WHEN FATHER DEPARTS !

Dreams and memories of father waft into my nights like puffy clouds… sobbing memories, crying dreams… descending in hordes. Memories which keep me awake; Dreams pulsating and alive; Emotions overwhelming n choking. Memories of his infectious laughter, his magical touch and that naughty twinkle in his eyes… memories which beckon, dreams which whisper… tiny tendrils of tender thoughts… maudlin eyes tired of crying at times, but remembrance always wet…

With age he mellowed and sparkled like a fine vintage wine, yet father was a child. Innocent in his maturity and playful in his seriousness, he kept the child within around too. Father was full of life and gave so much of himself and his love. He didn’t preach goodness, but showed it in his methods n manners. Fond of small little pleasures, and with impeccable taste for finer things, he was neither greedy nor a hoarder, nor was he casual in his words, approach and life-style.

Father gave his best and looked for the best in others. He stood tall but never made one feel small. He appreciated all that is good and beautiful and left the world a little better. So very humane, father was among a few good men, a rare breed. He lived and died on his own terms… with dignity and grace, and in his own inimitable style! I grieve that he is no more, but am thankful that he was.

My unspoken bonding with father was such that there was little to be said between two of us. His silence was eloquent, eyes spoke volumes, and his smile or a raised eyebrow conveyed it all. Feelings ran deep and our understanding grew without trying. I wish I had held his hand more often and little longer; I wish I had hugged him whenever and wherever and for no reason; I wish I had sat by his side silently watching the sunset, sun or no sun; I wish I had stolen more of his mornings, afternoons and evenings; I wish I had drunk and devoured more of him… oh, how I wish!

Father went away, but will always be with me. He lives in my laughter and cries, in my joys and sorrows, in my sky and universe, in my days and nights. He lives in my thoughts, my emotions, my feelings. He lives in my breaths, my memories and my moments. I bask in the warmth of his love, I shine in his reflected glory.

After he departed, people thus console and counsel: life goes on as it keeps flowing like a river. But as Heraclitus said, no man enters the same river again…for it is not the same river and he is no longer the same man.

Sri HCS Photograph

Sophistication of intelligent minds reflects in the sensitiveness of their souls.

A TALE OF TWO….IN THE CONTEXT OF MY PARENTS

Parents are at Bangalore since mid-November 2019. I tend to their medical needs when they are here…doctors, hospitals, the regimen…and of late I have realized I often lose patience and become irritated when father reminds repeatedly about something. I might hide behind the justification that in the hurly-burly household scenario where 10 humans try their best to remain sane and humane…competing for peace, coping with the pace, jostling for space…nerves do get frayed at times. But what is a family, if not confusion and chaos?

I am ashamed of myself as I compare in my mind and recall how Antima tends to their needs- medical and more at Guwahati…without losing patience, without ever getting annoyed…replies umpteen times… calmly, affectionately…as if talking to toddlers aged two….with love and kindness and a happy smiling face…coaxing them to eat, cajoling to take medicine, persuading to venture out, encouraging to have some fun….. giving them her time, empathy and the warmth of sunshine in the winter of their lives (neither bragging nor blaming, and despite a full-time job and domestic affairs in her hair).

Sophistication of intelligent minds, such as Antima’s, reflects in the sensitiveness of their souls.

Stories such as these must be told…not to belittle contributions of anyone, but for lessons to be learnt…i am learning mine!

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BE FRIENDLY, BUT NOT A FRIEND !

BE FRIENDLY, BUT NOT A FRIEND !

LET THE LINES NOT BLUR !

A provocative thought !

Very often, out of misplaced love, or to mollycoddle, or to follow the herd, or to be seen as ‘modern’, we parents convert or pretend to be friends of our children. A grave mistake I think!

In our relationship with the children, we are meant to be what we really are and not don the hat of what we are not. Else we are likely to lose the benign but essential authority, the initiative and even the dignity. If we become so-called friends, children may become impolite, insubordinate and insolent. And we lose the respect followed by self-respect. This happens because we are not those friends of our children to whom they present their very best, but the ones who are and can be easily taken for granted. Perils of parenthood indeed!

I am not suggesting that we should wield the stick and not be loving towards children. But that love does not permit limitless license. We ought to say it loud and clear when enough is enough. If we install the children on our head, they are likely to pee on it. And the offensive touch, feel and odour of the excreta flowing down our face, even that of our own children, is difficult to endure : )

The history based on the amalgam of genetic and cultural progression of millions of years of human evolution has firmly established this hierarchy. If it is broken, there is chaos. When the lines blur, it’s  confusion.

So, let’s not pretend. Let’s not cheat ourselves by acting otherwise. Let’s not be the ostrich with nose n eyes in the sand.

Let the sacrosanct be sacrosanct!

With our children let’s be friendly…very friendly, but not friends!

Of Ageing n Ceding !

Tortured souls they were…my friend (who is many years older than me) n his wife whom I met recently after ages. They have one son, married…both husband n wife highly educated and in good jobs. Life should have been hunky dory for my friend couple, but they were miserable. As they opened their hearts, I was appalled by the attitude of their daughter in law and apathy of their son who remains mute spectator to the spectacles of disrespect n insults thrown at his parents.

Why is it that many educated and well versed in manners and etiquettes throw their civility to winds where parents are concerned ? Why even a harmless n well-meaning question concerning  their or their children’s well being or whereabouts is thought of as an intrusion and interference in their lives ? Why the parents are shouted at in reply ? Why are they misunderstood…intentionally and by design ? Why are they made to feel low, bad, a burden….unwanted and unwelcome…by words spoken n unspoken, by sarcasm nuanced or pronounced, by gestures…in your face or subtle ?

Why is it that in the sunset years, the parents have to suffer the humiliation n disgrace, ignominy n indignity ? They create and provide everything for their progeny…..willingly n happily cede time, space, ground, authority, money, assets..…everything, except the responsibility…..which they continue to shoulder on n on n on. Yet, they suffer, and are hurt. Whereas the so called uneducated n fossilized have no ego and are the ones to apolozise first and always..…mistake or no mistake, many of the so called modern don’t even have the courtesy of being polite, forget the apology….their  methods n manners crude n atrocious.

Wrote this in anguish, hurt by the injustice and unfairness, the shoddy n the shabby treatment meted out to my friend. Story could be the same in some other homes…more or less ! But I am not sitting in judgment, nor am I trying to point out to anyone in particular, or paint all with the same brush stroke. Am sure this is one of the isolated cases. There are good and bad exceptions every where and in every age group. And there are shining examples of love n care, grace n graciousness !

Can there be some soul search ? Can there be little generosity to allow them some dignity to sit atop their disability ? That will be reason enough for their happiness n contentment. They neither need nor want anything more !

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