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Archive for March 17th, 2010

Dear Mom and Dad,

Welcome to my blog. I know you have never had the chance to read my blog before.

But I invite you here today. Specially.There is a lot I need to say to you both. I request you to give me a patient hearing (er…actually, reading, but …whatever 🙂 !!)

I’ve been married for the last 3 years now.

And each day that goes by, I can’t help but wonder how you both managed to bring up four brats like us. I have only two kids, but they are enough to drive me nuts. I have a large family, with people around to help me out. I have a maid to do the housework. I have a nanny to attend to the kids, I have a cook who takes over the dinner responsibilities.

And yet. Yet, I find myself struggling to cope up with the upbringing of these two. I find myself incapable, both in mind and spirit of catering to the demands of house and family.

Tell me Mom, what gave you the strength to look after all four of us when Dad was far away on field transfers? What gave you the strength to attend to each of us individually, when you had to look after the house, the cleaning, the cooking and our studies? I remember we had no maids those days. So you got up early in the day to make sure you had four lunch boxes packed for your children. You made sure all of us were ready in time for school. You even took out time to make our hair .We were three daughters, yet you managed to juggle your time between us. You painstakingly took our tuition, making sure we never lagged behind in class.  You taught us to take up responsibilities for ourselves. You taught us to draw, to paint, to darn (yes, that includes introducing Bro to the needle and thread too 😀 ).

How did you do it?? Specially when you had absolutely no one to assist you in any way! Specially when you were ALL ALONE!!

When I lament at the rising cost of baby goods, I wonder how you managed your expenses? How come we never had to wait for our books, uniforms toys or clothes? How come we never knew the strain you and dad had to undergo (It is no secret that Dad has been supporting his side of the family for decades now. That includes running the households of at least three of his five sisters and 1 of his three brothers. What I feel about this generosity is besides the point) to provide for our every whim and fancy?

It was many years later that I realized why Dad used to pull out the same Sherwani every year for Eid. Why mom used to wear the same purple sari every year for the same. You, Dad, said that you wanted to prove you’ve maintained your figure to still fit into it. And Mom, your excuse was that you loved that sari.

And we were blind. And daft. To not notice that after sending money home to Dad’s family and providing new clothes for us, you never had any money left to buy yourself anything. Anything!! For Years!!

It stung real bad when I realized for the first time the amount of sacrifices you both have made. Mom, you gave up an excellent lucrative career to be by Dad’s side to bring up his kids.  You gave up all your jewelery so that Dad’s sisters could get married. You gladly gave up everything you had , to him. That includes your life and your soul.You gave up your likes and dislikes for him. You live your life as Dad’s shadow. Never away from him, but always at his feet. Somewhere, you lost your identity. I’m not even sure you realize this fact. But when I sometimes argue with the BF, I have this niggling thought that if Mom had faced this situation, she would not have fought. She would have handled it differently. And that makes me feel a little lacking as a wife.

Dad, you gave us something very important. Your time. Whenever and however you could. I remember that you weren’t around much when we were kids, but you more or less made up for it later. You taught us to swim, to play badminton, chess and many other games and sports. You instilled in us our love for reading. I don’t know many parents who make their kids get library subscriptions at an early age. You did.  And it has affected us immensely. You played general knowledge games with us to make us know better about the world. You played Scrabble with us , late into the nights, dictionaries by our side, just so that we could improve our vocabulary.You taught us daughters that we were no less than boys. You never differentiated between us and Bro. We never knew want (of necessities) except for luxuries. But then, we were children and easily influenced. I want the BF to give the twins the same kind of love and attention you gave us. I want him to take the kids swimming too (except for the tiny matter of him not knowing how to swim himself!! Wish you were here to teach him the basics !). There is so much to learn from the way you brought us up, that I wonder if I’ll ever be able to do justice to my children. Would I be able to give them the same kind of morals and upbringing that you gave us? I only hope that I do.

