That friends, is the current story of my life. This post has been in the making for quite some time and when this cartoon appeared the bulb went on about the timing.
Bar a few times, I have lived away from my father for more than half a century. What I knew of him from before that, and what I have seen of him on and off since then, did not prepare me for the situation that I am now in.
“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.”
– John Bright
That about sums up my father’s personality. In retrospect, I should have anticipated his behaviour pattern, with all the theoretical knowledge that I have picked up in my career as a Manager. I still do not know what prompted me to invite him to come and stay with us, though to a large extent it was Urmeela’s idea that we do. I have been used to being appreciated for whatever I did for her throughout our married life and Ranjan does the same for whatever I do for him.
In my father’s case, it is just out of the question. It is his right to get service from me. He is just not conditioned to appreciate or thank his children or his late spouses for anything done for him. The blue blooded old fashioned patriarch. But let some thing that does not please him happen, then it is his right to criticize and sulk.
It is something that I can handle by and large and I am quite unaffected by his behaviour, but there is an added problem. He is hard of hearing and will not wear his hearing aid. I have to shout to get him to understand what I say. I suppose that this distorts my body language or whatever, and he goes off into orbit when that happens. Now, this is something that I am unable to handle. I have simply stopped communicating with him unless he wishes to talk about something and I refuse to shout and he is forced to lip read or wear his hearing aid.
I suspect that Salam is clairvoyant. He has given me another cartoon to suggest a possible frame of mind for my father.
I am sure that this post must ring a lot of bells with readers with similar people in their lives. It would be interesting to share some thoughts on how they handle the situation. I welcome comments and advise.