Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In the Name of My Father.......

"Father" a word that means a lot for everybody. Someone who is one's role model and superhero during childhood. There are so many things that come to one's mind when one utters the word "Father."

To me my father was just an individual of whom I did not have a clear picture at all. I hardly ever saw him. He was in the Navy and then on contract jobs across the Middle East. He was maybe for one year with us-when he took a break. Other than that it was just my mother who took care of me. Later when he left for Muscat we moved to my maternal uncle's house in another city.

Gradually the image of my father faded from my psyche and it was replaced by the strong and contrasting personalities of my two maternal uncles. One was a strict and silent disciplinarian the other was a jolly man full of life always ready to crack a joke.

At the tender age of six or seven I failed to realize that my father had drifted away from us. As I grew up and adolescence brought in all its doubts and confusions, I realized that I was part of a broken family. A couple who were never meant to be together had been joined in matrimony by fate. By the time they found out their incompatibility it was too late and the offspring-my sister and me bore the brunt of their failed relationship.

My sister was twelve years elder to me and she was at my elder maternal uncle's house from the age of ten. She was a sensible child and was hardly perturbed by the conflicts that I underwent.

No one knew where my father was, sometimes we would receive a card from some remote corner it would be a notification that he was still there. It was both mocking and reassuring. Years passed my sister was married and my father made a fleeting appearance so that no tongues wagged from the groom's side. Then he went into exile once again-this time he left for Delhi.

Two weeks before my sixteenth birthday my uncle received a long letter from my father. My father wanted to start a life with his wife and son afresh. He had found a job in a small firm in Chennai and he promised to look after us.

As that academic year came to a close two train tickets arrived by post and finally the two of us reached Chennai and met my father. It was not exactly an emotional reunion. Years of suppressed anguish and feelings of hatred did not erupt immediately.

As the days progressed I realized that my father had a serious drinking problem. It was this alcoholism that was the primary cause of all problems. The problem continues till date. There were verbal-fights at home, swearing, threats, and all kinds of mental torture.

It did not help that my mother was always waiting to pick on my father. Not a single day passed without a fight.Ten years have passed since we rejoined our father. His tryst with the bottle continues, the number of verbal fights have gone down, but the mutual feeling of anger, frustration, and a strange sense of hatred fuelled by incompatibility continues to haunt both my parents.

I wonder what went wrong. What did my mother do to deserve such a life of torture? Why does my father continue to drink? Why do I continue to hope things will turn right? Why did we return to my father?

These are questions that will remain unanswered.

My marriage is on the cards. The astrologer is confident that I will be engaged in 2009 and by February 2010 the marriage will take place. Looking at the history of the failed marriages that I have witnessed the problems that so many of my friends and relatives have faced and are facing. I fear that I have lost faith in the institution of marriage.

If I indeed do get married and have kids. I hope that I can be a good father and an ideal role model for them.

4 comments:

sowmi said...

tears were almost there...
and i lost a lot of breath by the time I finished your blog.
i cannot believe this has happened to you..
i can identify with unhappy marriages.. the primary reason why i kept away from my agenda.
You cant understand how i felt when i heard that my last sister had a note of suicide in her house.
it takes a lot to live a happy married life...
i am a fool kind of a person because all my life i believe there is something called love... and that
love is the only priniple on which a marriage should be based...
but i know these days everyone runs it on the disease called compromise.
so much for the institution that binds humanity

mahesh said...

True we all have our personal tragedies. We detach ourselves from them try to look happy and continue to lead normal lives. It is all a part of this great mystery called LIFE.

As you correctly pointed out love is not the only principle on which marriage works.

To find a good and caring husband/wife is the greatest gift that the Lord can bestow upon us.

priloza said...

You know, I truly believe that this is the best thing you've ever written. And as for marriage; even a marriage of two 'compatible' people can turn sour and die. All you can do is be as affectionate as you are, always, and be willing to work on your relationship every day of your life.

mahesh said...

Another insightful comment by prilz. It is true that sometimes the best marriages turn sour. Learning to adjust and adapt and forgetting one's ego goes a long way in creating a steady and stable relationship.

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