In my recent posts, I have been talking about how my relationship with my parents has changed in the past few years. Things have been rough, sad and have hit the rock bottom on more occasions than one. I won’t shy away from admitting that there have been times when I was very angry with my parents.
But on all these occasions, there has been one thing that hasn’t changed. My desire to make them see my point of view and the urge to understand theirs.
As I am growing older, I have come to realize in a weird way, that siblings are more similar to each other in ways beyond their appearances and temperaments than are the offspring to their parents. I don’t know if I made any sense in my last statement but, you’ll understand where I’m coming from as you read on.
In the past five years when my life took an acute turn, I have seen everyone in my life change. Mostly unfavorably but some, in ways that made me see the true face of life. Like I had never seen before. In these tough times, when my brother chose to dump us (literally, by turning his back on us calling us a ‘liability’) my parents were devastated but I have been left with many unanswered questions.
I have been seeking answers from life, trying hard to know what could force a son (who had been for 3 decades of his existence) who was always a mother’s pet turn his back to her mother when she was diagnosed with cancer.
The point to note here is, my parents or I have never been dependent on my brother for our existence. Never. In fact, his infrequent visits were our only connection. My parents never asked for any favors from my brother ( neither financial nor emotional or in any other form) and have been self-reliant in every which way. Still, he chose to call us a ‘potential’ liability and left us to never look back.
It was a traumatic experience. Words can’t do justice to what my parents have gone through (especially my mom has gone through in the critical phase when she has been battling a malignancy). But, that is that and my battle with my family is different.
When our tormented life began to settle down a bit and I tried to take the reigns of my life in my hands, my parents decided to show me my place. I spent a lot of time reflecting, analyzing and trying to grasp the situation at hand while planning my moves ahead in life.
After much contemplation I have realized, that my parents have had a fair share of sufferings in their life. I am not looking for the causes of their suffering because we are all aware, no one, yes, neither you nor me have a perfect life. We all have our share of pain, unhappiness and hardships. But, what is the point of my focus here is, how to make our life, as a family, better and not bitter (than what it has become lately).
It has been an uphill task. I have no resources or concrete plan to make it happen. But, I am determined on a few things.
I want my parents to have a happy, healthy, content life in the days to come. I wish for us to connect like never before. I wish for them to open up to me and Pari enough to be able to purge out their pain. I want them to see, that like my brother, I have no intention what-so-ever to abandon them. I know it is a worry at the back of their mind which they never say but I can hear it in their silent suffering.
I have seen my father, dislike the stark similarities I share with my brother. Being strong-willed is definitely one of them, though in my case it is re-named to be my stubborn disobedience. I have been making conscious efforts to show my parents how I want them to enjoy the rest of their lives watching Pari grow around them while I am there to shoulder every responsibility. I am learning the hard ways of life, albeit slowly but surely.
No, it is not my effort to be a ‘Budhape Ka Sahara’ to my parents. It is my attempt to let my parents experience their due share of happiness after spending 80% of their lives struggling. At first to please and care for their parents, then to shoulder the responsibilities of being an elder sibling and parents to me and my brother. They’ve never had time for themselves. It’s time they did what they’d always wished for. Eat, shop, travel and do everything they’d love to do in this life.
I wish to be so strong to be able to make this little wish in my heart come true. But, I am not ready to let this happen at the cost of my or my child’s freedom. That makes for a tricky situation. However, the good news is, a solution to this problem exists. It lies in breaking free of the well-practiced rules of Patriarchy that governs my home.
It’s going to be a difficult thing to do. But definitely worth an effort.
I want to set my mother free, I want her to be happy like she’s never been before. I want my father to be free from the shadows of fear that I will hurt them like my brother has. I want Pari to become an independent, confident child, who never ever feels that she has been brought up by a single parent. But to make these wishes come true, I will have to keep my stand, have to rise above my fears. I wish to do this for the happiness and peace of my family.
As my vision is getting clearer, I am slowly beginning to see what I want from life and how I am going to achieve it.
The song on my mind: Ek Raasta hai zindagi jo tham gaye wo kuch nahin ~ Kala Patthar