A good father may not have been a great husband. The unresponsive father of her childhood is apparent to a young woman only years later.
She was reminiscing over the fond memories of her childhood when suddenly, an uncanny memory disturbed her.
It was not a good memory. Rather, it was a confusing one. She started recollecting the memory of that particular morning. She had woken up before time. It was still dark. But Maa was not in the room. Ever since she could remember, she had shared the room with with her mother. Her father always slept in a different room. He had a busy work schedule and preferred not to be disturbed in his sleep.
But what troubled her was to see her mum sleeping on her father’s bed. It was something she had never seen before. Something unusual. Something that made her jealous indeed. Her mum was her property, why would she choose to sleep with her dad? She nudged her mum to follow her to their room. But her mum didn’t pay any heed.
She went back to her room feeling uncomfortable. Why would Maa leave her and sleep on Papa’s bed? And Papa didn’t even ask her to sleep on his bed. The way she hugged her mum while sleeping, Papa hardly cared for her mother’s presence on the bed. He kept lying there unresponsive.
She felt awkward…uneasy…and embarrassed too. She didn’t understand why this was happening. And with time, the memory faded away.
But today all of a sudden, that memory came back. All of a sudden she realised what was actually happening on that particular morning. She was cursing her appalling naivety. She felt sorry for her mum.
Her picture perfect family was not perfect after all. Her father may have been the best father but he definitely was not the best husband. Her mother had been deprived of her husband’s love.
She felt strange as now she could actually correlate what she had seen with her own experience of life. She had been happily married for three years. She was yet to have a baby. What if her husband lost interest in her? What would she do if she was deprived of her husband’s love? Physical intimacy may not be the only important thing but the feeling of being ignored or unwanted would definitely be hurtful.
It was strange but true, but she couldn’t recall her parents sharing a moment of love. Her grandma definitely wouldn’t have been able to fathom her parents kissing or hugging but a little love, a little attention could have filled the vacuum in her mother’s life. A bit better.
Her father definitely met his duties and responsibilities towards the family but failed when it came to her mother. He never cheated on her mother…or may be he did; it would remain an unsolvable puzzle.
She felt sad that day. She called her mother and cried. Her mother couldn’t understand why her daughter seemed so overwhelmed. Maybe it was pregnancy hormones? Or maybe she was missing her.
But, sadly she couldn’t tell her mother the truth. She didn’t want to increase her pain.
Top image is a still from the movie Naam Shabana
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