Aren’t they the best people you’d ever meet? We may be loved lot, even to the point that it becomes our definition of love. But it simply doesn’t even begin to compare with the way parents love us. Actually it’s wrong to compare even. Because it’s a very different kind of love. Silent, encouraging, pushing you to make you stronger, consoling you when you don’t make it big in this world. And what is absolutely beyond my level of understanding is how there are absolutely no expectations in return. You can be the dirtiest, shabbiest, dumbest kid in the whole world but there would still be one couple to love you not for what you are but just because you are. Of course, there might be exceptions to this, but when I look at my parents, all I can think about is: I am what I am, and I have so much arrogance only because I know that in the end, whatever anything might come to, I have these two precious people whom I can totally count on, whose love doesn’t change. The reason I started writing this post was because I started my day with a mail from my dad. Just a regular mail forwarding some challan he had filled for my li’l CC. There was no huge message professing his paternal love for his two rather spoiled daughters. Just a simple message starting with, “Dear Beta”. And I welled up. And I am welling up again now thinking about it. All my dad’s messages begin with “Dear Beta or Dear Ruchu beta”. CC and I find it adorable that he addresses us formally but with the name he always uses to call us at home. His little message got me thinking about all the things we associate with our parents. The mother going out of her way to send me something that I can easily find here but wouldn’t because it’s not the same. Dad who by the way is a very very busy man tirelessly sending us documents so that we can file our tax returns on time. Both mum and dad being counselors in my every sad, depressed, angry-with-the-whole-world phase. And trust me, there are many of those. Both of them ALWAYS encouraging and mum even annoyingly scolding us to study to get into our dream institution, but then taking a 360 degrees turn to explain that life isn’t about achievements like these, when we don’t make it. It’s just incredible. I think parents are a whole different breed. They are not just regular people. And this is true of most parents. I see my relatives attitude to their children, and I feel the same. I see my friend with her child and I feel the same. It’s like parents become this whole different entity automatically. We were looking at some old pics yesterday and on seeing our parents’ pic from my wedding, CC and I said almost at the same time: They are the sweetest, cutest people on the planet. Look at their unconditionally loving smile…and then we went quiet and added, we are such worthless daughters. And this happened simultaneously. I always suddenly remember episodes from like a zillion days ago and it breaks my heart to remember how terrible and volatile I have always been: short tempered, impatient, impulsive and parents on the other hand have always only been, well, parents! I reflect on their love only when I am in a saner, organised state of mind. Rest of the time, my impulsive self takes over. And I can’t even keep a count of how many times I have been embarrassed by some idiosyncrasy my parents showed. I anyway get embarrassed very easily. But even more are the number of times that I have been a sheer embarrassment to my parents. Right from the time I visited by dad’s boss’s house with mum and started shouting taklu, taklu, taklu (bald in English) incessantly as his wife showed his pics. My mum was left dumb struck. There are countless incidents of this kind, but my parents were never bothered by it in the way I seem to be bothered by their idiosyncrasies that do not fit my extremely snooty pov. I often think about my parents’ old age and how they might be 20 years down the line. My heart breaks with the thought of having to see them grow into frail, helpless human beings and all I can keep telling myself is that I HAVE to be a good daughter. That would be my turn to reverse roles and take care of them without judgments, embarrassments, anger or irritation. It’s tough and knowing myself I constantly doubt how I would behave if they became unreasonable and forgetful? Can I ever be to them what they have always been to me?

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