Whenever mom is not around I have a lot of issues with dad. This blog has already seen evidence of that. It happened again. Since last night he’s given me 10 warnings that, “Tomorrow, early morning, I would go to Sarojini Nagar Market.”
In this heat, he wants to venture out, go to Sarojini from Dwarka, changing two buses for some work he can easily do on a weekday after his office hours, maybe by adjusting a few hours here and there. But he keeps it for weekend, travel all the way, because he is too disciplined to leave his office a few hours early to attend it and if he goes after office hours then it will be after dark. After dark is like his nemesis.
He would never hire an autorickshaw (three-wheeler). He has NEVER taken an auto or cab all for himself in his entire life. Can anybody beat that? He will only hire one when we are with him, but if he is traveling alone, bus it is. “How can I take a auto alone, it is meant for three people,” he will grudge. If my sister or I put an objection to his plans, he gets annoyed that we are interfering in his business.
Dad has a peculiar psychology where he is allergic to pleasure and convenience. For everything in life he’d take the difficult path around instead of taking the easy straight road. I follow Hugh Laurie a lot so I learn that there’s this thing called Presbyterian upbringing (in which Hugh was brought up) where you learn to see pleasure with suspicion. “If anything is worth attaining it has to be attained by suffering or if you attained it already, you have to compensate for it, by suffering,” explains Hugh.
I have no idea why dad is like that. Where from dad got Presbyterian discipline.
And what is this work for which he has to go to Sarojini Nagar? I don’t know, some random errand, tailor related. That’s the other thing, we moved to Dwarka 10+ years ago, and he still goes to his old tailors in RK Puram or Sarojini Nagar. He just can’t get over the Government colony charm. They are apparently cheaper than Dwarka tailors. “Right, never mind the time and energy you would waste in going to a place which has no direct bus or metro,” I yell at him. Apparently that doesn’t count because when he looks at the cost of something he only thinks in terms of the cash he would shell out.
All his plans of going out is scheduled for ‘early morning.’ We’d say “Go in the evening,” but he won’t listen. No work in this world is possible after sunset. Sunset means ‘go to bed’ because we are apparently still living in a time when electricity hasn’t reached this part of the village. After dark is his nemesis. It’s this old rural psychology of going to the weekly or monthly ‘haat bazaar‘ by a bullock cart. He tells me stories of how in his childhood, in Jalpaiguri, when my grand parent’s would have a Narayan Puja at home, he would go to the haat early morning to buy milk in bulk amount for the Sinni prasad.
He wants to relive those days, at 70, in the National Capital of India in 21st century.
I get worried, paranoid to be precise, and there is a reason behind it which I have never shared with anyone. Years ago in our RK Puram Sector 4 neighbourhood we found a man in his 60s lying dead on the side of the road. He held a bunch of wedding invitation cards in his hand, some more were lying scattered next to his body. I remember the scene like it was yesterday. I was traumatized. He probably died of heat stroke or heart attack as it was noon time in the peak of summers. Probably already had an unattended heart condition.
Your parents get old, and you can’t stop worrying about their health. My dad is 70 and he is fit and healthy. Never had a heart condition, no Blood Pressure or Blood Sugar. He has a serious lung problem, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in spite of the fact that he never was a smoker, but he’s taking medicine and doctor said there’s nothing to worry. Yet, I feel that it is the healthy people who are at risk of having some sudden medical condition we never paid attention to.
Mom on the other hand has every possible medical issue one can have, diabetes, high BP, high cholesterol, Glucoma, retinopathy, but I worry less about her because she is a very disciplined patient regularly visits her GP takes all medicine in time. She takes them herself, some 20 kinds of them, in various combinations. I never have to remind her.
I don’t actually do any of the usual thing children should be doing for their ageing parents. I am dependent on them, they are not dependent on me. I just worry.
Anyway, that was about my daddy issues. I am lagging behind with the studies so this daily blogging experiment has to be on hold. Would write if I get some time. Yesterday was Hugh Laurie’s birthday, wanted to write about him but didn’t get time.
Update dt August 1, 2019:
It is an irony that merely 10 months after writing the above, that I don’t worry about mother’s health because she is a disciplined patient, in April 2017 I lost her to last stage lung cancer. I now live with the burden of this cruel irony. We got exactly one month’s notice from the time it was diagnosed to the day she left. I wrote the story of how I lost my mother here, and here.