Friday, August 22, 2008

For my mum and dad...

I never thought I would post while on a visit to India. The nature of this visit (to see my folks & other family, but more the former) has given me a lot of time to reflect.
It has been hard to see my parents, they are older and more frail since I last saw them. I owe being in a better place in life to their support and their sacrifice, for which I am eternally in their debt.
There have been other regrets and disappointments, much too personal to mention here.
In a sense visiting here has been coming back to my roots, but not in a cultural sense. As important as culture is it pales in comparison to some of the more simple things that make us who we are.. our relationships with our loved ones.
I have not strayed far from my folks place this time. I can see in my mom's eyes the desire to have me spend as much time at home as possible. She hinted as much when she voiced her sadness at me not having lunch at home one day or me saying no to them wanting to make me my favorite fish curry.
I have had my disagreements with my folks before , but not anymore. It must be hard for them to be on their own with their only son so far away. I am just being around them now. Dealing with a gamut of emotions.
Exploring the city of my birth will have to wait, as will experiencing the wonderful diversity of the cuisine here.
This absent son does not want to stray far this time around. Although mum can barely stand and I can no longer sample her cooking as she is too weak to cook she will in her own inimitable style instruct the woman who comes and cooks for them to ensure that the fish curry is just right.
I have had my issues with my dad, but I have made my peace with him a long time ago. He looks after mum and the house now. I can see why he told me a few weeks back that he does not have as much strength and energy as he used to.
They are not perfect, but they are remarkable people in their own right. They have each taught me some wonderful things about love, sacrifice, hard work and about being altruistic and having a big heart.
When I leave I will do so with a heavy heart, and the hope that I can come visit them again soon.
The photograph you see is taken from where they often sit by the window of their home. It is also where I see them first when they wait for me as I arrive from the airport. It also is where I will turn and look back when I leave and there will be a tear in my eye.
Thank you Aai and Baba for being you and for everything that is right in my life.

11 comments:

Sai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sai said...

Hi Sanjay:

I have visited your blog after such a long time. I would say I have completely disappeared from the blogosphere.

It is such a moving post. I can completely relate to that and I am so glad you are spending all your time with your Aai and Baba. I was especially moved when I read about them waiting for you by the window. I am actually crying while writing this because I am thinking about my parents. I can understand the tears of joy in their eyes when they see you and I can understand that heaviness in your heart when you have to leave. I can understand that strong urge to weep but the stronger urge to stoic as now the roles have reversed!

Hope all is well with you and A. I am so glad you are enjoying your visit.

Sai

iz said...

That's very touching. And beautifully written.

iz said...

That's very touching. And beautifully written.

starry nights said...

Hi Sanjay, have not blogged for a while , just thought I would stop by and am glad I did.this was a very touching post.take care.

The Manimal said...

Hi Sanjay:

I got it completely!

moegirl said...

What a beautiful tribute to your parents

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay

A very moving post and one that was probably quite hard to write just because of the emotions it brings to the surface. I first read your post when I was at the airport waiting to board my flight home and my eyes were filled with tears as I read. I was coming from the same place (just having wished my folks goodbye a few hours prior to reading what you had to say) and I could so completely relate to what you were saying.

I am glad you got to spend this time with your parents. I am sure your visit made a huge difference to them (and to you).

Is it at all possible to have your mom dictate some of her recipes to either you or your sister? I am sure there are many signature dishes that she made that you would love to have and keep making? A few years ago my mom wrote down all her favorite recipes and make two copies...one for me and one for my sister. It's one of my most treasured books.

Sanjay said...

Thanks Sai, for your comment. I haven't been blogging much either so I have sorta disappeared too.

Sorry about the moving post. How are things with you and the Mr?
It was not an easy visit. :-/
Thank you for stopping by.

Thanks Iz, for your kind words and for stopping by.

Thanks Starry for stopping by and for the comment. I haven't blogged much either. Will be by your place soon.

Thanks Manimal. I hope we can meet the next time I am in Mumbai, or if you come stateside.

Thanks Moe for your kind words.

Sanjay said...

Hey Lotus. How are you? Welcome back home.
I know what you mean. Sorry about the post bringing tears to your eyes. I can relate too. I was ok while I left but I was not when I first saw them. Mom had tears the day before I left. It breaks my heart that I have to be away in their advanced years.
My visit does seem to have made a difference.
I think your suggestion for the recipe book is simply great! My sis has a lot of the recipes, so I can get them from her. I will ask my mum next time for sure.
I am so glad that your mom was able to put down her recipes in a book for you and sis.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and for stopping by. Take care pal.

Id it is said...

I can see those held back tears and feel that catch in your throat and the tug at your heart when you said that goodbye!

Glad to see you back!