When Children Make The Parents Cry!
When The Children Make Parents Cry!!
Written March 2010 – 8 years ago!
I was mockingly teasing a good friend of mine why he did not invite me to his daughter’s wedding. He looked at me in utter great wonderment, disbelief and bewilderment. He then spoke to me very slowly – as if to make sure that I fully heard and comprehended him, and his words sunk into my thick skull and brain.
He said to me – You have changed man (sic!). You are not what you used to be before, appreciate and follow our customs, traditions, heritage, values and culture. What you yourself preach, you do not follow. This is the sad part of it all. I was expecting something far better at least from you. You know damn well that in our society it is not-the-in-thing for a father to invite others outside direct family members in such events. Similarly for brothers to sisters. What has happened to you nowadays?
I knew the man was very angry with me, and he was controlling himself as per his culture and upbringing to remain polite, cool and courteous to me. I wanted to ask him what else gives? But my intuition and damage control mechanism had set in, and I let it at that. Changed the subject to other issues, like how was life in that neighbouring city and how I constantly was watching their TV programmes. He grasped and knew that I was really trying and after all that in getting the message.
We bid farewell to each other, both of us leaving early the party behind – with our thoughts and what had just happened. We needed some more time to ourselves, and avoid what could have been an ugly incident had we not been that close to one another. Life gives and takes, as they say. And we all learn from our mistakes. If we do not, them we are no better than animals in the jungle, because that zebra will still not run until the lioness starts chasing it!
As I was getting out of the parking lot, I saw his car following me. I thought perhaps he was going in the same direction to which one I was going? But it did not seem so. So I went along my way, wondering still loud what it was all about? As I got home, his car was still behind me. I invited him in. He said to me – No, I want to talk to you just here outside. Then the man went into a deep sad crying mode. Anguish, fear and dread. Helplessness! I did not know what to do? Hug him and ask him what it was all about, or twinkle my hands and fingers in puzzlement. So I opened my car, and gave him my tissue box.
His story is similar to many we hear nowadays. It all starts in the Office, or customers and clients that we meet in the Offices. The casual remarks, jokes and jest, before serious stuff kicks in, after brief romance, some fun and adventure escapades. Next, it is all about getting settling down and getting married. All those things like arranged marriages, or decent respectable folks sending and coming into the house for marriage proposals are slowly fading and evaporating. I know of a friend of mine in his 40s who had a young girl in her 20s falling in love with him in their Office. Senior person too – both by age and position!
The girl had stood up against her father. Allow me with your blessing to be his second wife, or do not blame next, for what will happen. What next will happen sends the dread and fear to parents nowadays, whether boys or girls – though when the girls say it, it scares and terrifies you more to the core and to your very foundation and well-being. The man’s eldest daughter was two years older than his newfound romance, but fortunately or unfortunately, for him a new younger man had entered now the girl’s heart and fondness, and that spared him from an otherwise untoward and shaming episode, and saved his marriage of over 30 years in duration.
This my friend outside my house then said to me. We bear insults and all kind of things in our offices from our bosses who should know better how to treat others and in establishments that they lead that is supposed to motivate and with team building spirit of us being in this together – rather than drive everyone round the bend, and everyone is so mad and pissed off that nobody cares or feels anymore for others and most importantly and paramount for the establishment too. Stifling and strangling the establishment from inside and from within. From bosses who know everything of all aspects of the jobs and are more than the experts themselves on board! Control, ridicule and manipulate!
We bear all these, the man continued crying. We take heavy loans from banks to feed and look after our families. To educate our children, so they have a fighting chance to make it in life. Because with higher education and training, they stand out better in the crowd, and will get noticed to be picked out. He went on and on. When they fall sick, we die first… it will take two articles more to record all what he said next to me!
Then he said to me – what happens next? There is a newfound Office romance and love in the air. Before you know it, someone comes and ‘informs’ you that your daughter is ‘going out’ with someone who is not even of the same sect or background to you, perhaps not even of the religion, and perhaps not even a citizen of the land. When all other aspects are more alien and different, the situation gets more complex and complicated. You and all in the family ‘try to talk to the girl, to make her see sense and reason’ – save herself for ‘something far better’ – but the lines have been drawn and nothing gives. After all persuasions and talks have failed, the ‘veiled threat’ comes in – ‘otherwise do not blame me for what will happen next’?
Long time ago I saw this film of Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner? It is a film, but can happen in real life too. It is a story of a black man wanting to marry a white young girl, and meeting the parents of the white girl for the first time – , and what next follows. I saw it as a young man. Never thought too much about it. Another was Fiddler On The Roof, where this Jewish father in Nazi Germany faces the aggravating scenario of his best-loved younger daughter wanting to get married to an Aryan German Nazi boy. I never thought a day would come in my life to face these things real in life, as my friend and me had experienced.
That is when the young teenagers make their parents cry …. In silence and sadness but putting up a brave front and image, an ivory tower. To pretend to go along and accept the situation. The fear and dread remains still ….or else!
Written March 2010 – 8 years ago!