Mrinal had never amounted to much in life. There was a brief period when his mom had thought he’d make something of himself — back in high school, when his dad still had his wits about, and a job at the local dispensary as a compounder, and his liver had not yet been consumed by the hard cheap whiskey he had every other day.
He was a reasonably good student. Reasonably good at sports. And arts. Always getting an A in Application and Personal Neatness, not that anybody knew what those two accomplishments meant or how they were relevant to the job scene the school was evidently readying them for. By all accounts, he was a good, silent type, who never gave any trouble to the teachers. Or disobeyed any rule. He was sociable and had a steady set of friends.
But before he could find his true calling, figure out what he wanted to do with life, or at the end of schooling at least, which was looming large on the horizon, his mom passed away. In an accident, his neighbor, Malhotra uncle, informed him when he got back from school that day and found nobody home and the door locked from the outside.