This is a post about the Men who have come into life and continue to be in it, inspite of the madness associated with me 🙂
My dad being the first, was a very different character. He could never express his love completely. He was the strict, dutiful types. He believed his duty was to buy groceries, pay for our school fees, provide all the basic facilities. I don’t remember sitting and playing on his lap, he playing with us, taking us for outings or anything of that sort. All the outing or few movies we went to were with my mom.
Since he was the Supervisor in a factory which had alternate weeks of day-night shifts with only Sunday for a holiday, he could never attend school meetings. His English was not very good, that could be another reason he avoided meeting teachers and taking part in anything related to school. All that part of our school activities was taken care of my our mom. His hobby and passion was tending our small garden, repairing anything and everything at home and sleep. He was not too interested in anything else like sports, movies etc. He did not like to stay out late. Even if we went out anywhere, he ensured we were back home by 8pm. One of the things I hated about him was his temper. He used to flare up at the drop of a hat-I still remember the beatings and plates flying when he was angry. The typical angry Mallu man. I used to feel very jealous when my friends talked about their dad saying he was their friend, they could talk to him about anything, their dad cooks so well, etc etc. The transformation slowly happened after my sister got married. My BIL had the skills to get around my dad. He could never say no to my BIL (maybe out of the Son-in-law respect) even if it meant suddenly planning to go out for dinner at 8pm . The mega transformation happened after my nephew was born. He suddenly became a mass of goo in front of the lil one. It’s true that grandkids bring out the best from the grandparents-the love and emotions which were suppressed for my sis and me came out in full flow. He was a changed man and I realized he too was capable of expressing his emotions. Till the time my dad expired my mom hadn’t been to a grocery shop in her life, never had to know or bother of any problem in the house. It was all taken care of. She only had to go to office, cook and take care of us all. He was a good man, maybe he was one of those men who did not know how to “show/express his love” to his family.
Then came the next man in my life-my BIL. He was just the opposite of my dad. He is talkative, he is funny, he is loving, he can take you for a ride with a straight face..so much so-that you never know whether he’s speaking the truth or just kidding 😯 . I was 19 when my sis got married-so was pretty much still a kid. He sort of became the father figure I had yearned for. I could talk serious issues with him, I could joke with him, I could ask him for guidance, I could just be myself with him. It was so easy addressing him by his name – no formalities/rigidness that way, for a person who was brought up in a Tamil Brahmin set up. For us Mallu Christians every elderly couple is Uncle/Aunty, mid range is Achachan/Chechi or Ammaamma (Big bro/Sister) and oldies are Appachan/Ammachi. We don’t have specific names for relations. I have never called my sister Chechi, so it did feel odd calling him Achachan :-). Everywhere they went, they would take me too-be it movies, their office parties, restaurants. I swear I never asked to accompany them. My BIL teases me even now “the only place ur sis & me went without you, was for our Honeymoon”.. 😆 . My weekends would be spent in my sis’s house. When my sis became pregnant I used to practically live in their house. I was also the courier carrying stuff from my house cooked by mom to please her food cravings and my cooking skills started then :-). I realized what a man should be like after seeing my BIL. My sis says that he was such an introvert and quiet person before they “found” each other. He was the typical Iyer aathu payyan. A man should express his love and give respect to his spouse. I saw and realized that truth first hand through my BIL and sister. A man with no ego, ready to lend a helping hand always, an intelligent and such a down to earth person. That’s my BIL – V.
The next “Male” to come into my life was my nephew – that lil bundle wrapped in a thick towel with pink fingers and toes with a mop of jet black hair. I can never forget the pride and joy I felt…I was officially an “Aunty” now and was the first one to see him along with my BIL of course. It was a boy!! but the joy and pride soon turned into despair. How will mom, sis and me handle this lil fella??? Mom had totally forgotten how to look after a baby after all these years 🙄 and this was a boy! How are we gonna handle him??? We never had boys in the family! The first few months were tedious as usual, waking in the nights, putting him to sleep after his feeds etc. Luckily he was not a fussy type and shaped up quite well. But alas, all things good don’t last too long and they had to move to the USA when he was 1.5yrs old. It was horrible bidding them good-bye. They came back to India when he was around 6yrs and settled in Bangalore. Then began my trips from Chennai-Bangalore during any holidays/leave I could get from office. Another 2 years and they had to go back to the USA. Now he is a dashing 18yr old, stepping into college this year. He is so multi-talented..he can do stand up comedy, can debate and speak, sings, plays the drums for his band, he is artistic and can draw so well. When he was younger he used to draw and create his own cartoon booklets and trade them with his school mates :-). I have seen him grow from a distance and am so proud of him. He is my son too – a child I never had.
So, when I landed a job, started interacting with boys of my age in my workplace and realized I too would have to get married soon. Most girls would want a husband like their dad, but I wanted someone who was not like my dad. I had never seen my parents lovey-dovey..they were a normal couple of the 70’s. I wanted someone whom I could talk to, someone who would be on my wavelength, who would be a friend first and a husband second. My wish was granted. This is the 4th man to step into my life. K is such a wonderful human being. Sometimes I am surprised he is a human being!!! How can someone be so practical always, have a logical solution for even idiotic problems, love me so much, understand me so well and be a good friend? But he is. There is nothing I cannot talk to him about, there is nothing he would not do for me. When I fall sick it is he whom I want to be by my side, though my mom lives with me. I’ve seen how respectful he is towards my family. I used to have a bad temper, I would say it has reduced a lot after living with K. It has only reduced, the little of what is left surfaces now and then. But during the fights he stops arguing and lets me rant (which sometimes irritates me even more). But then, I do realize that it’s better that one person remains calm in a fight. When the hurricane has passed he does not leave the chance to point out how inconsiderate or how wrong I was. But sometimes he can be sooooo irritating too – the one quality that he totally lacks is “talking”. I expect him to come home and talk about his day at office, tell me stuff. But according to him he ain’t good at “story telling”. I am just the opposite and can talk dime to the dozen and fill him up with everything that happened at home or the movie I saw on Tv or what the neighbour told me. It’s crazy when that is not reciprocated and our fights are mostly because of his “lack of communication”. He is my best friend and at the same time we are opposites in many many ways. We fight where I sulk and cry and do the “no talking phase”, but in the end I can never be without him. It’s amazing how love can make 2 different people stay together under the same roof.
Though he is not a blood relative – he is my brother…from another mother and father. I don’t have a blood brother, but he is my kid brother nevertheless. Well, if you see him he looks like my Uncle rather than a kid brother 🙄 . He is SS. Even before I spoke to him, I knew all about him as he was K’s colleague from a different city office. K was/is his Guru types for all office issues and they became good friends. There are some people with whom you feel like sharing your personal and innermost feelings once you become close. You feel a closeness and you trust them. That was what he felt towards K. I liked what I heard about this guy-his struggles in life, his perseverance and his strong will to make it in life. I remember the first time I spoke to him – I played a prank on him and fooled him out of his wits 😆 . From then on, it has been one hell of a relationship, a bond so strong and filled with love – I truly understand what it means to have a younger brother. I bully him, I tease him, I scold him. He is another person whom I can talk to about anything without any hesitation. He is our lil brother and I just wish he gives up his kanjoos ki makhichoos habits and sends me an expensive gift after reading this :-).
These are the 3 “MEN” I would trust my life with, the other one just being a boy now. I love and thank them for being a part of my life and wish only the best in life for them.