Family : When things begin to change…

29 Nov

Some days ago, my sister bought my folks a trip abroad as their silver anniversary present. I didn’t like the idea from the beginning, knowing how incompatible they are, especially during travel, and that too, alone with each other. But as Mom sounded reasonably excited about it, I was happy for them.

They came back from the trip some 3 days ago. A day later, I was in the library when Mom called from the airport and said that she was on a flight to her hometown. She told me that my sister had this old ticket that she had cancelled before, and decided to use it to drop in at her parents’. It was all very spontaneous. I liked the idea of such spontaneity.

Today, my sister copied an email to me, that she’d addressed to my parents, which sounded like an extract from a long heated argument. Turns out that the folks had fought through most of the trip, and after returning as well. After 25 years of marriage, Mom had the courage to pack her bags and fly off to another part of the country, for whatever duration. She didn’t even tell dad.

These past few years, I’ve been fairly liberal in thought. I acknowledge that though both of them are wonderful people in their own ways, my parents are vastly different personalities. Each wants completely different things from life, and neither can give the other what is expected of him/her.
Whenever they fought too much, I’d tell them to separate once and for all, and save themselves the misery. I never expected it to happen, and I don’t know if it will, but I hated the idea, even though I suggested it… somehow safe in the thought that they wouldn’t go ahead with it.

I feel foolish that I fell for the “spare ticket” story I was told. I was slightly confused because I was quite congnisant of the airline policies that require them to encash any cancelled tickets, but I’m gullible enough to fall for anything, it seems.

Things seem uncertain. I would always tell my folks how marriage was only justified if both members of that union wanted it. How it was okay to separate and so on. How it would take any average person several marriages to finally find a person to settle with through their final days. But they always maintained that marriage was permanent, and one had to work through everything. It reassured me that they’d both stick together.

Now, I don’t know where either stands on that issue.
Even now, the thought of Mom being bold enough to pack up and leave so spontaneously is a pleasant thought because I like the idea of her being so independent. I don’t know how little or long it will take to resolve matters between them, but this is quite a step she’s taken. They must have spent days, weeks, months not talking to each other, but well, it’s nothing like packing up and leaving.

I’m most hurt at the thought that when I arrive in Delhi 4 days from now, Maa may not even be there to receive me. That thought is really really painful, because now I can imagine what it must be like for children who see their parents go through a divorce.

I get one month off in 6, and if Mom were to be away for even a fragment of it, it would hurt terribly.

All my life, I told myself that we were our parents’ number one priority, even though time and again, their actions would suggest that their own happiness (at the cost of others’) was also quite important to them. When they would be fighting, and I would scream and yell at them to realise how futile some of their arguments were sounding, or that they were simply not comprehending what the other was trying to convey, my words would fall on deaf ears. In fact, that did not happen for some, but most of the time. It still does.
Which is why I perceive them as human, and not as some superior mature life-forms. Which is why I do not respect a person or consider him wiser, just because he’s much older. Which is why I give respect to a person who is genuinely more mature… in thought, and not in age. Which is why I do not shy from openly insulting an aged person if he toes the line of reason and fairness.

Again, I’m happy if they struggle to be happy, with or without each other. I’m happy that they can be independent and realistic, and not bound by “societial norms”. But I’m not happy that my mom may not be home when I arrive. I’m not happy that she’ll be away for even a moment of the one month of 6 that I get to spend at home.

I’m not happy that she’d put herself before me… because I would never put myself before her.

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19 Responses to “Family : When things begin to change…”

  1. Stray November 30, 2008 at 12:09 am #

    U are not saying u’d marry a girl only because u’r mom wanted u to, are u?

    When u’r mom made the decision to ‘go for a walk’, she did so after evaluating her options (u have to grant her that at the very least). She wud likely have also evaluated how the separation wud affect the kids (otherwise, I’d be interested in understanding why she chose to continue in an unsuccessful marriage for 25 years). She has not, however, weighed her needs against yours. Don’t perceive at it as such; it is not the case.

  2. JH November 30, 2008 at 12:32 am #

    All said and done, stressful and thought provoking situation for you. Never nice to see parents go through this. I hope things resolve in a manner that all are happy. Take care..JH

  3. Rakesh November 30, 2008 at 3:40 am #

    It may just be that your mom needs her space and some time away from your dad. That usually helps to look at the big picture. She might even be back before you go home. Either way, its good to know you’re handling this well. You know I’m there if you wanna talk.

  4. unsungpsalm November 30, 2008 at 8:21 am #

    *Stray
    Even if I was willing to, no girl would be willing to remain married to me for too long! I’d just keeping going all funny in front of hot guys. πŸ˜›

    Yes, their marriage isn’t exactly a success story for them. Any outsider would think it was a great one. My folks are quite admired for the kids they churned out, and people think they get along fine. I can simply look at their individual personalities, and tell how much they deserve not to have to count on each other. Which is the problem, because they’re such fine individuals in their own right, but simply so different. Arranged marriage really sucks!

