Posted by: dlip | July 5, 2008

Life with Kay

As I have said elsewhere, I was to have retired from the services of my company in the year 2005, but was granted two, two-year extensions, which would have meant that I could have continued in my position as Vice Principal of the WelcomGroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration at MAHE University until 2009. I took the first extension but declined the second in the hope of spending some time with my son at my home in Gurgaon, Haryana; which is near New Delhi in India.

            The intention was to start enjoying the life of a gentleman at large. I accept that this portion of my blog is now straying away from the original intent – which was to have been a road map and guide for stroke victims and now this piece takes on the colour and hue of an autobiography. It is personal and entirely subjective. However, it does serve the purpose of letting others know that although we stroke victims may appear to have lost some of our abilities – mental and/or physical – I am sure many of us still feel and think and remember events, pretty much as most people do.

            And, I know it may appear odd to some folk that a father needed to make a conscious decision to spend time with his son. No! We were not estranged, nor at odds with each other, which some people may assume. The truth is that in this day and age parents, increasingly in India too, sometimes have to be separated from their children due to certain circumstances of work. And mine was a case like that.

            In addition to his early years at school, which were spent away from us, as I was in the tea gardens and he of necessity had to be sent away to school, he was also away from us during his college years. All this enforced separation meant that my wife and I knew very little about him as a person, especially now that he had grown up to be a man.

            I was very pleasantly surprised by the changes that time had wrought in my little boy. I confess that both my wife and I were nervous at the prospect of sharing a home with a relative stranger. I am sure he too was nervous. And this piece is about the person I have come to know.

            My son Kanishka (hereinafter referred to as Kay, for the sake of writing convenience, as I am now without the secretarial assistance I had during my working life and which had spoilt me rotten) is a young man of 34 years. He is clever, witty, charming – when he wants to be. He is well informed and well read, has good analytical abilities and he operates from a baseline that is ethical. He has a wide circle of friends, both from his professional and social life.

            When he was in school, he couldn’t study three pages of a textbook without flying paper planes, which he held in his hands making them fight imaginary dogfights. He would collapse after working for a mere half an hour. Today he has changed into a man who is bordering on being a workaholic. I have seen him leave for work at 8:00 am one morning and quite cheerfully return to home at 8:00am the next. What’s more he does so cheerfully, without a trace of a complaint and no evidence of flagging energy. In fact he can and has quite happily attended a party at 10:30 in the evening after a gruelling 12-hour workday. Talk about the caterpillar evolving into the beautiful butterfly.

            My son, whom I have got to know and now love more than ever, is good, kind, well mannered, thoughtful and considerate of others, including strangers. He is healthy, robust, slim and figure-conscious. I know I am biased, but to my mind, he is without vice – except for the fact that he smokes, which is pretty bad by itself. For some strange reason, he has fond memories of his childhood, although there must have been some patches that were rough and best forgotten. When reminiscing about the past he seems to recall and recount the pleasant incidents, having expunged the bitterness. This may well be the secret to his present state of well-being.

            I just cannot understand how women of a marriageable age have let him get away so far.

            He is presently single and as far as I can tell has no intention of getting married in the near or not so near future. This makes me wonder whether we, as parents, have failed as role models. However, when talking to me he has expressed his fear of matrimony on account of the number of marriages that he has seen, amongst his peer group, flounder on the rocks. This is the main reason he fears commitment.

            If I am allowed a little advertising on his behalf, here it is. (As if the foregoing has been anything less than a major PR exercise for him!) On the material side he works for a private company that deals with the media and event management. He owns two cars, one a Chevrolet and the other a Honda Civic, draws what I think is a humungous salary and which I keep praying will not corrupt him as a human being. He has a valet, a driver a cook – domestic help that is considered relatively average in an average Indian home.

            The guy who coined the phrase, ‘love is blind’ had it all wrong. Women are blind not Love!

            Earlier in this account I had stated that a man is not measured by the goats he has, nor the bank balance that he possesses, but in the quality and quantity of positive relationships that he has with his relatives, friends and acquaintances. I might add that a man who has the good fortune of having a family unit intact, whose children have escaped the snares of drugs and AIDS, the fall-out that often occurs from broken homes, who were not school or college dropouts, and are gainfully employed, that man is truly blessed, truly blessed and wealthy beyond measure. Anything in addition to this is a bonus. Having spent eleven years in a college dealing with young adults has convinced me of this.

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Responses

  1. Dalip, your son sound like the person that should be the pride of his mother and father as you are!! The Indian economy may be taking off to insure your son so many things, but I find it most interesting how much life is different by you, but more like it was in the 30’s here. I am sure it is because of english residuals even to this day!. Krishna a very close friend of mine whose parents live in Ahmedebar, Gujrata(forgive the spelling) tells me tales of her family that are so similar. I think living in Indian would be most interesting. One day I will go with Krishna and see for myself!

    And as a father I would say you are very fortunate in having your son and even your wife beside you. Here the tale may be different!
    Frank

  2. Frank!
    Your responses are always so encouraging and helpful. Thanks so much for your advice. Yes, I’m sure living in India would be very different for you, as would living in the USA. I don’t know if I could handle the change!
    thanks again
    Dalip

  3. Hi Dalip,
    Kanishka, as I remember him, was a very shy person. But that was a very long time ago. It was wonderful reading your reminisces of him and your fondness of him is quite apparent. So is your pride in his accomplishments. In paying tribute to your son, you have actually paid tribute to yourself, my friend!!
    Warm regards
    Som


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