Recently my F-I-L was upset over my B-I-L. Usually a man very reserved, he suddenly poured out his feelings with the repressed anger of an ageing man shadowed by the tenderness of an ignored father. I knew he was disappointed with the fact that his son hardly spends anytime to even recognize his presence around and this feeling of emptiness was making him feel more and more less wanted. This incident happened when he was watching me play with my 9-month-old. He said, "I used to take my son everywhere I could, spend as much time teaching him everything I could, get him as much as I could and I was a hero too once." I looked at my kid, knew what future had in store for me too and I told him, "Today, the hero; tomorrow, the villain; then, the zero... I know its coming my way too."
Often I have people asking me, "Will your son grow up to be like you?" and I wonder. With every reason to ponder, I realize that as I get pulled into the enigma of my child's presence-that innocence, that simplicity, that spontaneity-those 3 I am struggling to relearn, having lost it in the path of life that he is just stepping into, he is learning in the meantime from me-that necessity to be complex, the need to be manipulative and impossibly corrupted-those 3 I learnt encourse survive, that which I am fighting to unlearn. Now, who is growing up to be whom?!
This is an interesting circle of life:
Stage I: I am complex, manipulative and corrupted. He is innocent, simple and spontaneous. I want to be him and he needs to be me. We are full of mutual admiration.
Stage II: We meet at crossroads. He calls it teenage and I call it mid-life-crisis. We have conflict of values. He is something I don't want to be and vice versa. We are each others villains who can't accept eachother's values, morale and everything that defines who we are and we bite eachother's very crux of existence.
Stage III: I am fed up of fighting and call for truce. He is keeping himself busy with all the bruise. I am tired running the path of life and am moving slow. My thoughts are innocent, my living simple and deeds spontaneous-something I have been craving to be that my son was born with. In the meantime, what my son is busy chasing seems meaningless to me now and he is as much a zero to me as I am to him. We find eachother's existence worthless... yet, I love him.
Life ends for me thus as his begins... when he makes a home on his own and has a child of his own and sees the innocence, the simplicity and the spontaneity in that child of his and craves to be that. Yet again, once again... I will smile gently at this circle of life.
By the by, in the pic is John Aariyar Fredjeev, my son.