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“I constantly tried doing things that would please him, but he never reciprocated. It was all about him and it was not because he couldn’t marry you, Arathi, my mother-in-law told me that he was always like this: never compromising to anything.”
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Disclaimer: all photos have been taken from google: i am NOT an owner of any of the photos used in this post.
Childhood is a great experience. While you’re growing up you will never know how cool and awesome it is. You will know it only when you’re hurrying off to work and sit down in your office seat, dripping sweat from your forehead, that it was one of the best phases of your life.
The same thing happened with me as I was pushed back into one of the proudest moments of my life, when someone asked me “Do you smoke?”
My mom was getting me ready to send me off to school. I was 13 and It was my first day of high school. My mom was fixing my tie as I saw my dad enter through his shop. We had a shop that led directly into our home. I saw my dad was smoking. He picked something heavy with both of his hands and was balancing a cigarette on one of his lips at the same time.
I heard my mom say… “Now you are big boy Thousif. There will be ‘friends’ who will teach you things that are not good.”
“Hmm..” I murmured as I continued seeing my dad do the balancing act and go into the shop. My eyes followed him the whole time.
My mom continued “You should be aware that, there are bad things that you should not try.”
“Like what?” I asked.
My dad entered to pick something again. My mom looked towards my dad, “Like smoking” she said
My dad turned around. He was in one of his moods, but I could see a sort of helplessness in his eyes which said ‘I am addicted to this son and I can’t help it’.
“So I shouldn’t smoke if my friends ask me to, is that what you’re saying?” I asked
“Yes” she replied “Smoking is a very bad habit, it ruins your lungs, health and most importantly your life” she said curtly, looking at my dad.
I innocently turned my eyes towards my dad, “but why shouldn’t I mom?...” I said “Dad smokes!
My mother was surprised at my retort. “Well…” she said “I have no answer for that”. She looked at my father “Why don’t you ask your dad if he has one?” she said, smiling an oh-you-are-in-trouble-now-daddy smile.
My dad just stood there, stunned by what I had said. The cigarette he was balancing on his lips fell to the ground. He quickly stomped on it. He looked at me and calmly came towards me.
‘Oh man. I am gonna get spanked’ I thought. I saw my dad come near me and sit on his knees. He looked into my hands, held my hands and asked me “If I stop smoking from tomorrow, will you promise me that you will never smoke in your entire life?”
From the time that I had seen my dad as a child, he had been a chain smoker. Having his own shop was an added incentive to his habit. He would smoke up to 3 packets of cigarettes a day. One after the other, one after the other; It never stopped.
All the while I had watched him, I wanted get rid of his habit. My mom always used to show me pics about what horrible things smoking cigarettes could lead to, and say “Stay away from cigarettes”. And whenever I saw them, I wanted to make my dad stop smoking cigarettes. ‘If I could just get him to quit’ I used to think, ‘If i could just…’, and lo here was the chance.
I met his eyes and said “No dad. If you stop smoking from tomorrow, I will never smoke in my entire life.”
My dad looked into my eyes, ruffled my hair and said “Ok, why tomorrow! I am quitting cigarettes right now!”
I turned towards my mom and saw the look in her eyes. It was like I had done the impossible. She had asked my dad to quit many times, but he hadn’t. It’s not like he hadn’t tried. He’d quit for a couple of months and then start up again. You can exactly blame him. He had the poison right in front of him every day, and he just had to smoke.
I saw my dad after that day. He struggled. The initial days when you quit smoking after having smoked for like 20 years is never-wracking. It’s not like doing drugs, but its close. I saw him every day and he never put another cigarette on his lips.
As I was growing up, I had many instances where my friends forced me to smoke. Seeing that I had a shop which sold cigarettes, they all wanted me to start smoking and be their supplier. But I didn’t.
It was tough. Every day I used to be around cigarettes, and seeing my friends smoke and say it was amazing to smoke, I wanted to try too. I was made fun of, bullied and made to feel that I was missing out on something great. Some days I was so frustrated that I used to take a cigarette and keep it on my lips and suck the air through the cigarette, just the air. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about; but I never lit one and smoked.
