Home > Cincinnati, Travel > The Indian Tartufe II

The Indian Tartufe II

“You know I disowned him from my family. My kids say I am being too harsh on him”

This topic was not what I wanted to talk on. It made me uncomfortable but it was hard on him and I could see that.

“Do, you think I am being too harsh on him?”
“Well, he is your.. son, no matter what.”
“Well, I am not saying he is not my son. This is not allowed in my culture in India.What will people say back there? He has to follow his culture and I am all open to him provided  he changes himself”
“Well, he is raised in Western culture. You cannot accept..him to follow Indian culture”
“True. Do you know I had a heart attack when I found this?”
“OH! ”
“Yes. I was in comma for 40 days. All had given hope and they asked my wife to let me go. But she declined and I woke on the 41st day.”
“Oh, thats really bad.”
“You know my son moved in with his boyfriend. I told him do whatever you want but don’t show me your ugly face.”
“Thats harsh, indeed”
“He costed me my marriage. Few days back I called the lawyer and changed the will. My wife got real angry on me and I asked her to keep her mouth shut or I would divorce her. You know in Indian marriage, husband’s word is final. hehe”

Honestly, I had no words to carry on the conversation. I was tired of listening. It was not only me listening but the whole bus unable to grab some sleep. I tried to tell him how tired I was and how badly I craved for sleep, in vain ofcourse. He had so much more to tell. Following one’s own advice is a matter of impossibility.

He later on started talking about Indian movies and how they had situationless songs and dance.  He also said he could never get into all that stuff. And then he started listing all the old actresses, couple of which I had never heard. He told his parents were old and that he had to put them in an old-age despite the fact it was not allowed in Indian culture. He talked about how people got looted in Mumbai when they asked others to take care of their luggage. He then went out to smoke asking me to take care of his luggage in the bus. I don’t know if he asked me to do that because I was an Indian or because we were not in Mumbai. Thus, we met and departed without a farewell.

Sometimes, people want to talk their hearts out. And doing that to a stranger is way too easy. People ridicule themselves, by choice or unknowingly. They entertain you, bother you and they empty their heavy minds.

But yes, your children are your shadow –  sometimes short, sometimes long.

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Categories: Cincinnati, Travel
  1. January 2, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I have mostly disliked talking to strangers who want to open the family file. I am not interested enough in mine to delve into anothers 🙂
    This however seems like an interesting man – converting himself and then expecting Indian-ness from the children. Someone should tell him to stop hanging around.

  2. Saibal Barman
    January 2, 2008 at 5:41 am

    The last line is simply brilliant–just elevent words to express one of the finest part of the philosophy of life !

    “But yes, your children are your shadow – sometimes short, sometimes long”

    It has a deep relevance to how apart the values and one’s life lie–the source of enlightenment and the object to it respectively.

    A nice thoughtful reflection !

    Best wishes,

  3. Nirav Thaker
    January 2, 2008 at 11:00 am

    I guess it’s the western fever that people there start patronizing and especially Indians who have migrated from home hate the place where they belong.

    All in all, Very well written.

  4. January 2, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I had on the tip of my tongue to make him stop ridiculing himself.. But I guess, somewhere I was enjoying being a listener. 🙂

    Thanks a lot Saibal! I kept on wondering how a person can ask their children to not smoke while he himself smoking. Someone said, best advice to follow is the one that you give away.

    Nirav, its pity that people hate the place where their roots are traced. Pity, indeed.

  5. Harsh
    January 3, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Hey shefali you had a good time while tavelling to your destination.
    Yupp it seems boring but in back of the mind everyone has curiosity to know someone’s personal details.

    And as we are too far from inda its obvious people like us keep on looking for company of same colored and same cultured people. Just like the old man you found.

    thats it just want to say keep on writing like this it was really interesting blog.

  6. Anil
    January 4, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Well written shefali. Last line was highly spiritual and worth reflecting. I really appreciate your patiance and I believe this could be first step towards spiritual journey.

    Keep writing and be comfortable with yourself. This could be great way to live life.

  7. January 7, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Simply superb narration!! Such a wonderful line to end! If one just keeps this line in consciousness all morality about parenting gets defined. Thanks a heap for that thought.

    One of my colleague, en route to office, remarked that only those people who are rooted could be truly global. I wonder why people hate any place at all. Live, learn and leave.

  8. January 7, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks a ton for the comment Vamsi! Indeed – Live, learn, and leave. Whats in hate, afterall ?

  9. vinda
    January 7, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    o dear you have encountered with an interesing [not strange
    ] man, but more over interesting is the style of your writing.
    you have written the true account without adding your colours
    which makes it nice.

  10. January 9, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks, mom 🙂

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