More than anything else about you two, what I remember the most , is the way you always supported each other. In every possible way.  You had four children going through their teen years, full of rebellion and fire in their veins. You both took care of us coolly. Never getting flustered or worried with our teenage angst and outbursts. We used to come to Mom for support, complaining and ranting against you. Mom would calmly console us and agree to talk to you. But when we had confrontations, she ALWAYS took your side. We saw it as betrayal. But I guess, for you Dad, it was the show of loyalty. When we asked Mom later on why she didn’t take our side, she used to reply sweetly, “There are four of you in one team. He is already outnumbered. Is it fair then, to let your father confront you all alone? “. We realized very early in life that our Mom and Dad were one entity. Your unity was your strength!! That many people would come in between and try to sow the seeds of trouble and discontent. But you managed to hold your fort. Simply by being together. Simply by being each others back-bone. If there is one thing I want to be for the BF, is to try and be what Mom is to Dad. His strength , his confidant and his life.

Another thing that I love about you Dad? The way you used to come home with a red-rose and surprise Mom once in a while, proclaiming your love for her even after so many years. To see Mom blushing was a sight!! Gosh, how I LOVE you both. I remember mentioning to the BF about the roses and he’s been quite regular in surprising me with the same now and then. And every time he does that, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed at the fact that my parents trusted my judgment in choosing my life-partner. It is true that girls tend to seek their father’s perfection in their partners. I’m no different. What drew me to the BF was the way his behavior  resembled yours, Dad. He has the same ‘Responsible-Elder-brother’ air about him. He has a similar penchant for filing each and every scrap of paper, diligently tearing to bits the papers which are not required. How many times have I seen you doing that 😀  ? He is equally strict about wasting food and doesn’t like it if someone even drops a grain of rice outside their plate. These are just minor similarities. If I start listing the rest, this post will run into another tangent altogether 🙂 .

Looking back now, I feel a slight, very slight twinge at how you two have changed in the last few years. It is not obvious to an outsider. But we , being your children, are far more perceptive than that. We see that while Dad has built an altogether new social life since retirement, Mom , you are yet to learn what you want to do now. You had given up your hobbies to make time for Dad’s. You haven’t yet found the inclination or inspiration to take part in the new facets of Dad’s life. Dad, you have become quite active on the net. You have  hundreds of friends in different social networking sites. You have friend circles  out of your regular army crowd. You have your fingers dipped in different pies and somehow, manage to give time to ALL of them.

You have kept yourself busy in circles where you don’t need Mom anymore. I’m sure you must have tried to involve her initially and her reluctance not withstanding, you have started life afresh. And Mom, though we must have implored you to go out more often, meet people and socialize, you are still intent on doing it all only if Dad is with you.  Your complete dependence on him is what makes me feel sad today. That you gave up your entire life for us and him and in the bargain, lost your own ‘self’. Somewhere along the way, I feel that the burglary at our home plays a role….something changed in you both after that horrifying incident. It wasn’t just the loss of year’s of memories, it was something which cannot be named. I felt then, and still do, that you two started drifting apart …like two boats in a lake. Together, but just not in the same way as before.

Today is your marriage anniversary. I can call you, wish you, maybe send across a card and cake. And then the day passes by and we all will get on with our lives.

But I don’t want to do that.

I want you both to go back to the times you were together. To the time you were the strongest team EVER. To the time when we were awed to see our parents so deeply and madly in love with each other. To the time we dreamed of sharing such a love with our partners.

Don’t let age and society make you give up that spark. I want to carry the same spark when my children get married and settled. I yearn to be as madly and deeply in love with the BF then as I’m now.

You, my parents, are my inspiration. To see you together, makes me feel that love and devotion can survive all odds. That whatever lemons life throws at you, the lemonade you eventually make is more enjoyable when you have a doting partner by your side. That even when the rest of the world is against you, that one person can make all the difference by being with you.

You have stood for each other as long as I can remember…….let me remember you just this way.

Happy Anniversary Mom,Dad.

I love you both.

Much more than you could ever fathom.

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