Age 3: Amma (mom) pets and pampers me enough, keeping away troublesome cousins, aunts and uncles. Achan (dad) brings home sweets, doesn’t force me to have food that I don’t like and even scolds Amma if she scolds me! Amma is working, and is never at home when we (my brother and I) come back from school. Must be the stress…but she scolds a lot.
Age 8: We have shifted to a new place. Amma is not working anymore…she’s always at home…and narrates stories and anecdotes in the evenings and at night. She’s never angry these days. Achan goes to work, but takes us to his friends’ houses occasionally…and at the supermarket, allows us to buy any number of :).
Age 10: We are back in our hometown. Amma’s started working again…and is again angry most days…must be the stress. Achan is still in the other town, and comes home only during weekend—that too, not all weekends. I keep asking or a lot of things, but he never buys. Forgets, maybe. Amma scolds a lot. I think she likes my brother more :(.
Age 14: My friends keep telling me about new dresses and bags and fancy pencil and geometry boxes. How come I never get them so often? I think I have very bad, insensitive parents. And they like my brother more. My best friend’s mom is a housewife. I think Amma should quit work.
Age 16: I have a lot of friends and hang out with them a lot. Amma doesn’t like it too much…she likes my friends, but not the amount of time I spend with them. She thinks I should be more at home. I don’t like it when she behaves like this. My brother goes around with his friends; yet Amma says nothing…in fact she tells me that he’s more loving and ‘homely’. Dad never interferes in anything that we do…is he too detached or is he just leaving us to be independent? And I think Amma should quit work.
Age 17: I hate being at home these days…even my brother is away at the college hostel. Dad is kind of angry these days…and too distant from us. I think Amma should quit work. She is also stressed out and irritable. I wish I could get away from home…and from my hometown ! I’m not brilliant at studies…and I think Amma despises me for that…she always says my brother studies very well. I think she likes him more :(. I failed miserably in the engineering admission test. Am sure Amma will hate me even more. Who cares…I have enough friends!
Age 18: Achan and Amma surprised me tremendously by making me feel good about not getting into engineering. They told me to join for Arts…English Literature…Amma even said she knows I’ll excel in that. Wow…she thinks I can be good in something?? WoW!
Age 19: Am doing well in college…my professors had called in Amma for a meeting…and she told me she’s proud of me…from what she heard from them. Dad is super cool. When I told him I had got into a relationship and ow wanted to back off, he stood by me and helped! Amma and Achan takes every chance to encourage me in whatever I do…whatever decisions I make…but they guide me if my decision is wrong—with delicate words…they are really lovely people. Only lucky people gets parents like them!
Age 20: Something tragic happened at home…my brother had a mishap…everyone is scared. But he’s ok. My college life is over. I went to Mumbai to seek admissions for my PG. Achan and Amma has agreed…they are really good. Was there for around 45 days, with my bestest friend…though I had a lot of fun, I keep missing Amma and Achan terribly (not to mention my brother). I can’t believe this…I thought I’ll be happy to be away from them! How wrong I was…they are the best human beings I ever saw. As parents, they are ideal! A dream come true!
Age 21: I did my PG in Kerala itself…but away from my home town. Oh how I kept missing Amma and Achan. I still remember how she cried when she left me at my hostel. She loves me too! And when I fell terribly ill, Dad drove all the way from our hometown and took me home! They are such loving parents. I was the one who’d been bad all the while…for never understanding them.
Age 22: I am in love…this is serious. And the guy is a Christian. I thought they’d never agree. But they told me they value my happiness more than anything. If I’m sure he’s the one, so are they! And they are ready to sacrifice anything for my sake…
Isn’t it amazing—and a bit weird—how we fail to understand some of the most important people in our lives? Comparison being one of the prime characteristics of humans, we always look at what others get and wonder why that never happens to us…it’s only when you start understanding what others don’t get, that you realise the blessings you are laden with. A series of life experiences and situations made me realise how extremely lucky I was to get parents like mine. If there’s something I’d never give away for all the goodness in the world, it’s them…my Dad and Mom…they are a dream come true!! Lov ya both!!