It happens only with dreamy Indians. Children are the happy dreams of their parents. To fulfil their dreams, I had obtained B.Tech., a degree in Computer Engineering, from I.I.T… After B.Tech. I acquired a masters’ degree in Management from I.I.M… After working for a few years in India, like any other Indian, I joined a multinational company in the USA.
America is now treated as a dream country especially in India. It is the cherished dream of every Indian to touch the soil of that dreamy land, the land of braves, patriots and vast opportunities. Americans are born with three Ts in their mind; TRY—for a better future; TRUE—To your nation, religion and work; TRUST—in God and self. So in my case also that long-cherished dream had come true. My parents were very happy with this achievement.
Every entry point has an exit point, so I resolved to make my exit from my dear motherland to enter into the land of dreams as a wonderful experience, with lots of joys and graceful achievements. Here, at last, I reached a place where I truly deserved and where my merit and talent has got respect. Here I saw a beautiful world, waiting for me. I decided to walk with an aim. Bubbling with happiness and confidence I planned to stay in this country for about five years in which time I hoped to earn enough money to settle down comfortably back home in India.
We belong to a Brahman priestly family. But my father did not have any interest in our traditional profession because in our country it was almost a secular and intellectual fashion to abuse and curse Brahmans and Brahman priests. In some states like Jammu & Kashmir and Tamilnadu, Brahmans are treated worse than slaves and animals. He generally used to recite this poem;
God send me on the earth, an innocent being,
Untouched by the black and white doing,
But the world branded me as a Brahmin,
And a curse fell on this urchin,
A child of lesser God,
The entire honour was forbidden to this pod.
Education, help, livelihood;
All was snatched by Robin Hood,
Some branded it as social equality,
But it was state cruelty,
Others’ called it secular passion,
But it was ugly repression,
All the isms kill human rights,
They are the Janus face of racial might.
As a result of this scenario, my father preferred to be a teacher. As honesty, hard work, patriotism and Sanskars were in his blood which he inherited from his parents. He could not do much for his family and his economic condition remained grim throughout his life. Only after his retirement, he could purchase an ordinary one-bedroom flat in a slum type locality. Moreover, he had to pay a hefty bribe to government babus to get his day to day work done in government offices. Even still he has to pay the bribe to get his PF and other dues cleared and get his monthly pension from the same department which he served for thirty-five years. But ambitions could not touch him. He believed in,” When nails are growing, we cut nails when ambition is growing; we cut ambition but maintains relations and character.
I wanted to do much more than my nationalist father. I wanted to earn and earn like secular leaders of the country. But in America, I could not adjust comfortably and started homesick and lonely as time passed. My patriotism and love for my roots always troubled me there on the foreign soil. Moreover, in America, Indians were not treated respectfully. As upper castes Hindus are insulted and abused in India, in the same manner, Indians are treated in America as a community who are there only to mint fast bucks only, come what way. There too I saw each heart had pain, only the way of expressions was different; some hide it in tears in their eyes while others’ hide it behind their beguiling smile.
I used to call my parents almost once a week using low-cost international phone sim cards. In this manner, three years passed and my contract with my employer was over but my employer extended my contract for another three years as in America person is recognised by merit, talent and work whereas in India quota castes, minority religion, language and region are recognised and not the merit, talent and work.
Another one year passed on burgers, pizzas, chow mien, potato chillies etc… Years and months passed, watching foreign currency rates and getting happier whenever the value of Indian rupee went down. One thing I learnt from Americans that getting upset would not help. Always getting up, to set the things right.
The problem of marriage always was a big issue for my ageing parents. Finally, I decided to get married and gave nod and told my parents that I had only
ten days of holidays and everything must have to be settled down within these ten, very important ten days of my life. I got my ticket booked to India in the cheapest economic class. I was on the seventh cloud and was actually trying to purchase gifts from the cheap duty-free shops, for all my relatives and friends back home. If I fail to do follow this custom, there will be talks because in India it is believed, if one is in America, he must be rolling in money. Right from the babu at the airport to the dancing terror eunuchs, this great India loot is a part of life.
After reaching India, I spent some time at home with my parents. All the time we all were involved scanning photographs of girls and as the time was very short I was almost forced to select a girl as my future life partner. Bride’s side was in much more hurry as they did not want to let out this America settled son-in-law. They told that I had to get married within three-four days. After the marriage, my departure time to the U.S.A. was very close. After giving some money to my parents I again had to leave India and requesting my relatives and neighbour friends to look after my parents. We both returned to the U.S.A.
