Thank you, Mom.
Thank you, Dad.
Three small words.
So much to add.
For all your love
And your support
A million words
Would be too short.
The words, “I Love You”
Seem too few
To express the love
I have for you.
In India, from childhood itself, we are taught to, and diligently follow some traditions, like for example touching feet of elders to get their blessings. Touching the feet of elders is an age-old Indian tradition that is considered to be a mark of respect. This gesture can be seen in almost all Hindu families, both in India and abroad. In our culture, living with parents and grandparents, even after we get married is not a taboo or a social embarrassment; it teaches us that just like our parents took care of us when we were babies and helpless; it is our duty to take care of our parents or grandparents when they get older and helpless. It’s a very closely knit culture which essentially teaches the importance of living harmoniously in joint families under one roof sharing responsibilities towards family, children, spouse and society. Personally, I consider it to be a blessing to be born here, and, a bigger blessing to be a daughter to my parents. I call myself extremely lucky and rewarded to inherit the upbringing, values and love that I have procured.
In some parts of India, the birth of a girl child is not welcomed. Right from her arrival, she faces discrimination, humiliation, and oppression at every stage of life. When it comes to healthcare, education and growth opportunities, she is at times neglected because of her gender. For me, being the middle child and a second girl child, not even once I had to think that I was neglected or ignored or my brother or sister were given more love and attention than me. We were all loved and cared for equally with the best education, lifestyle and values. In a world where disputes within the family are common, siblings fight and sometimes don’t even talk to each other for years, increasing domestic violence, and many other family issues, I consider myself to be truly lucky to be born in such an amazing family.
Now many of you would tend to believe that living with parents invites a truck load of restrictions. However, believe it or not, we had none; my parents blindly trusted us. Their trust was a big responsibility on our shoulders and we made sure to carry it gracefully. We siblings never even fought within ourselves, and till date we share a harmonious bond. My Dad was the bread winner of the family and Mom is a housemaker. And trust me when I say this, being a housewife is a tough job. Mothers work 24/7, 365 days a year. My Mom played the biggest role in keeping my family intact, healthy and always loving. When we come home, our first question always is “where is Mom”.
My Dad made sure that we never lacked anything. When I first started working, my Dad set up the entire foundation for me. But he didn’t give it to me on a platter; he made me earn it and work hard for it. I wasn’t allowed to sit in the boss’s cabin unless I had a meeting. I had to sit with the other employees and learn the tricks of the trade from grass root level. I was put on a payroll, and my salary would be deducted even if I didn’t come to work for one day. In literal terms, I was the boss’s daughter for name sake, and, was treated just like any other employee. My Dad always told me, “I educate you’ll not for you’ll to show off or misuse your power. But God forbid if ever in the future you’ll have any problem, you’ll do not have to beg to anyone but can stand on your own feet.”
Throughout my life I have learned “living life” by observing my parent and learning from their actions. Recently I was telling a friend, that the apartment that I live in, neighbors and/or other building people constantly sulk about little things like why is the dog roaming in the building compound, why is the car parked here, and are never content with the goodness god has given them. But, never in my life have I seen my parents fighting or sulking on anything. Infact, their attitude has always been “it’s ok. We will talk it out and try getting a solution.” Even when I first broke the news to them about my separation, they heard me out first, schooled me in private, but stood rock solid with me in private as well as public. They tried everything to work things out, but unfortunately, some things are not meant to be. In spite of not being dog lovers, and, opposing my decision to have dogs, they never took them away from me. In fact, now that they want me to settle down again, they are searching for a suitable partner who is a dog lover as well. This reminds me of the time when Casper was ill; my mom kept praying for his good health, my brother left his work and was with me all the time to and for Casper’s vet visits, my dad travelled back to Mumbai to help me out with Caspu’s treatment. And when Casper crossed the rainbow bridge, it was the first time I seen my Dad crying like child. My Mom was inconsolable and my brother, he was lost for 2 days. I couldn’t believe my family loved my dogs so much.
Even today, I live alone, but I never feel alone. My parents always make sure I am fine and lack nothing. And my younger brother, who has fulfilled all the responsibilities of an elder brother is always on his toes if I need anything. I still remember that night soon after Casper passed away; I was home alone, lonely and depressed and the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, it was the Pizza delivery guy and he handed me 4 pre-paid pizzas. I was confused as to who ordered for me. And then my phone rang. It was my brother who had ordered my favorite pizzas for me as he knew I must be down and out. Even when I was having ugly fights with my husband during separation period, my Dad and brother stood below my building for 4 hours just to make sure I was not physically hurt. I can actually write a book on things my family has done.
Apart from this, my Mom played a very big role in my life. Honestly, I just didn’t complete my graduation but became a double graduate with a Lawyer’s degree only because of my Mom. Her words, “if you don’t go for your exams, they will fail you. Rather go, attempt your paper with whatever you know and then fail. Don’t fail without trying.” And you know what, I passed all my papers. My Mom is my best friend and I can share anything with her without hesitation.
I would just like to thank my family for all the love and care they have given me. And also tell everyone, respect your parents and love them. Without them, we are nothing. Never complain about what your parents cannot give you; It was probably all they had. Parents act so strong in front of us, that we often forget just how fragile they are. From parents we learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. NEVER give up your life over a broken heart or failed relationship. Your parents didn’t sacrifice their life to see you hanging one day. I am the biggest example. Live and love. Don’t look back on what you lost, but look around and embrace your parents smile for you.