As many of my readers know, I share a deep, unexplained feeling of hatred for my father. I have written enough on how he ruined our lives (my mother’s, my sister’s and mine). I am not going to write again about all those troubled years. This post is a reflection on what drove him to what he turned into.
A young boy in a distant village in Kerala, the first child in a family of five siblings, finishes his Class X and lands in a slightly larger village and joins a restaurant as a server. He sends money the money that he earns to his parents and then he sees an advert in the newspaper and goes to a naval recruitment fair. He clears all exams and starts his journey. Even today, when at times, I am messed up in my head and yearn for that bit of paternal affection, I take out an album, it has my father in his naval uniform with his medals. How smart and dashing he looked, I am sure many a maiden’s heart would have fluttered. He had the looks of a dashing Errol Flynn. By a weird twist of fate, his scheming parents marry him away to a young girl who studied just till Class VIII. A marriage which the old man (my paternal granddad) thought would help his other children. Life all those eons ago would have been strange, a young couple, a cramped house, scheming in-laws, jealousy, anger, madness! It was a match made in hell.
With many years of service in the Navy and a fair bit that’s classified, somewhere my father lost it and took to the bottle. It was a life-long struggle that eventually ruined him to not even a shadow of his strengths. My father would work in many leading firms across India and even in the Middle East. A fair bit of his life in Mumbai and in Sharjah is shrouded in mystery. He would never tell us anything. Gifts, once in a while, some money wired through, a greeting card with a message would land up. When we made one final attempt at reconciliation, we knew it was doomed, but we still tried. It did not work!
I have gone on and on about him failing in his duties, as one grows up, I wonder, have I failed him too? Deep reflections within are not going to give me answers. I have forgiven him a bit for all that he has done to us. It is my destiny to remain like this and his to remain the way he is! At some point this circle will end and then I can set him free once and for all. Till then, there is no peace for any of us! That inkling of dread, that bit of fear, that phone call confirming my worst fears may come in any time. Then I would have to claim him and cremate him. The same holds true for my mother as well. With the dreaded curse, which I have of visions into the future that I can’t control, I know both their times are nearing and I have to mentally prepare myself for setting them free.
Perhaps, at least in another dimension of time; let them stay happy!