We get what we deserve. It has been deep-rooted in my mind. But what is that an 80-year old world-shattering woman who fought against all odds in her lifetime be worthy of or not. Or what does a 40-year old who belongs to an impermanent generation that got crammed between emerging technologies and age-old traditions is worth or not. And often both of us are left to ask around what we did to warrant the gloomy extant where the abhorrence bunged up with my mother but gave me its heirloom.
I can ever get over the fact that strong women like us are forced to surrender to humiliation despite our retribution and vehemence. One particular Auntie who is never tired of perpetual chinwag takes great pride in graduating in English with C-grade. Yet, my mother who is a ‘doctorate’ was criticized at a family get-together by her cousin (Auntie’s husband) and her own sibling on the use of ‘Dr.’ When Dr. Jill Biden went through a similar challenge, I did not know if I was comforted or offended. I was not spared either when I got my 1-20 to come to this country as a student. There was rebuke of sorts on our aptitude and choices despite being highly educated compared to all of them put together.
Until I got married, I was reminded about my incompetence to find a man. And when I did find my husband, a cousin counsels a day before my wedding, that one should never marry someone better looking. The motive she offered was that better looking men have the predisposition to be bored of their lesser looking wives. And perhaps, may even run away with other women. Much to her chagrin, that has not happened. But, her own actuality is being wrinkled in trepidation of admonishment from her significant other. It is sad that when words are tossed at others, people often forget that what goes around comes around.
When my father died, there were none dear to us that would host my mother for a night. A few months later when she fractured her wrist, I was told that it was jubilation in some households. When my dear uncle passed away, my cousin almost threatened me that she’d never forgive me if I didn’t ensure that my mom reached in time for the funeral. I hope she remembered the courtesy extended to us when it was our time.
The legacy continues. Having a successful career means nothing to some vexatious kin. My mother has been until recently guzzling down left-overs in her own home, while permanent guests got to relish fresh food. The tears of exhaustion were mixed with the waters that she was made to mop the floor. It is still not considered brutality by those who feel that it is their patrimony to live at an upper plinth. The smallest of their favors are paralleled with our sacrifices. Hope they recognize that false domination.
Their papercuts are of superior pain than any life-altering experience we may ever have. We chug along prompting ourselves that we were meant to tolerate life and those that come with it. Forgiving might never come easy but forgetting is crucial to survive the double-standards. But in a lighter vein, the universal reality maneuvers seem clichéd – “Tuhada Kutta Tommy, Te Saada Kutta, Kutta!” It means that, when it comes to your dog, it has a name but when it comes to ours, it’s just a street animal. A salutation to those who put their feelings above everyone else, and none others matter.
(If you’ve come this far and unable to fathom what the heck I wrote, I am simply calling out the bullshit of my kin, articulating how they feel loftier than us when it shouldn’t be the case. Yet, the triviality towards us is their pronounced virtue).
1/30/2021 update: All, thank you for the comments, likes and also showing so much concern for my blog. While it looks like social media exploit to some, I am merely sharing my euphemisms at elder abuse especially, and verbal abuse. It has been acceptable in our societies, that is okay to chide, taunt, humiliate those older to us. I’d love some good confrontations and lessons teaching but then what would be the difference between them and I?