Sam) Mittal
Boys to Men
Wed Aug 23, 2017 14:19

Satveer shuffled into the Rec Centre, blissfully unaware of the other students or their activities. In his hand, he carried a parcel wrapped in brown paper and twine. Innocently ignoring the other students, his eyes never wondered from the brown box he held so cautiously. He found the nearest table and sat down and slowly (with purpose), Satveer placed the box on the edge of the table.

Receiving post wasn’t a big thing. His mother and sister often sent him letters and silly snippets they thought he would like (mostly comics), but this was different. His mother and sister wrote delicately and with grace. Their strokes and penmanship radiated warmth and the textured paper it donned offered meaning and love. This was nothing like that. This was a hastily written, plain white card attached to the twine. This was his fathers doing.

Satveer sat for what seemed like an eternity staring at the parcel. Even he would be forced to admit, to an onlooker, it may have appeared a little odd. Satveer couldn’t help but considering its contents. Satveer was considering its meaning. Father didn’t have much warmth, only expectation. In the time he’d been at RMI, Satveer had somehow forgotten just how much expectation he had. His magically impaired siblings (Satveer only used ‘squib’ when he fought with them), his father’s business, their family in India. The receipt of this small, innocuous, brown parcel had bought it all back.

Taking a deep breath, Satveer slowly pulled at the twine bow. The knot loosened and twine dust danced in the air before gently falling to meet the now unravelled twine, lying on the table. The brown paper started, ever so slowly, unfolding from its tightly wrapped form. Satveer, waited as it settled then gently eased the paper from the around the box it covered. As he pressed the brown paper into a flat square on the table Satveer was presented with the rear of a white box. There was something about this box. It was, quite obviously, not just any box. It had an air of spectacle about it.

Satveer studied the box, a determined it to be made of hard wood. It was painted in a white gloss and had ornate black hinges that than ran most of the way down the its back and curved over its lid. As Satveer turned it on the brown paper, he discovered a black diamond shape etched into it, leaving the embossed letters SM. Satveer Mittal.

Satveer placed his hands either side of the box. With each thumb on its base, the prised the lid upward to reveal a dark, black emptiness. Slightly confused as to its purpose, Satveer placed the box back, flat on the table. As he sat back in his chair, a deep purple, silk ribbon jumped from the empty box and rolled towards Satveer, unravelling itself in his lap. Once unrolled, the ribbon revealed a small, folded piece of paper. As he unfolded the paper, Satveer discovered a handwritten letter from his father. This letter wasn’t what he’d expected from his father. The words seemed less rushed, softer somehow. It was however, definitely father’s writing.

Time stood still as the first year read his letter. It described the pride his father, his family had in him. Both his parents felt he was ready to become more than a boy, so at mid-term there was to be a celebration. Satveer was to attend the Dastar Bandhi ceremony. When he would return to school after mid-term, Satveer would be a man amongst men. Well, in his family at least.

”The ribbon enclosed, is charmed just for you. It will show you which Dastaar aligns most with your aura.
Our deepest love – Father, Mother Balbir and Dilbaagh

As he came to the end of the letter a tear left the corner of Satveer’s eye. Only now had he realised how much he missed his family.

Satveer remained still in his chair, thinking. Other than Hubert, the boy with whom Satveer had mostly spoken with in classes, he didn’t really have anyone to share his news with. He’d not yet made any real friends.

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