As I grew up, each time a ‘friend’ asked me “Do you smoke?” it used to remind me of that time, and that promise my dad made and kept.
It has been 13 years since my dad quit smoking and each time anyone asks me the question, I say “No. Never have, never will”.
Every time a conversation about smoking comes my way, I am reminded of that promise. I say to myself. “My dad left smoking cigarettes for me. He could have said I won’t stop, but he did. He kept a promise made to his son, and I will keep the promise I made to my dad”.
It has been 13 years and both of us haven’t smoked a cigarette. I could say it is because of that promise, but what I see is love. Our love and respect for each other has made us stray away from a dangerous habit.
I see my dad now and feel proud. My dad sees me and he feels proud. That moment in my childhood was 100% real. It taught me that parents can do anything for a child and if children try, they can do anything for their parents. It might be a small thing, but for me it means a lot. It made me see my dad as a entirely new person. It made us a family; a loving, caring and 100% real family.
Disclaimer: The images have been taken from Google and Imagesbazaar.com. I do not own any of these photos.
In my childhood I was naughty kid. I used to get into trouble every day. As I started growing up, it continued, but the naughty turned into something else when I saw kids at my school wear new clothes, buy new things.
Every time I used to see my friend buy new things I wanted it. It wasn’t like I was obsessed about it, but I wanted it. What I dint know at that time is that there was one thing that would grow into an obsession.
It was the year 2000 and computer games had just made its way into my small hometown of Coorg, Madikeri. Everybody was playing. Kids, adults, you name it they were playing it. I so, so, so wanted to play them as everyone in our school was describing how amazing it was.
I had just passed out my junior high and entered my high school. My dad had given me 20 bucks on passing the exams. I took the money and ran to the cyber café to play the games with my friends.
I dint know squat about computer games. My friends cheated and played with my money for 2 hours, leaving me bitterly angry and unsatisfied. I said to myself, ‘I will play games all by myself without anybody’s help’, and that’s what I exactly did. The feeling I used to get when I played the games was amazing. Just like the feeling I used to get when i drank juice made from Kissan squashes; 100% real and amazing.
I was addicted and spent all the money I had on the computer games. Times were not as expensive as it is now. I used to get 5 bucks every week as pocket money, lesser sometimes. As we had our own shop, every time I used to ask my dad for more money, he used to say “When you have everything here, what do you need money for? If you want something I will buy it for you.”
I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to play computer games and that was it. My dad wasn’t so rich that he’d buy me a computer, so I thought of a plan. Every time I was home after school my dad used to make me sit in the shop and go for a coffee break for 10 minutes. I hated sitting at the shop, but I did it anyway because I wanted my dad to rest.
One day as I was sitting, minding the shop, my eyes fell on the cash register. I saw the money my dad had made the whole day. There were a couple of 20’s, 50’s and a lot of 10’s. I saw how my friends looked at me when I played the games. I was good, not just good, I was goooood. We competed in car races and I always own. I wanted to maintain that winning streak and so I took two 10 rupee notes from the register.
As soon as I had the money in my hand I started panicking. I thought, ‘Will I get caught?’, ‘What if dad comes to know about the missing money?’, ‘What would happen if I get caught?’ A hundred questions crossed my mind. I was sweating and put the money back. I saw my dad come in. He saw me, smiled and said to go play outside. I went.
The thought never left me. My mind said ‘You could have just taken the money and left, dad wouldn’t know!’ I said to myself ‘No I can’t do it. It would be stealing and then if he asks me, I’d have to lie. I don’t wanna do that.’ There was no voice for some time, but as the evening progressed the thought never left my mind.
I met my friends next week and as I hadn’t played the games for a week, I was sloppy. I lost all games and I was angry at myself. I said to myself “Enough is enough, I am a winner and that’s what I will be.”
I went to my dad and said “I want money to play computer games!”
He said “You play a lot of games thousif; no you can’t have more money. Your grades will go down, sit and study rather than playing games".
I was pissed. I was so pissed that I when my dad went for his break that day, I took two 20 rupees notes without a guilty conscience. I went and played games without a worry in the world.
