Sunday, March 29, 2009

Seattle Calling

When Devi's parents set off on their journey to their only son's destination, Devi was overlapped by mixed feelings. On the one hand she was excited and happy, on the other hand she was niggly and jittery. She had her reasons for all these emotions that she harboured. Her parents are elderly (septagerian and sextagerian) . It 's their very first foreign trip, the first halt being London and then to Seattle by a different flight. That's where her brother , their son, lived.

Devi's brother has been in the states for more than six years now. Her parents have not had a glimpse of him since the past four years. They have not even seen their grandson who was born there. The infant is more than two years now .

In this empty span, her aged father fell ill many times, was hospitalised in the ICU once and suffered unending bouts of depression. He sometimes became vocal about how much he missed his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Her mother seemed tougher . She had resigned to the fact that since they had given high education to their (brilliant, highly ambitious, always an academic-topper) son , who of course had struggled in his salad days, deserved to enjoy the best, now that he was working with Infosys , a much sought-after company, savouring a very enviable position.

"But does the best always lie in Uncle Sam's country?" Devi pondered.

For in the heart of her mother their was a burden, an emptiness which she would always shield with her smiles. None could ever gauge the enormity of her vacuum that sometimes enlarged and burst in the form of migranes, acidity, fever or temper tantrums. Devi tried her best to allay her void. She would pay them annual if not bi-annual visits. Being a mother, a wife, a daughter -in-law and a teacher had clipped her own liberty considerably .

In India, a daughter is a daughter . A son is a son. Their roles are seldom allowed to be reversed.

All Devi could do was to cajole her brother mildly, to show up, with his family, at least during vacations. But it did'nt work. Her parents were cautious not to go overboard with their actual feelings when he periodically spoke to them on phone. They must have nurtured some inexplicable fear themselves. Fear of losing that fragile touch .

Therefore the news one day that her parents were flying to their son's place , sounded great to Devi. She was happy that their parched eyes would now get a glimpse of their loved ones. But the flight ? Could they take it? The long tedious journey, could they endure it ?

But what can love not do ?

Devi was on tenterhooks still. She enveloped them with Reiki's protective energy , being a third degree reiki channel, plus a reiki practitioner . She further prayed to God for their safe landing. Her joy knew no bounds when the plane finally did touch the grounds of the Sea-Tac International Airport.

Her brother had come to the airport to receive them with his wife and son. Enroute home, sitting in his son's red sedan, her father called Devi , with his grandson on his lap, ecstasy in his voice and peace in his mind, " Bapi , amra thik -thak pounchhe gechhi ( Sweetheart, we reached here safely. )"

"Sneha nimnagami ( Affection always flows from higher order to the lower order)"- So says a popular Bengali adage. How true indeed it is, for profoundly had Devi's parents expounded it !


Shikha Bhardwaj said...

We are sincerely moved by the predicament of Indian parents. But this is life.
You have brought out Devi's plight beautifully.
Pls. write more frequently. Your blog make wonderful reading. Now that you have started pasting oictures they are more interesting.

Shankar(Shanky) said...

I am an Indian son living in Leads, England.
Your article has started me thinking.

Shekhar said...

I live in L.A.,with parents living in Delhi. Well let me tell you the biggest mistake pf my life. My moving out of my country in lust for money. Now my parents died without getting an oppurtunity to see their grandson. Your Devi's brother is very lucky, he did not get such a fate.
Thank you for writing this, it made me feel more human.

Shaila Ahluwalia said...

An eye-opener for many who feel that this world is devoid of love.Love is still present like an undercurrent.

Tania sen said...

Was it fictional or autobiographical,nikiane??

Whatever it was, it has been a grand read!

Simmi Sheikh said...

Love flows like the holy Ganges, surpassing all barriers.I have a daughter living in Edinburgh,England. And this writing of your's brought tears in my eyes. Like you said- Sneha nimnagami. Thank you for the moment of bliss.

~NaTuRo NaTaShA~ said...

I have my brother in Australia, Nad your writing touched my heart. I/m new to this blogging stuff.Please do visit my site.

~NaTuRo NaTaShA~ said...

Congrats on your heart-warming piece of work!

SandyaS said...

just bumped in.. but was quite worth it i guess.. :-) nice posts :-)

SandyaS said...

just bumped in.. but was quite worth it i guess.. :-) nice posts :-)

Rajeev said...

Well i spent a year at the US as a part of a fashion contract and i understood my family felt that time. You are understanding. Thank you for making me feel more human in this bizarre world.

Arindam Pai said...

I am a freelance journalist residing in India as of now. I too spent some time in places like New Jersey, Edinburgh and Veinna.
Your article was practical, sensitive and very heartwarming.
I am sure people in the same predicament as Devi's will feel moved to say the least.
Thank you for blogging !!
We got to hear a lot from you. I must read your other pieces too.

aru said...

I'ts me ma,
I've always verbally commented on your blogs,therefore writing one, makes me feel...,
You've always been a superb teacher,an excellant mother and a perfect idealist.I feel with each and every blog, your prowess as a writer is increasing.I'm really proud to have a "supermom" like you, and i don't care a damn to what others have to say about you.
No one comes between you and me.

You have struck a sweet cord in most of your readers' hearts and mine,so what more can you want?

This was a "TOP CLASS" masterpiece!(you know what I'm referrring to!)

Lots of love and (:@) kisses.

Arundhati saha said...

touching.You really brought out the feelings well and with poise.

@dV@iT@ K@l@ said...

Very moving. Made me believe that you must have had a first-hand experience like it.
You blog well.

Vasundhara said...

I've underwent couses in Mass Comm. and media journalism in the Netherlands and I really understand what Devi must have gone through. Very apt choice of words.Struck a cord of my heart.

*I*AM*WHO*I*AM said...

Heat-warming and generates nostalgia. Very poignant and meaningful.

Uttara said...

Devi's brother will learn a tough lesson that absence does make the heart grow fonder.He will be pulled back to his country by the love's strings that spread far and wide for him.

ZZ~Nikita~ZZ said...

A good blog.This was the nicest thing I read the whole day.

Ratna said...

Khoob bhalo deviji. Doore gale teyi bhalovasha bhadhe ki na? Khoob bhalo legeche.Apni ki koren?