It’s never too late in life to learn. I realized this in the last ten days or so during which I experienced so many hues of silence that I had not known in the remaining period minus the crucial ‘enlightening’ 10 days.
I admit and confess that I had called retribution on myself by my one inadvertent action. On May 30 when my son got married a thought came to my mind which I posted on Facebook wherein I said that I felt I had become a father again by bringing a daughter- in- law home.
This came naturally to me like ‘leaves to a tree’ as Shelly would have said.
What followed was also natural but I had not anticipated it. First came a ‘threatening silence’ from my own daughter, happily married for ten years. She did not say a word to me but her tone of conversation sort of conveyed it- so there is ‘another daughter’. But she explained to so many others quite vocally why a daughter in law could never be a daughter.
Then there was a ‘condescending silence’ in my own house. How stupid and emotional can a man be and many an example was quoted to prove that this infatuation was temporary and in fact below the dignity of the status I had acquired. And this would very soon end in disaster as had happened with so and so.
But besides these interested parties or vested interests if I can say what surprised me was the ‘sneering silence’ of so many people I did not think mattered in my life till now and predictably from the female species. They were either suffering their marriage or suffocating in them but my comment brought out their sniggers in the open. ‘Oho, aaha, just you wait for the veneer to fall off and you will repent your high and noble ideals.”
The gender divide was wide open. While my comment drew applause from the male friends and even relatives who may not have entirely agreed but lauded my genuine expression. But for the female species it was a total No,No, Impossible even Blasphemy.
Thankfully a majority of them preferred to maintain a ‘deafening silence’, waiting for the inevitable retribution for my action that could befall me anytime.
It is these I am most scared of which reminded me of the famous lines “Itna sannata Kyon hai bhai” a la A K Hangal in Sholay.
By Amitabh Srivastava
Image Source: Indian Wedding Customs