My dad didn’t suspect a thing, so I started taking money every day. What started with 40 bucks soon grew 50, 60 and more. Whatever I dint spend on the computer games I used to save up.
After 3 years I had collected a lot of money. Yes, 3 years; 3 freaking years. I would have continued if it wasn’t for my sister.
One of the saddest things in my life was my sister’s death. That event led to everyone in our house become zombies for weeks. I used to fight with my sister a lot and when she passed away I blamed myself for not asking sorry. Remembering her I used to cry on my mother’s shoulder and howl with pain, asking my sister to forgive me. It was normal childhood fights, but the pain of not getting to ask sorry was real and hurt every day.
As I was crying one day, I remembered what I had been doing for the past 3 years. I felt ashamed and I wanted to say it to my parents. But my ego dint let me. I was very afraid thinking what my dad would say, but the guilt was eating me out. I stopped taking the money, but I had the money I had saved. I may have had like 10,000 bucks with me. I wanted to put it all back, but my dad would ask ‘Where did all the money come from?’ and I would have no answer.
I wanted to say the truth and now I couldn’t. I was in agony. I felt like I was on fire, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
One day I fought with my mom. It was a bitter fight. She was crying and I was still angry. Suddenly I saw the picture of my sister on the table and I felt pain. I thought how I used to fight with her and now I had done the same with my mother. An inner voice told me ‘See thousif, you can’t ask sorry for the bad times you had with your sister, but you can set things right by asking sorry with your mother and telling her the truth’
I remembered what my mom used to say ‘Say the truth, no matter what.’ I went to where my mom was silently sobbing. I saw her, went near her, held her hand and let her to my bedroom. I sat down and said “I am really sorry mom” She stopped crying and saw me. I said how sorry I was for being such an arrogant child, and that I was sorry for all the bad things I had done in my life. She said that I wasn’t a bad kid, only a little stubborn sometimes but that was ok. I dint listen to her. I had taken a decision and I would abide to it.
I started talking about my sister and said how sorry I was for fighting with her and how sorry I was for fighting with my mom. I started crying, i was hysterical, like I couldn’t stop myself. It was 10 in the night and listening to my crying my dad silently came from the shop and stood near the door. I started crying, asking sorry and cried some more. My dad came near me and seeing him I just broke down. I wanted to confess and finally I thought it was now or never and I did it.
I said how I had started taking money and how I spent it on computer games and how I had saved some of it. I took a long time to confess and when I had finally finished my dad said only one thing “I knew.”
I looked at him and he hugged me and said “I knew about it, but I wanted you to stop it by yourself.” “You took a long time to stop, saved up a lot of money, but you did it.” he said smiling. I blurted out a laugh and looked at my mom. She came forward and hugged me and said smilingly “I knew too” I looked at her and tears flowed again. “Don’t cry” she said “I know you lied to us, but you taking initiating and confessing you did something wrong and admitting it is a huge thing.” I heard her say this and cried some more.
“Stop crying my child” my mother said hugging me tighter “You took a big step and see now we know you will never do it” she added.
I looked into her eyes and knew that I had cleansed my sins through the tears I cried. My parents rather than being angry were happy that I had realised my mistake. Both my parents got up from my bed and my dad took my chin into his hands and said smilingly “If you ever need money just ask thousif, everything me and your mother earn is for you itself. It always has been.”
That moment was real for me. More real than anything I had experienced in my life, ever. I learnt that whatever happens in life my parents will always be there for me. It made me feel so good to tell the truth. It made me and my parents grow stronger as a family and since then I haven’t taken a single rupee without asking.
That day I learnt that truth no matter how hurtful it is, is always a beautiful thing to say. I learnt that the real thing to have is a family that trusts you, no matter what you have done. It made me feel that saying the truth will always be better than telling lies. It’s your family that counts, the trust they have in you that counts. Lie never mattered and never will. I had their trust and from that day till now I have honoured that trust, always will.This post has been written for 'The Kissan 100% Real Blogger Contest' on Indiblogger.in.