The Dark Truth
(Among Parents and Children)

If we keep our eyes and ears open, we read and hear of negligent, selfish, unreasonable, or, even child-beating parents.  That’s true.  There are some negligent, selfish, unreasonable, and, even child-beating parents.  After all, the world is made of all types of people and parents are people who make this world.  The open fact is that there are mothers and mothers, and there are fathers and fathers.  Beyond expression, are other cases, where the title forms in parents as abusive and unimaginably despicable individuals – the appalling sexual harassment and long drawn relationships that they thrust upon their own children.   The images of such horrendous realities can take away your sleep from you; even if you get back your sleep, you will retain the happenings’ separate identity in your mind.  When another news of such sort springs up, in the natural behaviour, you are again in pain for the child who is the ‘chief’ victim.  The father in continuity, too, has been a victim of a very, very serious sickness.  In natural behaviour, you can foresee the dark, devouring corners looming over the adult there, and you feel strongly that either a permanent prison-sentence or, even the gallows must accept this parent.


Fit for a lesson, I have also been reading articles which are cruel samples of how children are taking for granted the sacrifices parents make to raise them.  More frightening is the fact that many parents have nothing left for their old age.  Throughout their own lives those who were willingly allocating funds for their offspring are now the planet’s lonesome share of population-broken both physically and emotionally by their own bloodline.  What is brewing is nothing new; is it becoming worse?  Most certainly, yes.


A major part of parenthood is chiseled with challenges and examples of words will fail to express the extent of such challenges.  Parenthood is a full-time vocation; it will cease only when parents’ period on earth is over.  Within its vast and perpetual spaces, no boundaries seem to exit in the source of parents.  The winged protection of a father is everywhere present, a mother’s love happens to contain all the blessings for the well-being of her children.  There is an abundant need to ask our children, ‘Do you have a reason to conclude that we, as parents, have in any way done less than the best?”  Here, no sensible progenitor is looking for a lion’s share of gratitude; nor am I looking through the glass darkly.  The well-known film Baghbhan catches the throb of my thought.  Not only is Amitabh Bachan’s performance extremely credible with understanding, the gist of his dialogue takes one out of the movie… beyond the screen’s wall.  It certainly threw me in the bitter-sweet past, present of my life.  In the ending scenes of the film, the actor is reviewing his entire life, appearing in a hall inflated with audience, where his own children with their spouses are also present.  Bachan determines what are the rights children have over their parents versus parents basic expectations from them.  A perfection derived from integrity, long-running sacrifices, mental ruptures and retirement, Bachan determines as a father, in fairness and firmness: the proper meaning of relationship between parents and children.  His sensitive speech heavily implies a pardon that is not to be over-extended to neglectful children.  On top of all this, is the great Scripture of Bhagvad Gita, which discloses: Each generation passes down the torch of its culture to the next generation, its children, and it is for them to preserve, tend and nourish that torch and hand it over carefully to the succeeding generation, if not more, at least no less bright, than what they got it.  This is an essential part of Kula-Dharma (Family-Duty) which has everything to do with living, thinking, acting in order.


Geeta Chhabra


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