Friday, July 01, 2016

Radhika 4

Time flies. There is nothing remotely wise about this statement. Or novel. However, the point of significance of 'time' and its mere transience is more often than lost. And with that is lost the sweetness or bitterness of the experiences we have. We later refer to them as memories.

You are close to 3 now. As you keep claiming depending on when it suits you, a 'big girl' - specially when wanting to eat spicy foods and a 'little one' when you wish to be pampered. The last 3 years have been a revelation.

I was told that parenthood is the best thing that can happen to anyone. I am still not sure on that. It depends entirely on the life one had before it.

But one thing is certain. Its an experience which is not to be missed. Its not about unconditional love. Its not about faith or trust. Not about knowing yourself better. Not about probably making a better person out of a parent. Not about continuation of a part of me. Not also about the entertainment a child is able to provide by doing nothing of note.

Its just about knowing your own parents better. Much better. In fact, to the extent of knowing themselves for the first time.

What we know of our parents when we grow up is just an aspect of their life, centered around us. They are hardly that person or were before they became parents.

The things they did for us, the anxiety that followed every time we were out of the house - its not possible to fathom the reasons for these at 18. And by the time, we have a measure of what they truly are, 'time's gone. And then you think about what you can do for them and there are no answers that can satisfy you. All seem a bit too insignificant.

And they still don't ask for anything. Probably that's parenthood.

As we enjoy ours, with you, through you, oblivious to you, we will remember the time, when you asked with wide eyed wonder about how is YOUR mother related to YOUR granny, or when you asked for an umbrella because YOUR car was getting drenched in the rain or the gleeful delight in executing a perfect fart or your expression of irritation when I cuddle you for the 50th time of the day.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Radhika Part 3

What will be your first memory ? Mine was my first day at school. The first five years has been a complete washout. Which means, right now, while you will be every bit a part of our memory, we will not be.

But something of these 5 years will stay on. In what form or fashion is not discernible yet. And we will never know. Just as my parents have not. Just as you will not, when your time comes.

I wonder what will shape you as a person. Which actions of ours, the ones we despise and we do not want to pass on, will you absorb and carry on with. Is there any hope of you getting out of our shadows ? Will you be able to look at us with clear-eyed objectivity and let us know at some point - things you have been able to filter and in the process become somewhat tolerable ? If I were to judge by history, it is unlikely that it will be a convincing victory.

Its a battle. To understand your own frailties. To accept them, to know that your parents, whom you would be looking up to for the next decade or so are as much human as you would be. Parents do not make mistakes. Unfortunately, they need to choose. And choices are like a coin toss. You win some, you lose some.

So point a finger if you must, if you have to. Only remember, that those same fingers will come back.

I have not learnt from the failures of my parents. Mostly because few of us know where they actually failed. By extension, you will not as well. The only thing I can think which I will try to give you, which my parents were not able to give me, would be to question the wisdom of your parents. Since each generation chooses to prioritize what to give basis their own experience, this is what I choose for you.

When you think back, your generation will consider this as a given. Trust me. For us, it was not. As incredible as it may sound to you, parents still do teach their children to believe in a universal creator. Unfair. Unjust.

Radhika - this is a gift. I will know whether this gift has been worth it. Whether my choice was right. I only hope, it is.