In the beginning, my wife was very happy in America and she enjoyed her stay here. But after some time she started feeling lonely. Her frequency of calling her parents, back home in India increased and sometimes almost every day. As a result of her extravagant nature, my savings started vanishing rapidly. I tried to get some job for her but I failed and could not arrange a job for her. She used to receive wise upbraiding from her parents especially from her
mother every day. In my case, it was very true, “If the first button of your shirt is wrongly stitched, all the rest will definitely be crooked. So always be careful on your first step, success will automatically follow you”.
Although she was a PhD from Gazab Singh University, India, but to my horror, I came to know that she was not capable even of writing a letter. All her degrees were almost manipulated through corrupt methods. Her father was a judge and her mother was a professor at Gazab Singh University, India. She boasts of guiding forty-five, Ph.D.s to her credit, through lifting, scissoring and pasting methods. This university was notoriously famous for selling fake degrees.
In this way, two more years passed, and we were blessed with two lovely kids, a daughter Ganga and a son the Brahmaputra. Every time I rang my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they could see their grandchildren before their eyes are closed forever. But work pressure coupled with difficult monetary conditions, I could not visit India. Months and years passed and visiting India to see my ageing parents was a distant dream.
Then one day at around midnight, my phone rang and I got a message that my father was seriously ill. I tried to get leaves but failed to get the leaves sanctioned, to go to India. The next message I got was the death of my father. As there was no one to perform the last rites, the close relatives helped by the neighbours performed the last rites.
The death of my father shattered me and I was badly depressed. My father passed away without had a glimpse of his grandchildren. One day he came to me to meet me in my dream and cried at me:
MY FATHER AND THE CURSE OF MY NATION
I heard my heavenly father, last night,
What is your dear nation’s curse? Write
And throw it beyond the Himalayas, high,
I trembled, collecting my father’s sigh.
I can’t do, my dear father!
There are many curses but ask my brother.
I am pressed by love and patriotism.
The voice shouted to shun hypnotism.
My father’s word in mind,
Generated radiant and vigour inside.
Tender little hands of children begging in streets,
Brutal and intoxicated fathers musing in fleets.
Donors giving through misty doors,
This is unknown to fair floors.
For the right of freedom, this crowns,
The rogues as lords in Parliament frown.
Tears in eyes, I cried, patriotism means,
Self-interest, corruption and rotten dreams.
As honest and intelligent have lost their claim,
Corrupt touching glory and nation in the drain.
Secular cry breeding fanatic name,
Social justice prospering caste chain,
Tainted rulers dance while enemy conspire,
Brave soldiers are fried on crying pyre,
Jihadi killers dance while innocent cry,
Bloody red hidden in white to rob every pie,
Alter decorated with anarchic laws,
To strangulate the weak and just with claws,
There my father cried in terse,
Shall thou write my nation’s curse?
Now modern women have only known,
To cheat hearts with tears false below
And swap bed every day and night,
Every right is wrong and wrong right.
Framed racial and communal laws,
To bestow trump powers to our foes,
Here wise man choose to silence,
And fools throw tantrums on their glance,
Where unmerited groups laugh at your gate,
Merit is scorned and measured without weight.
As you turn your body to the side,
Met with foul tradition and conscience tide,
Power shines with mirth deadlier best,
All this I wrote to mourn the test.
This is the curse, open to all to read,
Go with ill-doers, my father cried
And furl your flag with sick brewers,
Now cannot be changed a new,
Six decades of ill governance,
Has dried and sucked all fragrance.
With heart sinking and tears in eyes,
Death can change this entire fry,
Otherwise, the rot will go on,
With all my blessings to you to worn,
Saddened to leave you alone here,
As I cannot be no more with you there,
Left crying in a cruel winter evening,
Twenty years have passed by mourning,
His sudden march to the kingdom of death,
Left we orphaned as a traveller without a sheath.
That mighty soul, sober, cool and austere,
Must be shining in some unknown sphere,
Enjoyed his shadow as wise banyan keeps boughs under,
Here he was to beat the storms and not to flounder,
Helping and guiding the masses in need,
With a happy and honest hand indeed,
The true servant of Almighty in this world wild,
Goddess Saraswati Seated on the tongue with message mild,
Such souls loved and needed in ages all abound,
Pray to Master to reincarnate him again around.
Three, four years passed. I decided to return to India and to settle down there. This decision was not appreciated by my children but my wife was very happy with this decision. I started to look for a good and affordable property. But now, here Dr Man Mohan Singh was the Prime Minister and to my shock, my savings and pocket were much short and the price of property gone up very high during all these years. I had to again return to the USA.
