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Talking about myself?… when it is a serious question, it is very difficult to explain who I am.
I was just a kid, born in an ordinary family, not that rich to own a Car or a cycle. Most probably my birth was an accident. When my Mom was relaxing for almost five+ years after her last delivery of twins which were a handful to her, here comes another one and it was a girl and the top it all she was very dark…
When my Mom was bed-ridden, one day, when I was lying down near her, I asked her “Isn’t true that I was an accident, right?
She didn’t say anything, but I saw a smile on her face assuring me that I guessed right. Then I asked her, “then, how did you feel when you saw that it was a girl and dark in complexion too?”
There was another smile on her face to answer that question.. But I insisted, “No, no, you have to tell me the thoughts went through your mind, when you saw me…please”
Then she said, “I was wondering whether I will live long enough to see her getting married because my mother died in her 50’s and I am already 33 years old.”
I do remember one particular event in my childhood. May be I was less than 1 year old and I am lying on my back and I can see around me all familiar faces of my siblings and my Mom’s too. They are cutting my hair.
I didn’t have great ambitions when I was a kid. I liked to play with the same age kids in the neighborhood and I was not allowed to go to the neighbors’ houses. I used to play with the kids in the neighborhood standing near the fence. We imitated every grownup we knew. The milkman, the maid, the fisherman, shop keeper, Dad & Mom. We took turns to act each one of them. We tied ropes to the fence and pretended them as our cows. We made rice & curries with sand & grass…We had great fights & reconciliations as husbands & wives.
My Mom was the one who pushed me to study. When she was tied up with all the house work, she appointed an old retired middle school Teacher to give me tuition. Actually it was not tuition, but she wanted somebody to sit with me and make sure that I re-read what I learned that day and make me do my homework. This Teacher was an old guy probably in his 70’s and my Mom gave him a place to sleep and even gave him food as well as warm water for his bath. Even at the tender age of 5, my Mom used to say, “You are not going to be any good to do any physical labor and please your mother-in-law, so if you study & become somebody, when you bring salary every month at least she will be kind to you.”
From that age itself I was wondering about the monster called “mother-in-law” who may treat me badly if I don’t bring money home.
My father was a very hard working person. I loved him very much, but I hated him at times. He was very hot-tempered. When he was not in a good mood, it was very quiet in the household. Everybody just hid or whispered to stay away from him. I never heard my Mom shouting back to him. It was always a one way fight. I hated him when I have to get my progress card to be signed by him. I will be keeping the progress Card till the last day to get it signed, but fuming inside from the day I got it from my class teacher. Even if I had good marks, he would drill me with questions like “Are you the highest in the class?”
“Who got the highest in the class?”
“What did she/he get?”
“Why didn’t you get”
“Why did you lose 2 marks?”
“What were you doing?”
“Did anybody ask you to help at home?”
“Then why didn’t you get the highest mark?”….. It goes and goes on like that.
I never had a decent answer to any of those questions to satisfy him.
I am grounded for the rest of my life…. Then after two or three days everybody forgets the whole episode and we are back to square one.
My father goes to work around 7:30 am and some days he comes home for lunch around 3:00 pm and then goes out again at 5:00 pm after the Tea and comes back around 8:00 pm for dinner.
Even for the short period of 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, if school is off, I am supposed to be sitting in front of my books. It was very difficult for me to do that. So I learned to sit in front of an open book and travel to all kinds of dream worlds. I made up actors and stories in my dream world. I was very thrilled & happy to create a world like that and not letting anybody know about it. Still I hated my father when he came home for lunch.
Come to think of it now, I know that my father gave me the environment for my success & my mother molded my character. My mother instilled fear & respect in us for our father. He was treated royally in our house. There was nobody in the household to say anything against his order, not even my mother. All of us obeyed him without questioning. He was a very loving & caring person, but he acted tough to make sure that all of us behaved.
Only because of my parents’ hard work I became an Engineer.
Without them I am nobody!