I recently turned 24 and in Indian lingo that means my parent’s 25th anniversary is around the same time.
Yayyyyy!!! A Quarter of a Century ! Silver Jubilee!! Time to Celebrate!!!
This was the reaction from my parents. 😐
I’m an only child who grew up with strict parents – a formula for creating utterly lonely children who grow up to be utterly lonely adults, a.k.a Bloggers 😛
Point is, strict parents meant no celebrations that included cakes, balloons or midnight wishes. Just no. Even vegetarian cakes weren’t allowed ya. 😦
“Why do you donkeys need cakes and all to celebrate? Balloons and parties and midnight wishes it seems. Nonsense. Go look at ways to get productive in life.”
They gave solid justifications for their distaste in new-age celebratory shenanigans.
So I had naturally fallen into the habit of not celebrating birthdays and anniversaries in the ‘typical’ way. [I secretly had cake on birthdays, just didn’t do it at home]
On September 6th, on their 25th anniversary, Mom was in the kitchen. ‘Bang-clash-tiiiiiiinnnnnngggggg’, went the tumbler. Dad was sitting at the table, sipping his coffee, unperturbed. And I was half-asleep, in the middle of my workout routine, cursing fate for giving me chubbiness instead of tonedness.
Casually, the conversation shifted to the day’s plan. God Darnnn it! It was a Sunday and I hadn’t made plans as yet. So I waited with bated breath to hear my Dad say he wanted to go to the Idugampalayam temple.
“I want to go to the Idugampalayam temple.”, Dad declared with a flourish. I smiled. For half a second.
“But we have guests coming over for a celebration lunch!!”, shouted Mom.
“This is our wedding anniversary, a special one. We should spend it together. Not have a party with friends.”, said Dad with rising temper.
Special anniversary?! Spend it together? Have guests over for a celebration?! I literally pinched myself. Here they go again…
It might help to say that I often assume the role of the referee or the role of moot audience, depending on the situation, whenever my parents begin a ‘discussion’. This was one of the moments when I was refereeing a WWF match.
Round 1 – Winner – Mom!
Dad acquiesced to having folks over. Them being close friends of Mom and everything. But that wasn’t the end of it.
Round 2 – Winner – Dad!
He did drive to her that it was a ‘special’ anniversary. It wasn’t to be taken lightly or casually like the other 24 anniversaries before this.
Now, before this tiff could enter the decider round, I interjected. And refused to participate. I refused to go to any temple, nor treat this as any ‘special’ day. Awfully daring of me, I know. [Don’t worry, I survived]
BIGGEST MISTAKE I EVER MADE.
In retrospect, I would have fared much better if I’d just been the moot audience. But nooooo, I had to interject.
This was enough to get their tempers flying. That day saw a good portion of angry words, tears, and in-laws bashing – definitely not equal to cake, balloons, and midnight wishes.
So you might expect me to lose faith in all relationships and marriage after this episode. That’s exactly what I felt too.
But things changed in a flash. Suddenly it went from in-laws bashing to being extremely emotional about all the ups and downs in life they’ve faced together. Mom spoke about times when she had a sinus operation [I was a baby then, in case you were wondering] and she still had to do chores. She spoke of all the incidents that had shaped her married life, and how in every moment my Dad had been a kind, understanding person. She spoke about how her only condition for her groom [talking about 25 years ago] had been this – he had to be a teetotaller. She spoke of how my dad fit her expectations perfectly.
And then she spoke the last words I ever imagined I’d hear, “Your dad is the best person I could have in my life.”
Typical south Indian parents are allergic to PDAs. But this moment was just too much for Dad to take – He gave her a tight hug!!!
It made my day. Heck. It made my 24 years!!
It was such an emotional moment between my Tom and Jerry [teehee…:D] And at that moment I realized that real togetherness is not defined by the daily fights or misunderstandings, but is made up of rare, very rare, moments like this.
And that is exactly how I will remember celebrating my parents’ 25th anniversary. [Nearly equal to eating cake]
This post was written for Kissan’s latest campaign, Kissanpur – Discovering Real Togetherness. Here is their inspiring video on being together and growing together.