Friday, August 04, 2006

My Dear - 11

To brother

Backboneless Brother.

"Anna" now sounds too familiar an address for someone who's grown so distant.

Our mother is fine, though you don't care about that. I hope you're taking care of your wife and kid.

Sometimes when I think of you, though that doesn't happen often... sometimes when I think of you I wonder where it went wrong for you.

We didn't grow up together, so I don't really know you or what you went through. Was it that you needed amma when you went to college? Did you need someone to lean on but could find only the old, unreliable shoulders of grandma - whom everyone hates anyway? We didn't have a dad - so you couldn't have missed that - but was it that you had to take on responsibilities before you were ready for it?

Or was it nothing to do with your youth - is it just the way you're wired?

What about post college, when you struggled to find a job? Did that hit your self esteem? Did it trouble you that your younger brother was more successful? Is that why Pati once told me "don't do too well in the exams"? Did it trouble you that I didn't respect you, the way they do in the movies? I want to tell you this - I would have, if you'd only held yourself up. You didn't have to be brilliant or a stud. You forced me to "respect" you but you never earned it.

But what most troubles me is the way you treated amma. She's gone through a lot, and she's still going through a lot, but maybe she has got used to it. She struggled to get you a good girl to get married to and suffered more than you know during your marriage. And while you gallivanted around with your wife amma kept waiting for your phone calls, wondering if you were doing fine. Was it wrong of her to ask you and your wife some basic questions? Did you have to obey your wife when she told you to stop talking to your own mother? Did your wife's tears matter much more than your mother's?

Why couldn't you call her for your daughter's birth!? She was in the same city then! What could she tell others - that she had become a grandma but she was yet to see her grandchild?

She still loves you, amma, in case you were wondering. She has started going to church - which is crazy considering we're brahmins - but I don't tell her anything because she has to do what gives her peace. She always smiles, she always talks cheerfully, but God knows what hell she goes through when she thinks of you. She still tells me your wife is a good person. I say yes, ma, we don't know what pressures they're going through. And she nods because she believes me, our naive mother, and that it is no one's fault but fate that has led to your not talking to her anymore. She even went the rounds of quite a few astrologers with your horoscope, wanting to find out if you would talk to her again. And she prays more now.

I don't know if I have the right to judge, but it seems to me like you must be ashamed of yourself.

I don't hate you, but I definitely don't love you. You're too distant for any emotion. The most emotion I have is a sense of regret, and a little shame, when others talk of their own brothers, and how strong a bond they have. I just think that you will grow up someday.

Trust me, if we meet I won't talk of any of this. If we meet I will smile at your wife, play with your kid, act like we're the best of friends, and you'll feel that all is fine with the world, and all your decisions were right, and you treated us exactly the way you should have.

All the best. Hope your daughter grows up well.

10 Comments:

Blogger Premalatha said...

probably the sister has to learn little more about what anna's feelings and give him space. It could have been his choice rather than his wife's instructions. I don't agree with this letter.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Rubic_Cube said...

Tamil sob-serials stuff!

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The letter doesn't say if it is a brother or a sister.

10:42 PM  
Blogger The Visitor said...

I dont know if your feelings of hurts are justified, maybe yes, maybe no. But you have certainly written the letter very well.

PS:It is a younger brother writing to his elder brother.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not "Tamil sob-serials" stuff. We have 2 women in our extended families whose sole purpose in life is to keep their husband's from their families. Very very sad....to see that the root cause of most family issues are women - used to be the mother-in-laws....today it is the daughter-in-laws who are tearing families apart!

In the past the mother-in-laws did it because of ignorance and in the present the daughter-in-laws are doing it because of arrogance. Both situations are very detrimental to the family.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Premalatha said...

Hi anon,

what is the role of men in both the scenarios you are talking about?

>to see that the root cause of most family issues are women

I pity you.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey

A dil-mil is relationship is too complex.. there are no rights and wrongs there.. just insecurities warring with each other..pls dont pin blames.. and sometimes being in contact all the time is not love.. if your brother has taken a call to stay away.. even that is a demonstration of love.. sometimes THAT is a difficult decision but the "right thing to do.." i am a dil.. i have lots of problems with my mil.. but i love her.. i understand that both of us are right and both of us are wrong.. since my hubby and my fil leave us alone and do not take sides.. we sort it out between ourselves.. sometimes just leave people alone.. stop passing judgements.. we are grown up.. we can decide for ourselves..we can take care of ourselves..

6:09 AM  
Blogger Geeta said...

I don't believe any 2 people can be kep apart by a third person. There must be something between the mother-son relationship that cracked. Why blame the innocent wife? How do you know the wife asked him to keep away?
i have noticed that this seems to be a common misconception among families... whent he son acts wierd, the wife is automatically blamed. If your broght up is good, and u have a strong bond with your childre, how can a stranger come and kill the relationship.
Ridiculous!

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe any two people can be kep apart by a third person. There must be something between the mother-son relationship that cracked. Why blame the wife? How do you know the wife asked him to keep away?
I have noticed that this seems to be a common misconception among families... when the son acts wierd, the wife is automatically blamed. If your brought up is good, and u have a strong bond with your children, how can a relatively new person, come into your life and kill old relationships.
Ridiculous!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Geeta said...

I don't believe any two people can be kep apart by a third person. There must be something between the mother-son relationship that cracked. Why blame the wife? How do you know the wife asked him to keep away?
i have noticed that this seems to be a common misconception among families... when the son acts wierd, the wife is automatically blamed. If your brought up is good, and u have a strong bond with your children, how can a relatively new person, come into your life and kill old relationship.
Ridiculous!

1:48 PM  

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