Inheritance – The Silent Catalyst
-> A foreman, a die-hard Roger Federer fan, lives in a 100 square yards sized house in a Melbourne suburb. Once she saw Federer at Sydney harbour and she got a chance to shake hands with the star. Yes, she cherished it. Federer’s support staff could not feel the joy that the lady felt.
-> I often see street dogs struggling to cross the road in Chandigarh because of increased traffic. Few years back, they could cross it with ease but now; the joy of getting something to eat from across the road is diluted because of the effort that they need to make (owing to traffic), to cross the road. Only that dog can feel the joy of enjoying the meal, after that effort.
-> I recall that the small pillars on our roof-top or the trees around our house would often welcome mornings with birds’ chirps. It was refreshing. But it is gone now. Open spaces being acquired by housing builders and corporate colonizers, polluted water and pesticides-infected fields… all these have inhibited the growth and harmony for nature and birds, to realise their wings.
But Nature has its own way to pay back. And sometimes parents are also like nature. or Nature is like parents?
As their kids (of parents or of nature), we inherit by default. We learn, we grow and we are inspired. Whether we say NO to so many of their advices, whether we talk or not about what we learn, whether we like or not what they eat and love, whether we are thankful or thankless to them… we inherit. The probable difference is that sometimes it makes noise. Or it happens silently.
ALL CAPS: During my graduation years in 1990s, there was no internet or emails. I used to write letters by hand (a few times I used to get these typed on a Remington), and post these to colleges, universities and different departments when applying for competition exams. I learnt that the address should always in caps. HE told me many times that the shape of letters and the height-width ratio of characters is very important while writing address on an envelope. I was also told to lend curves on letters so that these look like hand-written, and not devoid of emotions like typed font. Last week, I recalled the instructions while writing address on an envelope, it was in all caps.
Yes, it got internalized. I inherited it from HIM.
THE TRIBUE: I read only native language (non-English) newspapers till I was 12, and I started reading The Tribune (see http://www.trribuneindia.com) when I moved to Chandigarh, in 1988. I was always fascinated by how much pride HE felt in reading TT. To write something in TT was a dream for me, and I wrote my first post in 1993–it was not published. Many more were rejected. (See My Firsts for detailed account). I never told anyone that I was sending posts to a newspaper, and I never knew that HE too tried it. Finally, I got one published The Tribune in 2000, and then there was no looking back. Only after He QUIT on 23 Feb 2011, that I found a newspaper in his cupboard. His prized possession that he too got his work published once, in The Tribune, in 1985.
I inherited it probably. And I could only gain. The inheritance of gain. Silently.
I felt like that foreman.
JOURNALISM: It was my destiny that I failed to qualify for an engineering degree. Because I was destined to study literature, because HE too studied it. I never planned it, never wanted it, studying literature. But I loved it later. You too Brutus, then Ceasar must fall (“Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar.”). I studied Mass Communication while in Job, in 2008, I never told HIM, I never felt it was required. Later I realised that he too studied Journalism in 1985. Was it in genes? How much I could inherit? I gained again. Silently.
I feel like that dog.
WRITING A BOOK: I remember that HE expressed HIS desire to write a book. He would say – “I want to write *my reflections of life*. I am not surprised that HE wanted to write a book, because many people wish for the same. I am surprised that he did not. And I, after studying in native Punjabi language in school, I got time, space, skill, and the will to write a book in English, and it was published in 2006 (see when I write for detailed account). Now I can guess how much HE did love it, when I brought the first few copies home, of my own authored book, the day when it was published. HE picked up about 20-30 copies from the box, and distributed it to HIS friends and clients. Did HE see it as HIS success? Was HIS dream being realised? For me, it was again the inheritance. Of gain. Silently.
Is it about Nature (That nature made me pay back for our silent relationship)? Or Science (That some chromosomes were so transferred that I had to inherit it?)
In either case, I wonder how well the silence catalysed the process. No words.
And it stayed till his last days. In Feb 2011. When I was with him for few hours on 22 Feb 2011, when he tried to speak but could not. And I tried to understand but could not. We both struggled.
Neither Literature helped. Nor Journalism. Nor a Published Book.
I feel neither like that dog nor like those birds.
This is Nature. Paying back to us what we gave it. Silence. Period.
PS: For the complete series of memoirs, please see: https://vinishgrg.wordpress.com/memoirs/. Thank you.