    *JH
    Thanks, I’m sure they eventually will. πŸ™‚

    *Rakesh
    If I were you, I’d be less enterprising. πŸ˜› I’m beginning to think I have a 5 year subscription to your time and attention every morning (mine. Your nights.)

  5. Rakesh November 30, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    I’m just giving you a limited time free subscription, so that you get hooked and go for the lifetime subscription. πŸ˜‰

  6. unsungpsalm November 30, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Ahh. You’re that ‘stranger’ guy my Mommy and Daddy warned me against πŸ˜›

  7. D November 30, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    This sounds like my in-laws, so I get the picture. I don’t understand what purpose marriage fulfills if a husband and wife aren’t even compatible.

    Your mom deserves a chance at happiness. And believe me, even you’d be better off if your parents were happy.

    On another note, the distance might just bring them together.

  8. chandni November 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm #

    don’t have anything to say…but i do hope u have a good holiday when u come here

  9. Rambunctious WhipperSnapper December 1, 2008 at 12:49 am #

    Okay. Maybe you’ll hate me for saying what I am going to say but then if you are asking her to do something which is painful for her, then you are exactly putting your needs in front of hers.

    Just because she’s your mother, she does not have to sacrifice her life. That is not what she wants.

    I know you will hate me more after this, but then this is the advice I would give to any mother.

  10. Rebel December 1, 2008 at 3:45 am #

    I’m truly sorry. 😦

  11. unsungpsalm December 1, 2008 at 8:11 am #

    *Ramby
    I’m doing no such thing. I asked her to stay as long as she wanted to stay, over there, and said I would manage fine. I only wrote here what I felt, that’s all.
    Besides, she has to come back soon… a lot of preparations for their anniversary do later this month. I know it sounds so faux, but well, that’s how this society works!
    And no, I don’t hate you. Our line of thinking is quite alike, y’know πŸ™‚
    Besides, I wouldn’t let them fight while I was around. And if they did and refused to stop, I’d simply scream “Mom, Dad, I’m gay” and expect that to silence them πŸ˜‰
    No, I’m not joking on that one. There’s no better time to confess to your folks than when they’re acting immature. And their arguments are NOT mature!

    *Rebel
    You don’t need to be! It’s a routine thing… The ill of an arranged marriage between 2 people having independent thought.
    I just hope things haven’t augmented too much since I left home 2 years ago… I think they have.

  12. chwis December 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    It sounds like a tough time ahead for you and your parents, try and be there for both and avoid taking sides, remember none of this is your fault and again try not to take sides

  13. Rambunctious WhipperSnapper December 1, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    Really? That’s your whole coming out plan?

    Wow … instead of being a sweet, emotional moment, it’s going to be something out of Dostana 2

  14. unsungpsalm December 1, 2008 at 11:09 pm #

    *Ramby
    Well, it’s just that I don’t know how to turn a heartbreaking moment into a sweet, memorable one.
    Yes, I know they’ll eventually accept me for what I am, and be proud of me still and yada yada but it’s not a pleasant thing to hear anyway, is it?

    *Chwis
    Oh dear dear, no I don’t think the time ahead is going to be any harder than that has already passed. I won’t take sides. I love them both very dearly πŸ™‚

    I hear that mom’s back home, as of this evening. Well, not hear. I saw a copy of her ticket in Dad’s email account.

  15. Rambunctious WhipperSnapper December 2, 2008 at 12:17 am #

    I know … Every coming out is not the sweet memorable one that it is made out to be …. when I come out to the rest of my family, it’s going to be one ugly affair … there’s going to be anger and tears and someone’s going to get drunk and pass out (99% chance that that is me) …. so don’t drink the kool aid just yet …

    and good to hear that ur mom’s back home … see, sometimes distant makes the heart grow fonder

    (Don’t knock me on that .. I am trying to be nice and supportive …. just play along, bitch) ..

  16. just call me 'A' December 6, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    everything happens for the best [censored]. and after celebrating a silver anniversary and yet your mom decides to takes a walk (for whatever timeframe) then it means she would have considered this really hard and long. i’d say maintain your support to whatever they decide. everything works out fine in the end.

  17. unsungpsalm December 6, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    Oh, umm… that’s fine and all but I think you should have a look at this
    https://unsungpsalm.wordpress.com/about/

    There may be a misconception or two there…

  18. just call me 'A' December 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    hmmm…new perspective calls……btw, that was a very good ‘about me’

  19. unsungpsalm December 7, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    Thank you very much!

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