Monday, October 3, 2011


I feel that children are innocent victims when their parents divorce. 
The first thing that happens is that the custody of the child is given to one parent (most likely the mother). This deprives the child of one parent. I think this does have a detrimental effect on the child and his overall development.
And then, if the parents decide to remarry, it is double whammy for the poor child and the child's predicament becomes even worse. The poor child may feel abandoned and that he belongs nowhere.
Here is a fiction short story I wrote some time ago on such a situation. The story is narrated by the hapless child... 

A Story told by a Small Boy

Badminton is a game where you volley a shuttlecock back and forth over a net


My life is like a game of badminton. I am the shuttlecock and my mother and my father are the two opposing players.

Let me explain.

My parents are getting divorced. 

Now both are highly qualified MBAs and have very meticulously divided their assets and very painstakingly shared their liabilities. 

Except me. 

They don’t know how to divide me, so they are fighting it out in court, battling it out for my custody. 

And till they finally decide this way or the other, I am being tossed from one parent to the other like a shuttlecock. 

From Monday to Thursday, after school is over, I take the Aundh Bus to stay at my mother’s place; and on Friday, I take the Kondhwa Bus to spend the weekend with my father, and precisely before six on Sunday evening he has to drop me off at my mother’s place, and if we are late even by one minute she raises a hue and cry and complains to the family court.

After Two Years


My life is still like a game of badminton. 

But there is a slight difference. 

Now, instead of badminton singles, it is a game of mixed doubles.

Let me explain.

On one side of the badminton court are my father and step-mother and, across the net, on the other side are my mother and step-father. 

And I am still the shuttlecock being tossed from one side to the other, back and forth. However, there is also a big difference. 

Earlier, when they used to play badminton singles, the rallies were short and sweet, the volleys were gentle, and each player wanted the shuttlecock to fall on their own side of the court. 

Now, in mixed doubles, the rallies and long and painful, the smashes are hard, and the players, especially the new players, want the shuttlecock to fall on the other side of the court, across the net.

Want me to explain? I don’t think I need to.

Dear Reader: You got the drift of what I am trying to say, didn't you? 

Now tell me one thing: Am I an asset to be divided or a liability to be shared?

But I am afraid of one thing. Soon the shuttlecock may get worn out. Then, will they toss the shuttlecock out of the court?

Oh my God! 

An even more terrible thought comes to my mind. 

Once they get rid of the old shuttlecock, maybe the mixed doubles partners may start playing badminton singles with each other with their own new shuttlecocks.

And then they may abandon me forever.

Is the child right? 
First, when the parents got divorced he was considered an asset as both his parents wanted his custody and then they "divided" him between themselves.
Then when his divorced parents get remarried, and he gets step-parents, the poor boy feels that he has become a liability.
And more so, he shudders to think what will happen to him when the two new married couples (his mother and her new husband, and his father and his new wife) have children of their own? 
Will he be tossed away like an unwanted old shuttle-cock once the players have got their own "new" shuttle-cocks? 
Just like they sometimes "write-off"  a liability to get rid of it.
Dear Reader, please comment and do let me know your views.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the stories in my recently published book COCKTAIL comprising twenty seven short stories about relationships. 
To know more please click the links below:
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 


Shilpa Mudiganti said...

A touching story. When I first read the line, I was like "why badminton, why not tennis?" :) But now I get it. The huttlecock wearing out is important to the story. Very well written!

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Shilpa - Thanks for your nice words. We all are like shuttle-cocks aren't we?

Rajendra Saxena said...

a very touching story