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Monday, August 25, 2008

Paatee &Thaathaa go in airplane to India

Fifteen years ago, I had no inkling of having my gut wrenched over and over like this.

Fifteen years ago, the naive youngster in me was raring to grab Life by the handful, realizing the wish to study abroad, traveling far to explore the wide world that God made, to heck with geographical boundaries!

Fifteen years ago, being someone's wife, let alone a mom twice over was as distant a dream as winning the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Fifteen years ago, my mom and dad were working professionals with their busy lives and their own routine, not the retired parents separated from their two doting children and three darling grandchildren by thousands of miles, anxiously awaiting the weekend hour-long call to picture the struggles their children are going through in order to make it on their own.

Fifteen years ago, I didn't think anything could leave such a void in my life as my parents going back to India after a 6-month visit.

But, there it is. They tried to prepare me by visiting my brother, leaving me to manage Ana and Oggie and the household for a couple of months. But then, I knew they'd be back and I'd see them again soon and I was just counting down with gritted teeth.

I kept telling myself and D: I should just pack my bags and take the kids and go back with them for a few months. D can manage fine on his own here. After all, I am jobless now and Ana is not in school yet... D refused to be separated from Ana and Oggie for more than a week or 10 days at the most! Maybe when they are older I'd be ready but not yet, he said... I respect that. I love that. If the roles were reversed, I cannot bear staying away from Ana and Oggie even for a few days - the emptiness would be insufferable!

Ironic, eh? The emptiness would be insufferable… Isn't that what my parents are forced to endure? The emptiness of the cozy nest they painstaking built for us stick-by-stick, straw-by-straw over the years?

Fifteen years ago, little did they imagine having to undergo a nearly 24-hour long plane ride across continents, cooped up in impossibly cramped seats, subjected to apathetic treatment by airline attendants, managing their excruciating back and knee pain with potent medication, packing 4 large suitcases full of utility items and fancy items they eagerly shopped for their grandkids despite living on limited pension... all that trouble, all for spending a meager 180 days closer to their little ones...

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3 Comments:

At 4:27 AM, Blogger Tharini said...

Sheela....you are breaking my heart! Its hard to say more than this, because every word you say rings true...

But I do wish you could get to go for a month or two tho. It'd be a great break for you!

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger Sole said...

Such a lovely post! Every word so true..the things that parents do for us..they are always one step ahead of us in whatever we want to do for them!

 
At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Janani said...

I have been reading your blog for such a long time now that it almost feels like a routine to check if you have posted something new. I tumbled upon your blog while looking for some recipe and then on your blog has been a comfort, has been something to ponder on, a nice way to pass time and know something new and what not. I finally felt the need to connect to you and hence this comment. This is very beautifully written and I love and agree with every word you have written here. Its such a heart breaking ordeal we consciously go through that it amazes me how often times we choose compromise and prioritize in our lives to adapt to the current situation.

 

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