I was reading her and something about her latest post left me with a big gaping void in my heart. Yesterday I broke down just thinking of my parents. I was born in the first year of my parents’ marriage – they don’t know a life without me. Then my sister happened. And the last many many years of our lives together have been a whirlwind of our arguments and generation gap, and understanding. And loving. And the house has always been full of arguments, love, laughter.
And now they are alone – my parents. In a world that’s not their comfort zone. In Bombay. Ma doesn’t have family and friends like she did in Patna, Dad doesn’t sail anymore. And Bombay is where home is for them right now. To think that at 26, I consciously don’t want to do things that my Dad is happily doing at 55. Commuting to work by local trains, willing to travel to strange port cities. Mom is alone. She hasn’t known a day without dealing with our teenage angst, our love for movies, our tailoring disasters, our love for good food. She has none of that now to keep her busy. I was a difficult child. I don’t know how Ma and Dad have survived my failures, my inability to deal with things, my angst, my unfounded rebellion. Why is that when most of my “issues” have been resolved, I am happily living in a city that’s far away from them, and I comfort myself thinking that a few phone calls a day suffices when it comes to caring for them. Their love was unconditional. They never asked us to stick around with them and take care of them. In fact they happily gave me away to R for him to deal with me :-) But shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t I BE with them without caring two hoots about the restrictions that come with living with parents? Shouldn’t I at least want to do it?
It’s funny. My dad and I have always had different perspectives on things. He and I don’t talk like Ma and I do. I know there had been a time when he would have been happier if I did something bigger with my life – like get another degree, get the one I was going to get, on time. Do things in a slightly more meticulous manner. But he is proud of how I eventually turned out – he sees a bit of himself in me. I see a bit of him in me. And when I think of him and the Stud Guru he has always been (He doesn’t cry. He CAN’T. He gets angry and smokes an entire packet of cigarettes in the balcony :D), my heart melts. My dad. My mom… My writing is getting incomprehensible now.. I don’t what I want to write about them. I just know I miss them so much right now that it hurts.
I am amazed at the kind of tolerance that generation has. How they continue to deal with life as it is and stay happy in the thick of things. How neighbours and relatives are always welcome. How they never hold grudges. Such people are meant to have all that they want from life, including children and laughter and noise all the time. Not just after months of preparing and planning for holidays – our holidays or their visits.
Imagining my parents alone in a city like Bombay hurts me. Here I am. Discontent at Mondays/ not going to Naturals for an ice cream and other such trivial matters. And then there are parents. Who have survived us and more. It is perspective, no doubt. One that makes me a tad bit happier about the place in the world that I have found for myself. But it hurts nevertheless. I keep convincing myself that since their honeymoon was cut short thanks to a stubborn daughter who made her way into the world too soon (me, who else!), maybe this is time for them to make up for the years in between they lost trying to be parents when they should have really been just friends.. Just husband and wife (although that’s not the way they look at things, or so says my Mom every time she throws a “Get me a grandchild” tantrum that only I am privy to. LOL!). I mean they did go on a dinner date last night too, only they choose to call it dinner no date :-) But is that my excuse for not being able to do more than sending a bouquet of flowers on Mothers/ Fathers Day and anniversaries and birthdays? There has to be something more I can do.
I miss them. Someone get me my ma and daddy here. RIGHT NOW.