But this time my wife was very intelligently tutored by her mother. She was not ready to come back to the USA with me nor was ready to live with my aged mother. On the other hand, I and my children were not ready to live in India under these circumstances. I, with my two children, returned to the USA after promising my mother and wife to come back within three years. Everything about our future was uncertain but God has arranged everything for our tomorrow. You just have to trust Him. He grants us the power to accept things you cannot change.
Time passed by and my daughter decided to get married to an American on her own. Neither due to financial constraints, my wife nor could my mother join us to bless our daughter. My son was happy living in the USA because he was very comfortable with the American lifestyle. Suddenly I received the news of the death of my mother due to heart failure.
Now I was fed up with this type of life. It was enough and decided to wound-up everything and returned to India. The relationship is like fragrance, you can never touch it but you feel it. Now I had just enough money to buy a decent three-room flat in a posh colony in India.
With this vagabond type of life, I became sixty years old. Beaten from all sides I became highly religious and a regular visitor to the nearby temple. My faithful wife was still living with her parents. She was not ready to leave me nor was ready to leave her parents. I was a cash card to her and her family. As her father was a judge he knew the hazards of filing and settling divorce cases. So my wife was happy living as a married lady but her parents’ daughter, financing her rogue brother by the money I used to send her as a peace package. She was like Stephen Blackpool’s wife in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times:
TRUANT DAUGHTER IN LAW
Always play truant and abhors all in-laws,
A knotty bride, slamming doors,
A perverse father’s tricky daughter,
Floats in muddy and shallow water.
Guided and guarded by,
Inhuman Taliban laws,
Branding man’s race,
As savage and subhuman.
Men in khaki and gown black,
Are suitors dear?
But never gave respect to,
Her elder in-laws.
Rude and twisted to caring in-laws,
Direct from honeymoon cracked
Whips on these helpless fellows.
At school, her report card noted as a spoiled child.
Decked and jacked in false glitters,
Children she mothered,
Narrate tales awful and deadly,
Never taught children with milky hymns.
Children never impressed by her dear mother,
But never learnt to slam the door.
Her funeral was performed sacredly,
Mentioned her virtues in tone false.
But all and sundry present there,
Dwelled her vices in hushed detail,
She was a bandit queen,
In the garb of bridal makeup.
Again another mishap happened in my life. Papa’s daughter, but my faithful wife also left me high and dry and gone to the last abode from where nobody returns. Now I started wondering the meaning of life. Is it worth all this? My father, even after staying in this country as a poor teacher, had a house to his name but he never was alone. I too have the same, nothing more. But I have lost everything, my parents, my wife, my children, my mental peace and near and dear ones. Life is like an onion which has many layers of relationships. If you do not cut it adds taste to life but if you cut it, you will get tears only.
Looking out from the balcony I see a lot of boys and girls riding on bikes and dancing. This modernization and liberty have spoiled our new generation and these children have no values in life. I get occasional greeting cards from my children on different days. I wanted to cry, I wanted to hug someone dear, but no dear ones were around. You cannot hug yourself, you cannot cry on your own shoulder; perhaps life is all about for living others. So live with those who love you, not with those whom you love. World’s happiest relations never have the same nature. They just have the best understanding of their difference, which we missed in our life.
Now perhaps I will also die and my neighbours again will be performing my last rites. God bless them. At least this one thing is still there that at least last rites are performed with full honours. But again the question remained unanswered, is life all this worth? A failed son, who could not serve his parents, when they need him most, a failed husband, who could not be with his wife, a failed father, who could not continue the legacy of a family…and a failed Indian who could not serve his nation. Whatever life throws at us: it will be easier to comfort if we feel loved.
My children and the grandchildren will not realise this pain and pain of losing my culture forever and forever—–is it really worth so many souls alienated. On a one fateful morning, I was reading the divine Bhagavad Gita. My phone rang. From the other side I was overwhelmed to listen to the sweet voice of my dear son, hello papa, can you give me an appointment to bless your grandchild, mothered by a close friend of mine, means born out of wedlock.
Shocked, I sank into the chair on which my father used to sit and teach. Slowly and slowly darkness gripped me, perhaps I shall never be able to give an appointment to bless my grandchild and its mother. But my question remained unanswered; was the life worth this? With this, I lost somewhere and sagged down.
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etad yon?ni bh?t?ni sarv?n?’ty upadh?raya
aham krtsnasya jagatab prabhavah pralayas tath?
Know that all beings have their birth in this. I am the origin of all in this world and its dissolution as well. All things are dissolved in me.
(The Bhagavad Gita, Ch.VII. Sl.-6 (Trans.)