As the summer soarer higher with its glittering, perspiration inducing heat, I rested my head in Baba’s lap. Spread out in the verandah of the house that I grew up in, we enjoyed the silence with the now warm marble flooring and refreshingly cold glass of buttermilk.
Staring into the distance Baba was lost in thought, I knew by the nature in which he stroked my hair. His face emotionless and eyes set on something far far away. Humming a tune yet to be discovered, my thoughts hopped from one topic to another like a frog in monsoons. My eyes followed every bird that crossed my sky and trying to memorise the colour of every flower that grows in the aangan of my maternal home.
Suddenly feeling like I was missing out even thought I feel nothing but contentment at my marital home. And Baba just knew, don’t know how, that my thoughts were moving in directions unpleasant. He stopped stroking my hair, touched my cheek and asked “What is it, love?”
My response that came ahead was like a wild waterfall of words…, “I’m happy. But why do i still feel like I’m missing out? Don’t worry yourself, I’m actually quite content. But on somedays, I feel confused. It could be that I’m over thinking it or maybe I should give myself sometime. It hasn’t even been six months since moved. But it is just that, somedays I feel like I’m letting go of some parts of me that I’ve spend my young adult life working on. Not that it upsets me, in a twisted fashion it brings me joy. There are days when we realise that we have differing opinions on certain areas. We patiently hear each other out. But then I notice that he has changed himself to be in sync with my point of view. I seen myself change too. But I’ve found myself feeling guilty that I’m making him change or am changing myself. Is it fair to do that? Also, does changing so easily make me a weaker person? Does growing in love with someone do this to a person?”
By this point I realised that not only am I breathless, but also sitting up straight while facing Baba in a crossed leg posture. No idea when my body went through all this movement, but all my attention was on Baba’s face trying to gauge his every movement and expression. He slightly moved his lips into a smile and looked at my face gently, as if caressing it with his eyes.
He started to talk after what felt like a deep discussion with himself. “Love, your mother and I brought you up to be an individual, independent thinker. Give yourself the credit that when you decide to change, no matter how significant or insignificantly, it’s because you see some sense in his way of thinking. And because you agree with what he has to say on the same… Similarly, you have married a man of strength and character. If he decides to change and be more in sync with your viewpoint, what’s so bothersome? Do you not think that you could provide him a better alternative to the same situation? And do not be stingy in giving him the credit of being a responsible individual who has a head over his shoulder! Maybe, he decided to adapt and change because he found sense in what you spoke. It also shows that he cares for you and respects you.”
Lifting his buttermilk and cleaning the droplets that had formed on the glass with a swift motion, it felt like he was visually clearing the little doubt-droplets that has formed in my mind. He sipped onto it slowly, enjoying each passing second; as if he could hear the thought slow down in my head and was watching understanding settle in like the dust after a storm. After finishing his glass, he looked into my eyes, as if claiming my attention and said,
“As for feeling weak… I only see strength in this equation. Both of you are showing strength by letting someone in and allowing them to change you instead of being defensive. You are both acknowledging each others’ opinions and accepting the alternative by admitting that the other’s point of view is better than your own. If anything, I only see you growing stronger by accepting change while also making sure that you have shared your thoughts about the topic. No idea why you’d feel guilty about any of it?!”
And just like that we resumed our gazing into the nature, spread out on the warmed up marble floor. But this time I wasn’t chasing birds and flowers, but just allowing them to enter and leave my line of vision in their own time. Before I knew it I was gently woken up from a relaxing nap that I didn’t know I had indulged in…
While this isn’t an actual conversation that I’ve had with Baba, but one that I had with a dear friend- #cowsonsteroids is how we address ourselves. Keeping the Baba series of story telling going only felt apt. Do share and comment with feedback on my skills of story telling and whether you’d me to continue story telling or explore any other styles of writing.
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