It’s our turn now to share some real stories
Spice of Life: It was not until Covid struck and put a brake on our lives that I understood how much I have missed knowing my parents all these years
I still remember that as children, our evenings would be spent listening to endless stories narrated by our parents, sometimes from story books, sometimes just made up at the moment and sometimes a fable that would sprinkle some wisdom about inculcating good habits in life. We would sit in awe listening to how the king saved his queen or how the lion rules the jungle or how Shravan Kumar took his blind parents on a pilgrimage. Our parents would go into every little detail answering our naïve queries. There was never a rush to reach somewhere, a call to be made or a deadline to be met. They had all the time for us even if they were super busy, deriving profound joy in watching us thrive under their umbrella of love and care.
With time, these stories were replaced by our tales of little adventures at school, our friendships and classroom gossips. As soon as we returned from school, my mother would be all ears listening to our non-stop chatter about our day at school. Even though it was not of much importance to her, she listened in all seriousness, knowing fully well how important this exchange of information was for us. The nature of the stories changed with time but the anecdotes and narratives remained a conduit between children and parents in developing a healthy and loving relationship. These stories have stayed with us as relics of our childhood.
As we stepped out of adolescence and got caught up in the web of our fast-paced lives, jobs and unending meetings, what happened to these stories? When did we stop sharing our stories with our parents? When did we start giving them pointers and one-liners as answers? “Yes, I’m good”, “I’m in a meeting”, “I’ll call you later”, “I’m busy”, “I’m sleepy, will call tomorrow”… and with these words, we generally hang up the phone, knowing and expecting that they will understand our busy schedules. And they do, even if they don’t want to, they always do, clinging on to the hope that one day we will have enough time to pour our hearts out to them.
We have been so occupied in maintaining our social media profiles and living a fake life, showing off to our online “friends”, some of whom we have never even met in personal life, that we have put the most important relationship in our life on the back burner. When was the last time we looked up from our mobiles and noticed the increasing grey patch on our parents’ hair, those stooping shoulders, that slight shake in the hand while picking up something? When did we stop noticing?
It was not until Covid struck and put a brake on our lives that I understood how much I have missed knowing my parents all these years. I have been keeping a record of my career, finances and social life but in the process missed taking notes of my parents’ changing habits, their routine and most importantly sharing stories. In their mundane and repetitive day-to-day life, they need more than just one-liners which can help them laugh off their worries, know more about us, make them feel involved in our lives and sometimes help us find solutions to problems we have been dealing with.
It’s our turn now to share some real stories. email@example.com
The writer is an assistant news editor with Hindustan Times, Chandigarh