Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dusk

I am so blogcked right now, its almost pitiful. Cant seem to write anything, or read anything whether its blog or comments ( mine or others). Some strange state of suspended animation. So am recycling something from June 2007 from blog no.1. Please, please don't stop reading me!!!!I shall be back. To write AND to read

The other day I saw this Marathi movie – Uttarayan. A sensitively depicted film about love in the twilight years- between a widower with a grown up son (engaged to be married and subsequently married during the course of the movie) and his first love (the victim of a destructive, broken marriage). Been done quite a lot in Hindi movies (whether it’s ‘Pyaar mein twist’ or ‘Baghban’ I know, but this, thank heavens was without the hindi film histrionics).

It was thought provoking, especially since, one of my friend’s fathers DID actually do that. Well, not fall in love – but he got married for the second time in his sixties (albeit an arranged marriage) very recently. My friend has been married for five years, his elder sister for more than that. His mother passed away very suddenly about a year and a half ago. And Uncle used to shuttle between the two kids and his home – and was extremely lost and adrift without his wife. Few months ago, the daughter’s in-laws suggested that he marry again in order to gain a semblance of stability and he did so.

At one level one feels that it is probably a good thing to do – the movie as well as the real life. Rationally, any sensitive, thinking individual will feel that people at any age deserve to have companionship and love – and who deserves this happiness more than ones’ parent?

But I think there is always this illogical, emotional, straight-from-the-gut reaction – where the remarriage is the ultimate act of betrayal by one parent to the other. No matter how good or bad the marriage was, no matter how purposeless and lonely the surviving parent is. The very fact that a parent, after thirty or forty years of sharing a life with someone CAN proceed to create a new home with someone else WILL hurt like hell.

I suppose children, however old they are never view their parents as individuals. It is always consciously or unconsciously in relation to oneself. An extremely egoistic worldview, which one is born to and never quite shakes off. One would like to think that one ceases to have expectations from ones’ parent as one grows up. Material expectations perhaps one does – but to shake off the expectation of unvarying loyalty – that doesn’t happen. And a remarriage shakes the very foundation of that loyalty.

Also the fact remains that, almost ALL other relationships the parent has, the child inherits them (the parents sister is linked by ties of blood to the child and so on). A new marriage on the other hand, the parent is forging a relationship, which is unique to the parent alone. So while it easier to share the parent with someone you are tied to, to do so to a person outside that circle becomes difficult.

I honestly don’t know what my friend thought or felt about his father’s second marriage. There are some topics that are completely off limits and this is one of them. I know that he was devastated by his mother’s death. I can guess that it CANNOT be easy to see your father with another woman. But I also know that he and his wife have acted very gracefully about it – welcoming the new wife into their lives. And I really admire him for that.

7 comments:

Lazy Pineapple said...

yes , it is a brave thing to do for the father. Our society is such that we adhere to strict guidelines when it comes to behaviour, dresscode and attitudes and especially so from our parents.

I think it is time to break of the stereotypes, everyone deserves to be happy and live a fulfilling life. Pushing our own expectations on our parents is not cool....

Great and thoughtful post.

Sanand said...

In India, we expect parents to devote their life totally to us but the moment we get a good job or find a life partner, we drift into a world of our own where they have ceased to matter. In that context, it is really unfair to be unhappy if a parent decides to find companionship through a second marriage. However, if a parent has responsibilities to complete and shirks that in order to marry a person who is not able to understand or love his kids, its really not fair to the kids who have just lost one parent and maybe struggling to find an emotional anchor. Whether we like it or not, second marriages are on the rise and they are creating considerable emotional and social ripples in the Indian society.

Great post.

mentalie said...

parents have been accused for the expectations they have of their children ad nauseum...but like you point out, they have some of the toughest ones to live up to...
and cynic, i'll keep reading you, i promise ;)

Reluctant Warrior said...

If you actually think about it, the death of the wife must have devastated him for him to have lost all semblance; to have taken a step which very few would have thought of.

In a quirky ironical way - the second marriage just shows how much he loved his wife.

Always Thoughtful Cyn!

PS: Watch Ishqiya - May help you get unblogcked!

Kraz Arkin said...

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stefy said...

I completely agree to whatever you said.

Yes we fail to see our parents as individuals. And I have seen children going apart from old parent because he remarried.

I dont think it's because of blood ties. Moreover it's our selfishness

Cynic in Wonderland said...

lazy pineapple - guess thats our conditioning isnt it? why do people abroad accept it so easily. and its so difficult to let go of this conditioning unfortunately

sanand - point is who is to say that the parent is shirking responsibility. yes, if the kids are very young perhaps. but when the kids are in their twenties, if the parent feels as abandoned, maybe its the kids who are at fault isnt it?

mentalie - yes they do. in so many ways - this is just one of them. i can be as dispassionate as i want when i write this, but i know in my heart of hearts i have so many expectations from my mother as well. ( And thank you. THANK YOU for not going away :D)

reluctant warrior - perhaps you are right. perhaps she was just a habit. one doesnt know why he did it. but i think it takes immense courage to do so.

kraz - a back at you.

stefy - im not even completely sure its selfishness you know. i think the kids probabaly think its betrayal. an expectation mismatch as it were. its a difficult thing to deal with when it happens to one.