This was two months back, when I just called my mom in the afternoon. Usually I don’t call her in the noon but that day I felt like calling her. As soon as she received my call she started crying. I wasn’t getting what happened. And that made me tenser. After sometime she calmed down and told me ‘Your grandpa passed away’. Again she started crying. That time I just realised that my grandfather (Mother’s father) passed away, that’s it. My mind had taken that as factual data taken by a intellectual system. I wasn’t getting how to try, what all I did was asked her to calm down.
It was not possible for me to go there that day. But we have separate importance of third day, so I booked tickets for next day. Then one of senior asked me what happened, I told him the same. Then he replied, “Your own grandfather?” I said, “Yes, why are you asking me like that?” then he said, “You don’t appear that sad”. I didn’t know what to reply. Then at the end of the day , I was telling another senior that I have taken two days holidays, he told me , “ Tell me real reason?” I told her the same. “do you reply such things with a smile ?” I felt bit angry about Why everyone is judging me when they don’t know anything. But simply told her “ He was old and had equivalent to zero support. It’s good for him that he died with good health rather than falling sick for months.”
When I reached there, it was early morning. Some close relatives were present there. When I was meeting anyone, he/she was crying. I was feeling a deep gap inside. I never broke out my composure as everyone was looking at me as emotional support. I was talking to my aunts, cousins. Then when I met my mom, she was completely broken by the incident. And when I was talking to her I wasn’t able to control myself, but somehow I did. In whole scenario I saw my grandmother (Naniji) many times from distance but hadn’t dared to go near her. Her eye operation was done just 6 days back. She was sitting there with those black spectacles. She wasn’t even allowed to cry on demise of her most beloved person, whom she loved for 75 years.
Finally when I found myself alone, I cried. I cried as much as I could.
Actually when I compare this situation with demise of my paternal grandfather, when I was 14 I see many differences. I was totally in shock when he passed. Hadn’t ate anything for 2 days. And most importantly I still feel his presence in my home. I wasn’t that practical that time. Did I became practical with age? I may have been. But I find some other reason for it. I was there with my family, when my paternal grandfather left me. Now I have been away for 10 years from my home. I get holidays twice or thrice a year and that time I get only enough time to meet my family. So those going to relatives in your holidays has alomost lost somewhere in childhood. So I met him (maternal grandfather) few times, say once a year.
Similar situation had happened one and half year back when I was in college I came to know that my sister’s marriage has been fixed. I was totally happy. It was only when I visited my home that I realised she won’t be there next. That lonely feeling, I can’t describe in words.
May be every one of us have heard long distance don’t work. And second thing we may have heard from some wise people that every relationship is about love. So does that mean all relations are affected by distance? My answer is yes. You can ask any of my friends from college, it would matter in which hostel we were staying. If we were staying in different hostel then even a friends who was your room mate for two years start losing touch. Obviously that is very much true for my school friends. I have shifted my place five times in last ten years. It was easy initially to be in touch with school friends. But as time grew we had our own priorities, schedules and that being busy tag. Subjects we used to talk about were no more interesting and those which sounds interesting are awkward to talk of, as we never shared thoughts of that type.
My distant relatives, who I just know of as relatives and don’t even remember name of that uncle or aunt when he/ she asks me. How I am supposed to connect with them. But I see my father or mother gets connected with them. It’s not that they meet them every day, they too meet them once or twice a year. But they are living in that world. I am living in two different worlds. One in which I want to live, where ‘my’ people are there, where I become what I want to be, but can’t live. Where I actually lives, for my education, for job, for those need which are necessary to live even if they don’t allow my life I want to live.
So how this staying away does affects us. I disconnect us with all our relatives, most importantly family. Why all of sudden we see western culture taking sharp rise in Indian society? Because mainly what we used to be proud of , called as Sanskars are less important than being able to talk in English, many parents just stop talking their mother tongue so that child gets accustomed to English easily. Now it has become more important to sing or dance when a relative comes to your home, rather than showing affection what you have. If you don’t he/ she himself/ herself will ask , “ise dance class nahi bhej rahe .,., (like what a shame it is) maine to apane guddu ko 4 mahine pehle se bhejana chalu kar diya and ab kya dance karti wo ‘sheila ki jawani’ pe kya batau aapko”. Now going to some sports class in evening has become more important than freely roaming around in home. Hardly kids get time to be in home. They are just in home for sleeping and having food as if they are in PG. and in holidays it has become more important to go to a summer camp than going to uncle’s (Mama’s) place.
With so much demand, the rural Indians don’t want to fall behind in this race. They too want their kids to be as ‘smart’ as their urban ‘rivals’. Worst situation occurs when they send their child to a boarding at very early age. Because otherwise they would be getting late to crack for IITs, AIMS. CAs, etc. One thing that I have observed in many kids living around me, or whom I had talk with, I don’t see that affection in their eyes for family. Even asked a some parents, “what if he grows up very well, but don’t have affection for you?” most of them were reluctant to answer, some just answered ‘its need of time’ other said ‘it won’t happen’. Only one uncle answered that he will be happy if his son grow up in life even if he don’t remember him. I met his son. He was living away from his family from nursery. When he visits his home. He is busy with books, because he don’t know what he should talk all the while with his parents or sisters.
I agree that time is changing. But is that case that a kid who grew up in village have no chance to compete with others? Is that a case that a kid who hasn’t been to convent and studied in other language has no chance to stand up? How many gets really advantage of learning some music or sports when their parents only ask them to leave that hobby as they grow up? I may agree that for graduate degree you may have to stay away, as that would change your life. But some may fight that for it they have to be in good coaching. I guess everyone who had been to very good college will agree that it had very little to do with from coaching classes than their self-study. In my region culture is building to ask kids to live at Pune or Hyderabad or Kota for preparation? What percent of people from Kota gets selected? I guess more students get distracted from their path than even getting onto a right track, leave achieving it aside. Ok even if agreed for it, is it necessary to force your kids from 5th or 6th to have a vision for entrance exam he will be facing after 5-7 years?
I agree that it’s been a competent world. But having feelings and affection is equally important. We are not robots. Only thing which makes us different from advanced robots is emotions. Please don’t kill them.