Raj is my young blogger friend whose insights into things both ordinary and extraordinary are fascinating. He is one versatile blogger who has something for everyone on his blog Beautiful Mind – features, stories, cartoons, humour and even recipes! I like his nostalgia pieces the best, though.
In this guest post, Raj talks about the two most important people in a child’s life with a mix of nostalgia and a fascinating glimpse into our very psyches and how we each come a full circle in our lifetime. Read on….
When I was young, I used to hear my mom tell stories about her mom, her dad, sisters, brothers, the house, the village, the pond, and everything else under the sun that she had seen. She was the third among nine (naughty) children. She used to tell lovingly of all the gifts she got for each and everyone of them when she went home on Diwali and Pongal holidays. I have heard every detail, every mischief, every joy and every sorrow she has relished, endured and inhaled. I know by memory, by year, by occasion, by person — every gift my mom has got and I have seen her eyes light up as she read me loving letters from her family. I have never ever needed a second lesson on compassion or a better glimpse of happiness after that sharing.
I have asked my mom at least a 1000 times and my dad, well let us say, 50 times about their love story. How did it all begin? Who said what? I haven’t gotten more than a few residual facts and superficial details about where they met and their common friends and activities. No drama, no suspense, no romance, nothing! I have often wondered how on earth such shy people ended up loving each other and indeed what love had meant to them. They are from different castes and naturally — I am talking about the 1950s here — there was opposition from both sides. But the one thing that I know about their love is that they waited 12 years for all of my mom’s sisters and my dad’s siblings to get married so that their parents would approve of their marriage. They married when my dad was around 40 and my mom was around 34. I understood all about “real love”!
My mom and dad came to a new city that was unfamiliar to them at a young age and built their lives, first individually and then together, against all odds. That was how I first learnt to face adversity. They started out as stenographers in the Government of Pondicherry and when she retired from service, my mom was a Deputy Secretary while my dad finished as an Under Secretary. They were hailed as two of the most dedicated and sincere workers of their time.
Every time I heard my mom recount the incidents when my dad had stood up to his seniors, corrected them and refused to budge from his righteous position, a heady pulse of pride ran through my veins, tickled my brain and strengthened my heart. Every time she said my dad could have easily been a Secretary if only he had been a little more flexible when it came to principles, I felt so happy that he wasn’t one because it meant he hadn’t compromised. Now I know that even without those lessons in integrity in my moral science classes, I would have done just fine.
My mom delivered me at the age of 45 and my dad won his last tennis tournament at 70. It is not difficult to understand where I get my strength and endurance from.
Life may have been created by God or Science and evolved by chance or by design. But our life and the world as we know it, is designed by two individuals who meet by chance. They introduce us to the world and they are our world until we develop wings and set out to shape our destinies.
We do not see them become the man and woman they are, firsthand, but somewhere between our heart and brain we know it all. There is an invisible life thread inside us that is interwoven with their fabric that helps us document their lives into us and establishes a psychedelic connect beyond cognition. Their lives are biographies that portray how our lives would have been in a different era. We come to know us as them.
The revelations will keep coming. And the biggest, yet most elementary revelation is that we all end up where we started, as we started.
In essence, we live three lives.
- When we are children, we see lives through the eyes of our parents. We look up to them. We want to be them.
- But soon we metamorphose into a second life where we see no one. We are encapsulated in a glass box with mirrors of all sizes that feed our egos with larger than life illusory images of ourselves. We think we are unique and superior and by comparison, our parents’ lives suddenly appear shallow. We soar so high and so fast that we fail to see the hand that is holding us from falling and the other one that puts us into orbit. We shine up there….for a while.
- However, all stars become dust someday and life pegs us back to our final chapter: as the parent. Now again we see life through our children’s eyes and act as their beacon, shining and filling their lives with happiness and marvel. We die as the child who lived and loved a child beyond fathom.
We are our parents and our children are us more than what the genetic code has written or God’s magic wand has created. We are what we are and we know what we are the moment we look into their eyes.
Image Source: WorldofStock