This, my 150th, won’t be worth salivating over. I need to get something out of my system and if I don’t articulate it, chances are some poor friend of mine who likes me will end up being the recipient of a complaint that has, in the last couple of years, become exceedingly repetitive.
Somewhere between the battle of the sleeveless kurta and the hunt for marital happiness on KeralaMatrimony.com, is a silence in this house that gets me every single time. The chief proponent is my father. My mother comes a close second. And ironically, all of us claim to be a family that is honest with each other. That’s a lie. Yes, my mother knows that I go out for a movie with my friends from time to time. She also knows what “dinner” and 2am walk-ins mean. That doesn’t mean my father knows any of this. He’s a second-hand recipient of all this information and he takes it badly. He doesn’t understand why we go out for movies with friends. Why we sometimes want to get out to catch up for a cup of coffee. He thinks it’s strange. To me, his attitude has always meant huge fights at home about my need to be “independent” and “exploiting the freedom they gave me”.
Post my stint in Delhi and my MA, things were still the same. Simple things like chilling out always meant coming up with convoluted reasons for being out of the house. Apparently, they are only looking out for me so that people will not talk about me in a manner that is deprecatory and my reputation as a good girl from a good home will be intact. It’s that simple. And to me, that much more complicated. This good girl from a good family thing is a part of my self that I have been in constant conflict with. I don’t see why a good girl from a good family cannot also spend time with her friends after work and spend some money shopping. I mean good girls need to be clothed right? To be clothed, they need to dispense some cash, right? So why is shopping with girlfriends considered a very, well, meh? I don’t know.
Then there is the issue with the friendships you cultivate. Yes, people are important in your life. Sometimes we meet the wrong kind of people and sometimes we meet the best people. The fact that my parents had an opinion about who I should be friends with rankled on many, many levels for me. I couldn’t get past that level of intrusion and need for control with them. These days, it’s the same story. Only worse because they’re trying to find me a husband and the more often I walk in at 2am, the harder it is to read the day’s paper in the same room as my father. The stoic silences are no romantic representation of an old-school man, but of some kind of seething anger that stems from having disobedient children. This is, IMHO, exactly what my father thinks.
I cannot imagine him being quiet because he has nothing to say, he has plenty to say when the occasion least calls for it, so his silences are not simple. They run deeper and with those silences are disappointments which never fail to rear their heads every single time we sit down to eat, as a family. It’s ridiculous to me that some degree of honesty does not exist in this relationship. It bothers me. My father thinks I’m one of “those “ girls. You know the one who goes clubbing regularly, gets trashed regularly and sleeps around ALL the fucking time because she goes clubbing regularly and gets trashed regularly. To top this all off, I’m Fat (personally, I don't think so, but my father will tell you different) , so my wearing certain kinds of clothes is some kind of bad thing for my health, I mean you can see that I have a sizeable chest area and a big bum, that can’t be a good thing!
I’m not sure if I should be crying or just throwing up my hands in the air in utter exasperation. It’s a struggle being daughter to this dad, however, I do know for a fact that if I need it, he’ll drop everything just because I need him to be around for me. Making this issue even more contentious than necessary! I love my father, but he’s also all of this. What the fuck do you do?!