A non-entity

All my life, I have done nothing but studied and taught economics.

I am the only one in my entire family, who continues to support the PM, lock stock and barrel. My empathy for him has not only been steadfast but has increased a few notches each passing year. My family is full of criticism of him for being non-effective, indecisive and a silent spectator but I can get into his shoes and feel his pain. I empathise with him because I face exactly the same situation, as the head of my family. In our family, we address one another by our initials.

PK, our left leaning eldest son will find fault with everything I do. When I pour a tot of scotch in the evening, he would come down heavily on me for not giving up my colonial bourgeoisie habits. A sip of post dinner cognac has to be sneaked into the privacy of my bedroom because he believes that it is Churchillian habit. Scrambled eggs, sausages and toast are branded as a British legacy and have been replaced with puree-aloo. Cakes are forbidden and so are chocolates. Only mishity dohi and Sondesh is allowed in earthen pots. China crockery has been replaced by thalis. Knives and forks have been flung out.

One day, I prowled into his room when he had gone to attend an international conference. This is what I found. Branded pens, watches and most of all, bills from the swankiest hotels all over the world, were all there in the drawer of his desk. I chose to ignore the matter because I knew that I would get no support from my wife, SG. Her only advice always is to learn to live with the children.

Two years back, he decided to move out of the country, not to China, but to the US and I thought the scenario would change at home but that was not to be. I was adjusting to the new peaceful environment when our daughter, MB, called didi by her siblings, came back from the hostel after her graduation.

After doing namaskar, she demanded to know which room she should put her luggage into. And when she was shown the room which she had occupied before leaving for the hostel, she rejected it outright and demanded that PK’s room to be cleaned up and be given to her. She would settle for no less. That there was a lot of PK’s stuff still lying around made no difference. I took the matter to my wife but once again, she told me to adjust. The context of living has changed, she says to me and therefore, the family dharma needs to change. I have to grin and bear knowing that MB will stomp her foot and walk out in protest.

The issue is getting aggravated because, seeing that I am a non-entity in my own home, my sisters and brothers, all younger than I am, refuse to listen to me and ask for my wife’s advice on matters like where to invest, when all my life, I have done nothing but studied and taught economics. For them, my wife is their last port of call for all family matters.

I am now contemplating moving to the Himalayas to seek peace, learn meditation and find a guru. Until then, I will continue to defend our PM, with whatever feeble energy I am left with. 

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