Do we know our parents?

Swarna came from a middle class family of India, where a person is identified by many tags and these tags also impose greater constraints on a person. Many of Swarna’s decisions and behaviors were driven by those tags. There were numerous tags associated with her; Hindu, Thakur, Middle class, Girl, North Indian are few to list.

Swarna’s father was a well reputed self-made man. He was very well known for his honesty and his veracious nature. He was a man of strong likes and dislikes. He disliked Brahmins for dominating the caste system. He had every evidence to demonstrate how Brahmins corrupted society and country. He was admirer of Thakurs, who are brave and honest and are of veracious nature. So, he was a proud Thakur. 🙂 He came from a male dominating society so it was there in his DNA without any evaluation or choice. Hence, Swarna belonged to a family where women have less or no say about matters of importance; marriage was one of such matters. This was what she had known about her father as an individual.

Swarna’s father was a strict father; no frequent yes to her demands. Though all the needs were fulfilled before she would feel the need. They didn’t share much laughter or any of her father’s childhood memories. The only memories her father used to share was the struggle and success story of his life to motivate her. So she understood him as a loving but not lenient father. A father who strictly lives by the code of truth, strength, honesty and rules. This was what she had known about her father as a father.

She never had dreamt that one day she would meet someone, a Brahmin boy, and would fall in love with him. But reality is more thrilling and surprising than dreams, so it happened. She knew that her father will never approve this and this will be a stain to his reputation. Owing to this belief she restrained from admitting that she was in love, for a long time. Time and life don’t change their course owing to any fear or belief so there she was. What an immense betrayal of fate it was! As per social norms she had to get married. But to whom, was a dangling question.

One day she mustered courage to speak to her mother about the Brahmin boy. Her mother was a very tolerant, loving, fearless, optimistic and a simple lady. Mother said that she will talk to him regarding this. And after a week Swarna got shock of her life….her father agreed to her choice without any drama involved. Rest of the world may call it a surprise but for Swarna it was shock…shock of her life. She could not believe what was happening. How could her father do something totally opposite to his integrity and his code of conduct, for he loved them more than his life at least this is what she understood of her father.

On that day she had to admit that whatever she knew of her father was a little of him. She never really had any chance to know the depth of a father’s heart. Actually, it happens with most of us. We hardly get to know our parents and our family in depth.

When we are kids, our parents feel we are too young to understand them and their decisions. So, they feel no need to explain their decision and cover themselves under veil of strictness. Parents are busy with so many other important things in their lives that it never occurs to them to share their fun stories and their childhood stories with their kids. They want to be role model for their kids hence resist to share their weakness and their vulnerable moments.

When we become teenager, we are already hijacked by hormones and are stressed by many things in our own life and busy in trying to cope up with the change. We hardly get time to think about understanding our parents or about knowing them better. Whatever we understood about them in our childhood days we mark it as complete understanding.

When we become adult, we are occupied with so many issues and important things to do and we are busy in making of a future. How can one spare time to understand parents and relationships. And moreover, during the years of teenage, we already have made peace with the issue of understanding our parents and claiming that we know all about them.

It is only when some big situations arise, we get jolted and come out of normal routine course and look for life in depth. It is then we are revealed about our ignorance and our misconceptions. In Swarna’s life it was one of those situations. Long after that day Swarna got to know how much her father loved her and respected her decision. That he valued her more than anything in his life. That day a new bond was formed between the father and daughter.

I wish if she would have known this from very beginning. It would have saved her from many bad decisions and tough times when she couldn’t even confide in her family, with her parents. Her understanding would have been better about life with the guidance of her parents whom she just abandoned in her teenage.

I promise to myself that I will let my kid know me more. Make her feel that I love her the most and she is the most important person in my life. I would not be hiding my reasoning of my decisions under strictness rather will make her understand the reason in every possible way. I will share my childhood stories with her and let her know about the times when I was vulnerable, confused, surprised, enthusiastic, joyful and too young like her. I will not wait for tough situations to make her understand me more. 🙂

See you soon.



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