It is an average Saturday for most of us. But not for me, I am sitting in my chair – taking a much needed half a day off from work, out of which most time I spent talking to my Dad.
In an honest account of my childhood, my relationship with my Dad has been .. for a lack of better word – tumultuous. We had both lost a precious loved one – a wife and a mother – that didn’t bring out the best in our emotions. We both attempted to safeguard our own versions of truths and if I can say – fights.
But that time is long gone. I am now thirty one and one of the worst effects of adulting for me personally has been this need to let go of expectation of perfection in people you love. I cannot say I have succeeded completely but I can say – I have, through a basic and rather crude algorithm of decision making, zeroed in on people I cannot just let go.
And my Dad is featured in it. No, not because he is my only surviving parent – if you grew up in my house you were always taught – “Respect is earned, not granted through birth or hierarchy”. So this reasoning of granting him importance was never my DNA. But he is featured because he has been the best possible parent anyone could be in that situation. He had his flaws but I now realise his good was so good, it helped us all survive.
If anyone was curious who else is on that list – my best friend is. And she too has her set of flaws and quirks (which i adore by the way) but at all times I know, she loves me like there is no tomorrow. And every other idea in front of that gets washed away instantly. There is of course, my sister and my husband – who honestly have no way knowing how messed up my head is but they still bring out the best versions of my life.
Moving on. In my blogposts that this website has seen, I know I have never offered clarity – or a space to deduce things. I have always just poured my confusion out here, hoping something in this exercise brings in some sort of a semblance of understanding for us all.
Today was one of those days. What I thought would be a half day break is now a puddle of emotions, memories and “what ifs” that have crippled me to continue beyond with anything.
Somewhere in the middle of my conversation with my dad today, he mentioned “You bat for so many greys in life but internally you have always been one of the most black & white person I have ever seen. Your fixation with truth and nothing but the truth has always prevented you from listening to other sides of the coin. And I don’t mean this in a bad way – but I believe that is the reason for many of your failures and yet most of your successes too”.
It is almost as if I lost my voice. How smoothly and simply he drew out the biggest mess of my life out of my head and into words. My idealism. Which has always been my undoing. How I have always had this yardstick inside my head and nothing above or below is right. How many friends, family, career opportunities, projects and what not have I lost, only because I could not bring myself to compromise.
And yet. It is this very need to strive for nothing but the truth that I have discovered my life’s most challenging idea. A difficult and long journey that finally now shows signs of success.
Usually I am an articulate human being, but when he finished saying those words, I had started stammering. This guard I carry on my face – this pretence of showing one thing and being another was so quietly gone in front of him. Like he knows, he understands but he plays the game with me – insinuating he is fooled as is rest of the world.
And it is this very idea of perfection. Truth and nothing but the truth that has tortured me for years, centering my whole life around existential crisis of different kinds.
As most writers, I know the beginning and the end of a piece are critical to survive reader’s attention span. But what if the very end is what my writing seeks. That it is the lack of a befitting end to my words that led me here.
Will that reader then forgive me?