How easy it used to be for me to criticise her. To make her feel that she wasn’t good enough; that she could have done much better but stuck herself to my father, to the “meaningless family life”.
Today while we were taking a walk in the morning, she pulled out my dad’s phone that she had specially bought to just click pictures of the flowers in the garden where we walk. I usually find it silly when she sends me a good morning message everyday at 8’o clock. I know she sends it to ‘all’ in her list. But what struck me this morning was not that she was clicking pictures of flowers to continue her religious commitment of her ‘good morning’ ritual – it was the look in her face when she was watching the flowers. She loved them. The colours, their shapes – the way she chose pure white ones to off-white ones, the way her face lit up when she saw a small garden patch of marigold flowers. ‘Aren’t they beautiful, bebu?’, she asked me. I said, yes. Truly, I did not even know what was so beautiful about them. And I felt so jealous. I thought I had been doing it all right. I was living my life to the fullest while she could not. That, she got ‘stuck’. And here I was, not even understanding her awe at the beauty of those bright orange globe-concentric shaped flowers.
I have usually been critical of her ever-so-happy demeanour. I would wonder how much she keeps inside her and criticise even more whenever in anger, I would hear some spite. I would tell her that she is better than that. I wonder, if she doesn’t want to be better than that. And whatever she has done so far, what I call the facade – is because I and people like me in her life kept telling her that she is better than that. I wonder, how much she has suffered, how much she has let go of. I wonder, if she has ever hated me and loved me at the same time by not letting me know so.
Today while she was watching the roses, more than sadness, I felt disgust for myself. I realised how I have put the people I love in boxes of my critical court and hammered them with my own insecurities of who I am and how they must be, to be with me. You would say that I must not be too hard on myself, but the truth is that I am not at all being hard on myself. This is me. My energy comes from critically accessing all parts of my being in the constant need to renew myself from who I am to who I want to be. But to subject people who love me on the same dais as mine, is just not fair.
I wonder why they do not complain. I wonder why she does not complain. Or, maybe she does but I can’t hear it, because I am too busy being convinced how she knows so little and I know so much more. That I am not disgusted with, though. I think all children at some point or the other feel that they are much smarter than their parents. And that is usually true – given that they come from them and have better adaptation to the present world and its obsessions more than their parents. They care about the world and their parents care about them. Children are smarter – definitely. But that’s not what am worried about. I am worried about, how little I know of the real world, of real people, of real things and of real feelings. If I show this write – up to my mother, she would wonder what I am talking about, probably even say that its amazing while never comprehending what I actually mean. She wouldn’t understand that I am jealous of her. And that is what am most jealous of – the fact that she doesn’t know what it feels to not feel about the real, tiny happiness existing in bright yellow petals out there.