I was brought up in a conservative family. I thought I had a patriarchal father, but I also saw his other side where he worked extremely hard to provide me with a good education. He didn’t care about the cost involved, he gave me a life he never had.
He was born and raised in village, a world I only saw in movies. He was married at an age when he didn’t know what marriage means. He knew from a young age he would be the ‘man’ of the house.
Years went by, I grew up and my exposure to the world was extremely different. My choices were not the same as the rest of my family. Not Science. Not Commerce. “Arts is what I want,” I said.
“Do what you like. Give your best. Get a good Job. You have my support,” said my father.
I have the best father ever! I told everyone.
He would often brag about my achievements to his friends. “Stop it dad, it’s embarrassing. It’s no big deal,” I said.
“You are more than a son to me. You are my pride,” he said.
As I grew up I gained the confidence to make my own choices. However, I was a little unsure about receiving support for ‘all’ my choices.
I fell in love and this was my first experience of being in a relationship. I remember being skeptical about it and wondering to myself if my father would be supportive of this choice. Each time I would go home, I would find ways to talk to him and get his views.
The more I spoke with him the more he reiterated only one thing. Get yourself a good job. Always be financially independent. I have seen enough in life; I don’t want you to go through the same. Educate yourself as much as possible.
I would go to my partner and assure him things would be fine. My father will understand at the right time. For three years, I was with the most perfect person I thought would be for me.
“Of course I will marry you, you are my life,” he said.
1st January 2017. “Will you marry me?” he asked me.
“Yes!!” The overjoyed me responded at 12:00 am.
“Life would be beautiful, I will give my best to make this work,” he said.
30th January 2017. “You are incompatible with me,” he said. Confused, perplexed, angry, nothing defines what I felt.
“This was meant to work out. How can you talk this way?” I said.
It was a Sunday morning. I was talking to my father. Somehow the conversation shifted to marriage. This is not a good time to talk about it. I thought to myself. In the midst of the 2 hour conversation, I did what I never thought I would. I told my father.
He seemed extremely normal and calm about it. The only thing he said to me, “I have no problem but marriage cannot happen until you are financially independent.”
Words cannot define how thrilled I was. My bond with my father reached a level that I never thought it would. My life has never been the same ever since. There is a greater degree of understanding between us.
My father in the meanwhile kept finding ways to know what was happening in my ‘relationship’. Not for a moment he questioned me why I got into a relationship. All he wanted to talk me into was, no matter whatever happens, do not give up your career.
He gave me the space to be heard. To put forth my views.
I ended the relationship. I called my father and told him it was over. He said you made the right choice.
My father trusts my choices.