By G VENKATESH
I knew, from the moment I landed, that the day of bidding adieu would soon arrive. But, I decided to push this thought under the carpet. The countdown however, would go on, in my subconscious mind.
When New Year’s Day dawned, January 19 seemed far away. The mind flashed back to a set of January Firsts, between 1999 and 2003, when I used to await the dawning of the day — when I would pack my bags and head westward or eastward out of the country, in search of greener pastures.
I used to be absorbed in my own world of problems and frustrations. Preoccupied to the core, I let go golden opportunities which God sent my way to serve my parents. This, I realised in hindsight. Wisdom is always gained after the event, as they say. This time, it was a case of becoming wiser and repenting, after a whole decade.
As January 19 approached, the selfishness of a decade-ago seemed to have been miraculously replaced by an urge to stay back… “Give up the lure of the lucre in the West, the vestiges of success and prosperity and return back home to stay with my parents.” The days seemed to have passed by quickly. A decade ago, they had been moving at snail’s pace. If I say that I branched out so that my parents would be happy, I would, perhaps, just be saying so to comfort myself. Parents often say that they come to terms with their children going abroad and deciding to stay on and work there. It is just make-believe, just a way of coping with changes, adjusting to what one starts terming as inevitable. They believe that their happiness lies in their children’s. But, the truth is that parents actually never manage to sever the filial bonds for good. Of course, the same cannot be said of all children.
Whenever opportunities to do good present themselves, they need to be made use of. When it comes to serving my parents, I let go of a wonderful chance to do so, ten years ago. I headed out of the country with mixed feelings, my heart heavy with an inexplicable pain. Work will bail me out. The solace I would get from it would apply the much-needed anodyne.
After all, my capacity for focused and dedicated work is an inheritance from my parents.