One year back, I was writing about me in an article Death at 60. I wrote there, I am ready to die at any time, but given a choice, I would like to wait till my father is alive. My purpose for this demand of concession was my desire to support my father morally and physically in his old age. Well, he did not agree to this and went away forever on his own. So, I can loudly shout now “I am ready to die!”.
However, I have yet to learn, how to react to someone when I disagree to and/or my ideas differ in total from the concerned person. At present, in such situations, I keep myself away and withdraw myself. It can be labelled as Escapism. But coming to consensus or agreement is not always easy. Due to generation gap or conservative approach of parents, difference of opinion is bound to be there. Here, both parties should take care in maintaining dignity of the other. Ideal is to ignore the nature of parents and forgive them immediately.
I was guided, protected and taken care of by my father for the last 61 years till he departed last week. I was having a disciplined life, just to feel assured that I would not do anything that makes my father unhappy.
Till the last month, I was under the impression that I was the best friend of my father’s and vice-versa. He was open to me for anything and everything. I was only partly right though, because lately, I knew that he was firm about whatever he wanted to do and there was no scope for any dialogue or discussion by me (or anybody for that matter) for changing his views.
When you are honest, disciplined and strict to the principals, you live a life of high moral ethics. The psyche following this makes you feel proud and so a bit more egoistic. I think that is a dangerous state of situation as far as inter-personnel and inter-family relations are concerned.
If you have more than enough money in old age, you are financially independent. You do not need economical support from anyone. Here, there are chances that this may make you a little arrogant and indifferent to your offspring and family members.
Having gone through the emotional catharsis in preface, I would like to tell you some details about my father and me.
My father was born on 30-8-1924; he left his studies at matriculation to participate in freedom struggle in 1942. Started earning in 1946 by joining veterinary line just after the marriage. Later, he switched over to Agriculture department from where he got retirement as head of 3 Tehsils in Benor scheme in 1983. He was having duty of giving subsidy to the farmers. He was very strict in financial discipline. Not only away from corruption, he had high level of code of ethics not allowing even any tea or breakfast from any of the beneficiaries.
We were 10 (6 children, parents, uncle and a sister of my father) in a small 2-room house to live on a small salary. Most of the salary was spent on food and our education; so other expenses were not to be thought of. Simple living and hard working was compulsory. The most luxurious vehicle we had was a single bicycle purchased in 1957 at the cost of Rs 200. My mother and all of us used to do all types of household work without help of any maid.
I have inherited most of the good and bad virtues of my father. I wish they become more an asset and less a liability to all concerned.
My father lost his parents before one year of age. Later grand–mother and poverty that followed accompanied for long. Then without being corrupt and remaining strictly honest was a great achievement, everybody knowing him would praise. Bringing up six children and giving them higher education in a meager salary was a task only he could do.
Conclusion is not as simple, but I’d try. Parents are the most respectable persons you possess. They are not next to God, they are superior to God. They have allowed us to be born, took greatest care possible and looked after us with best of their efforts (keeping all their pleasures away). All this can usually not be realized when they are around us.
Have I succeeded in giving them due respect? I don’t know. Any amount of respect and honour to parents is less. When both of them have departed for heavenly abode, all I am left with is prayer. Well, I am reminded of my mother-in-law… Yes, I am yet blessed with my mother-in-law.