Written by my father to a teenage me as I was struggling through college not quite grasping the right priorities.
Been interacting with you, talking to you, reading & enjoying your SMS, poems & blogs, loving the photographs taken by you, trying to understand the happenings around you through all this, trying to understand YOU as a person, what’s happening inside you, a little boy, turning into a young man now. What is he facing? What is he doing or trying to do? Why does he behave like he behaves? Where is he going? Is he thinking about all this?
All the emotional upheavals, coping up with self emotions, others’ emotions, trying to be patient and failing or winning, study-parents-‘phameely’-peer-pressures, crushes-attractions-physical awareness, venturing in to the world, achievements-disappointments.
Yet, many a times we are unable to understand why you do or say something at a particular time. You must be having your own norms-standards of speaking-emoting/non-emoting, expressing/non-expressing something. For example- many a times you call me rude to others, similarly many times we find you rude to us. Why can’t you speak out about your standards of behavior? Why can’t we exchange our standards across the table and arrive at some mutually agreeable midpoint? This is just an example.
I have read your recent blogs in last few days and it’s so obvious, you are getting – I have an interesting term for this condition – it’s called “emotionally-self-blackmailed”. A bit harsh term to be used on self but it explains nicely, with all the due honor to all of us, that we get so much entangled in our own emotions/feelings at times that we subconsciously refuse to come out of that helpless state of mind which is like floating in mid-air, feeling helpless, cut-off from others’ world, like to shout at world, others, somebody or all for nothing.
May be you need some directions, some goals, some definite action-plan in front of you to come out of these ups & downs. May be you are getting just cynical. I observed that earlier too but many times it happens at certain age, so it was ignored. But again, I find you are still cynical. Sometimes angry at the world, sometimes frustrated because of the world, may be disappointed with the world, may be disappointed with the people around you, you get angry at the slightest provocation – as if nothing is happening right for you as you expected it to be.
The world outside is very cruel. How much do you know about the harsh realities of day-to-day life around you is a matter of discussion and that too a cool headed discussion, because accepting facts needs courage. You have that kind of courage, demonstrated by your frank admittance of certain study-exam-related things in your blogs.
But here we are talking about facing the real world on your own. I have 3 kid-attendants in my guest-house. All around 14-18 years of age, the youngest one is the utensil cleaner. Since early morning he starts cleaning of our dinner plates, large cooking utensils of previous night, then he proceeds through our breakfast things, then lunch things, and again through dinner things. No break, no family, nobody to share. Just pure, hard slogging, day-in-day-out and staying alone at the age of 14 very much away from family. The middle one is a manual worker. He does all manual work like cleaning of entire guest-house, washing floors, bringing used plates & utensils from/to kitchen etc. Same thing – staying alone, no family to share, living in meager, unhealthy conditions. For what?
For living a life that has been forced on them. But do they have any choice? Not immediately. Their parents must have sent them on these jobs as they themselves are not earning enough to feed them and educate them. The eldest one is a cook who is cooking 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 30 dinners every day without help and break at the age of 17. This is life, it is cruel to many people, in much much harsher ways than we can ever imagine.
I remember a line from a much forwarded poem – “I was very much unhappy that I don’t have new shoes, till I met a boy who didn’t have feet.”
You must be either bored stiff, yawning continuously or plainly disgusted at the behavior of your father, thinking that he is just like all other fathers, giving the harsher picture to their son so that the son will realize his well being.
Not really. I could have given much much harsher real life stories to you, which we have seen, but I have refrained. The above story is given to make all of us realize that what life we, especially our children are living, is far far above the normal. The crux of the matter is – come out of the self-blackmail – the anger, frustration, depression, whatever.
Take some definite goal and start towards it. But it should be a finite goal.
As soon as we get an interesting objective in front, we start planning to achieve it. Design the goal to have some important steps of your future, like clearing BE smoothly hereafter, doing a professional course of your liking after BE or going for higher studies abroad or joining as a copy-writer in a high-profile ad-agency or meeting, falling in love and getting the girl you love to fall for you may be also a goal.
But all these are part of a much larger picture. Your status when you finish your education and want to earn. For being independent financially, may be for starting a family soon if you already have the girl you love. May be you want to prove to yourself that you can do this or that.
So, it just boils down to self awareness or to be put more rightly – awareness of self in the world. Try to think in this direction and may be you will come out of the cynicism, the depression bouts. Just visualize the 3 teenage attendants at my guest-house here. They still laugh, play, smile to me. They don’t know what is PizzaHut. They don’t know what a dark chocolate is. They don’t know how strong coffee is made and drunk.
Much to be done and not enough time to waste on entanglements. They are part of life, part of the bigger picture. Try to see the bigger picture by coming out of your body and looking from a distance above – the bird’s-eye-view kinda thing about self that helps, at least it helped me a lot.
End line – try to grab the bigger picture. All smaller components come along automatically. They are free. This is a truth realized.
With true and unconditional love