I grew up idealising my father, placing him on the pedestal – worshipping. He wasn’t the perfect father, I was terrified of him yet loved him.
I always brushed my mother’s existence aside, she doesn’t love me, oh wait, it isn’t like my father does either, but he is still my ideal.
Mothers? So dramatic. Fathers? So practical.
I idealised him because he knew how to bounce back from the downs of life. I admired his courage, patience, endurance.
My mother, on the other hand, cried on every little thing. I resented how emotional she would get, because it made me guilty for not being able to do anything.
Mothers? Weak. Fathers? Fearless.
Years later, I realise, my father wasn’t always there when I went through something. My mother didn’t help me either, because I never shared, I wanted to be courageous like my father.
But my mother was there, a silent character, but there. It took my years, and time away from home to realise her presence.
A plate of fruit, a cup of chai, a blanket. She was there in the little things. We never talked about feelings. Communication? Who does that. Never verbal, but there.
It took the acceptance of the empath in me, and realisation of a patriarchal society to understand her emotional outbursts. Doing everything, getting no acknowledgment; how long till one breaks down?
Took a rainy day, drenched clothes, and no one to offer a towel or clean clothes to understand my mother’s love language. I worked to understand my friends and partners’ languages, but when it was about her, ignored just as her labour.
Always taking her for granted, because she is gonna stay, right? That’s how mothers are. Warm food even if I wake up at 2 pm in the noon, or sleep at 2 am at night.
She is braver than my father. She brought up ungrateful kids, no thank you ever. She stayed silent, when he let out his frustration, no sorry ever. She made the favourite dish, ‘the spices aren’t in the right amount’, no appreciation ever.
I, too, get teary eyed when I am angry. I, too, regret words I say when I am angry. I, too, let the frustration of dealing with everyone’s remarks get to me. I, too, never give a verbal apology – a cup of chai and some biscuits.