Thursday, March 07, 2013

Your Son Will Never Grow Up!

Dear Ma, Dear Baba,

It is 3 am in the morning. It is the eighth day of March this 2013. I am you know who. I am your son. I am yours. I type these words here where you probably shall never read them. It is better that way. I don't ever want to let you know, at this one moment I am any weaker than you already know I am.

This moment that I just lost; another coming up that I will too. Slowly, time inches towards the hour I will leave you. I will leave you to start a new chapter of this book, when you will not be holding my hand but someone else will. Someone I chose and you happily agreed to the choice. A hundred jokes about how marriage changes lives and this particular one isn't funny.

Thirty years, Ma. And I never dared to leave home. Thirty years, Baba. And I tagged along with you to every new city your work took you. Thirty years, only to be given up for a person I hope to give my next seventy years to. Of course, I want to live that long. And I want both of you to live longer to see me turn 100.

Is this going to be worth it? I don't know. Must I do this? I think so.

In less than a week, I take my first step out of my shell. Nothing felt this significant. Not finishing school, graduating college, getting my first job, losing my virginity, getting my first credit card, having my heart broken. Nothing.

It is now that I step out to see the world. It is now that I don't want to step out. I tried being brave to Mukta. She, more often than not, tried to break me down. "Baby, are you scared?" "Are you sure you want to do this?" "Is it not breaking your heart to leave your parents behind?" I knew she was scared. I knew she had second thoughts about this more than once. I knew she couldn't stand heading out on her own to a little house she chose for us. I told her otherwise. I tried being brave. I could not show her or you, I am brittle.

Till now.

Till now that Baba finally breaks his silence saying, he really likes my new apartment but he hates it because his son will no longer stay with him.

Last evening Ma, when I said, "I am not taking my books along with me yet to the new home", you were quick to point out, "Don't call that home. This is home."

This is home. Ma, you and Baba are home. And I am leaving home.

The first time we moved? To Indore after almost a decade in Bangalore, I wasn't sad. I was excited to head to a new city. I saw your eyes were moist, Ma. Baba was his stoic self. Over the years, I've learnt I inherited more than just my father's terrible temper. I got his ability to lie too, lie to the world that he is strong, lie to you and me that he stands unaffected, lie to everyone that he is not a child. Thank you, Baba.

The next time, we left Indore and came to Bombay. I protested although in my own 9-year old way. I realised I had begun to learn to love. I had begun to love like you, Ma. Like a child. Like a rebel.

And it was the time to rebel indeed. It was the time when parents are not cool. I kind of decided to stretch this phase a tad too long, I guess. And oh the stunts I pulled off. Stealing money from you guys, skipping school, buying cigarettes and trying to smoke them too, knowing women (...ok...girls) in a way, Ma you'd be appalled, discovering the joy that is pornography and ya, well, masturbation; everything forbidden was mine.

Somewhere during that particular stretch, in yet another city, I fell in love for the first time. And Ma, you were there telling me once you met her - "Forget her! She is bad news". My lovely little soothsayer, you were right and I was four years too late to see that. But you know how my first heartbreak helped me find you. I had already lost 19 years with you, Ma but no more. And I continued to lose more time with Baba while he still pretended.

Two years later, Baba, you hugged me for the first time. It was a 21st July. I just turned 21. You never learnt anything from Ma, did you? That lady didn't think it was uncool at all to hug her 17-year old son as his schoolmates stood amused just before he was about to enter the exam hall (Ugh!).Then a year later, another first. You said you were proud of me for having cracked an entrance test to an obnoxious media school. You are strange. I am worse though for having turned down better institutes to get that "Post Graduate" label because I wasn't particularly ready to live without the both of you. Remember Baba, how we ran from pillar to post trying to arrange the fees? Every bank turned us down. But you were adamant! Aamar chhele otai podbe jeta o podte chaaye, amaar chhele okhanei podbe jekhane o podte chaaye (My son will study what he wants, will study where he wants). We never managed the loan. But you managed the fees. That is you. A helpless middle-class man, stubborn as an ox, a helpless patriarch, a father.

Everybody around me was living alone, being 'independent'. I was still being fed by you, Ma just like how it is even today. You tried holding my hand through another heartbreak. I never learn, you said. I consoled you  (and myself) with a new tattoo -- your name across my chest. This time though, I walked through it alone and what a mess I was by the end of it till Mukta came by. I just cannot do anything right left to my resources.

I am scared right now, Ma. I have never lived for anybody else but myself. I have never been responsible for anybody else but myself. I learnt how to swim only in a swimming pool, Ma. I am still petrified of the sea.

I don't know if I want to watch football without you Baba. It just won't be the same without you cursing LiverpoolFC sitting next to me. I don't want to watch another movie. You won't be there all excited with your fists clenched as the baddies get thrashed. I am sorry I giggled a little every time.

Baba, I haven't had the chance to tell you enough that I love you. I will never be able to. I am a son, after all and us creatures head to mommy first. But Baba, I want to stay back. Stay with you. Never tell you that I love you. And always tell you that I love you.

Almost 30 but Biprorshee is much too young. He will never grow up. He will never learn to live without you. I so wish he never had to.

Sometimes, the thought of getting married sucks. I know you're reading this Mrs. Mukta Lad Das. Just know that I still madly love you. And we ARE marrying each other next week. This is just me being a tad sad.

Baba, Ma, thank you for loving each other enough. Thank you for loving me so much. Don't let me go. Please. I am just a child. Still!

Missing you already.

Tapu.

P.S.: Dear kid sister, you thought I forgot all about you, like always, didn't you? What I take from you is probably one of the best lessons - you helped me learn what it is to be a father. I made more than a few mistakes with you. I know I'll be more than ready when it is my time. I love you.


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All things Ma, Baba and Biprorshee.

3 comments:

Savia said...

I love you Bipya. You'll make a good daddy. I hope you and Moo have a Girl. Even if she;' not in the mood. :P

Shivangi said...

Rula diya re....you know where it hurts the most- you touched it there! :* Happy New Beginnings!

RapidSnail said...

Aiyyo. So much emotion. As a recently married individual, I relate to each & every part of it.
May the Force be with you, my friend. And let me Welcome You to The Dark Side.