It’s a usual Sunday morning. Dad’s sitting with his hair untied and beard open- sipping a screwdriver and arguing with a carpenter. I’m sitting there fiddling with my phone. Of course the conversation takes the usual turn. “Tum meri beti ko nahin jaante, insaan ko chaar hisse me kar deti he. Log apne beto se daraate hein, hum apni beti se.” The poor chap looks at me, I smile sheepishly and they’ve come to a logical conclusion.
I am the bad cop- the watchdog of the house. It’s one of my most cherished roles. It isn’t really a traditional role but then it isn’t really a traditional family. Unlike, most family setups where the woman plays the role of the homemaker/caretaker, the roles and rules of my family are a little bit different. For the longest time, I defined it as a dysfunctional setup, till I grew up and realized-all families are dysfunctional and everyone is a bit crazy. Some just mask it better than others.
I’ve been asked to write about my experiences. The trouble with that is sometimes the written word can be considered accusatory, sometimes disrespectful and in my case most often romanticised. Since there’s no absolute truth, my truth and view of reality is highly questionable, just like everyone’s. Plus, I’m a little bit like my Dad- we throw our shit right in your face and say deal with it. Most people can be quite flabbergasted by such candor. But what the heck? I’ve always been the bad guy- so I think I’ll continue ranting.
It’s been an interesting weekend. I’m not talking about the India Art Fair, though meeting Satish Gujral, certainly was a pleasure. A boy I once knew is engaged to be married and the ex is taking his model-girlfriend, everywhere I wasn’t allowed to go. Though none of these events are new or surprising seeing posts and photographs on Fb, have lead to a personal revelation. Suddenly, I’ve been able to walk into Room 2 of the ‘Johari House’ and Alas! I’ve been able to look at the ‘Blind Spot’ quadrant. I am the ‘free bird’, I was emphatically told I was. Most people have a notion of the kind of person they should end up with and I was the aberration. Like Ayn Rand said, ”you can avoid reality but you can’t avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” The reality is I never did fit the mould. Though, it all saddens me a bit, I feel relieved as I ‘Like’ everything. After all, what is meant for us can’t be taken away and what is not can’t be held onto. It’s time to accept and let it all, go.
It is 2015, the start of a Brand New Year. Life seems like the Landmark Forum Mantra,’empty and meaningless’, with nothing familiar in sight. But I’m starting to feel hopeful in this state. The sobbing has reduced and though I feel afraid all the time, I think the meltdown is officially over. For now I just have travel on my mind and this-”Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.” Or maybe some women are just meant to run with wolves, who knows? We’ll see.