Short Story: Mother, Father and the Child

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Mother, Father and the Child

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Father has just arrived. He sits on the patio and says – its hot – giving emphasis to the word hot.

"Hey dad! I don't see any hotties around. Damn I’m in a village."

He laughs – a craze burst of laughter – very similar to mine, or should I say I inherited his drawing-other-insane-laughter. "Hey did you listen," dad raises his voice, "what your son says."

Mother

Mother has always been erratic. Dad can't predict her temperament how could I. We, father-son, wait for her words. "I don't have ears, only hands.” Her tempo is not undecipherable to the men outside. The voice is laden with anger, but when she joins us in the courtyard, she is smiling. "Had you been a diligent son, by this time I'd have had a daughter-in-law."

"So, what do we do now?" I blurt out.

"Pull up your socks, boy. I'm fed up with men."

Father, me and I smile. We all know she's lying, because she had always said she didn't care about women, not even her mother, but however, craved to be with men. I missed men as a child, as a teenager, and as a young woman – this was her exact statement. She was raised by a single mother, she did not have brothers, and I’m sure she did not have any boyfriends. She was married shortly after being hormonally charged.

If everything had gone according to my parents plans, I would not have remained a bachelor. My father said, "You've completed your university, are working for a reputed firm, already pushing 28, so it is the right time for you to tie a knot." I dilly–dallied, but I'm 30 and can no longer put him off. Only that something is missing in my unique selling proposition. No excuse that I cook up can deter him from his vision of his son getting married.

"I have little money left to pay the cost for a wife's hair perming or mascara or skin toner or stiletto...," I utter as one feeble excuse after another.

Father

"Do you think twenty first century wife is like your mother who depends on her tight-fist hubby for everything?" Mother looks straight into father’s eyes.

"Count yourself lucky, woman! I never thought of abandoning you despite you being uneducated and ill informed and semi skilled and..."

Mother cuts him. "It was you who made my life miserable. I had always wanted to pursue university programs."

I laugh and laugh and laugh. And they are quiet, looking at me serenely. "How could you tout marriage when all you do is nagging?"

Father smiles. "It will never happen to you, son. You both will be educated and understand the other well."

I know mother will surely object, and she does. "You'll be more callous to each other, because you both will have something to give airs. Your education, your earnings, your positions...." Mother is not erudite like father, but when it comes to give opinion or make decision she proves better than her confused hubby.

"Do you want a daughter-in-law for yourself or a wife for your son?" I don't say but I want the answer from mother.

And tactfully her comeback is, “I’ll try to find a daughter-in-law in your spouse." She's right, he is right, but this is not the way I had envisioned welcoming matrimony. However, like a dutiful son, I prepare myself mentally for my upcoming nuptial. They are looking for a girl with caste, nobility and social status, ability for household affairs, behavior, and looks. What am I looking for – aptitude, attitude, education, beauty? And I'm waiting, waiting for wife. But before that I have to have a job. This waiting has now become hectic.

"If you're looking for happily ever after, Australian researchers have a suggestion: Find a partner who shares smoking habits," father says.

"Where on earth did you find that?" Mother seems more interested than me.

“Religion, education levels and alcohol consumption have no effect on marital stability," father continues.

"It’s all here, in The Kathmandu Post." I laugh. Father joins. And mother is lost. "Listen," he starts reading. "The study titled – What's Love Got to Do With it? – found that relationship in which the man was at least 25 at the time the couples got together were likely to last. So were the ones where both partners shared desire to have or not to have children. Couples in which the man was one year younger or up to three years older than woman had less than half the separation risk of couples where the man was nine or more years older." He looks up and winks at me.

I snatch the newspaper and read. "Couples with low household incomes were more likely to split than those with moderate or high incomes. Men who were unemployed had less stable relationships." I wink at him.

"Rubbish," mother asserts.

"Keep your opinion to yourself," father snaps.

"This attitude doesn't work for perfect relationship."

"A VOW woman, father." VOW is her favorite magazine, published 250 miles away in Kathmandu.

Father laughs, but I don't. Mother can endure father but not me.

Child

Men take more risks when stressed – father had been uttering this line all his life - the major risk being the decision to start a family. But he also reiterates taking risky chances will make you somewhat successful. The other day he read newspaper article based on a study conducted in the US. Evolutionarily speaking, it is more beneficial for men to be aggressive in stressful, high-arousal situations when risks and reward are involved. Contrarily, stressed women moderate their behavior and are less likely to make risky choices.

"People living without a partner at midlife have around twice the risk of developing cognitive impairment in later life compared with married people," father says. As a journalist he had always sneaked-peaked into others privacy. You are a kind of voyeur, I said of him, and he always refuted my chagrin saying he was being diligent to his job.

As I wait for my perfect match I say to myself – life is compromise. Looking at my parents' lives, I find, at every turn they had reached a kind of compromise. My Father wanted to marry university graduate, however, bowed to his father's wishes and married my mother, who on the other hand had wanted to study and have a career of her own, but was married when she was still a high school girl. Raised by single mother, my mother did not want to cause her mother headache. In the traditional set-up of rural Nepal, growing daughters always pose a threat to the family reputation.

Even my conception was a compromise on my mother's part – she was 18, trying to carry on with her education privately, and I was conceived to appease her mother and father-in-law on death bead. They had insisted playing with a grandchild was their last wish. Thirty years and two children my parents are moving on. After they married off their daughter they want their first born to walk that road.

I know life is a compromise, but I am sure I will be pleased with whoever my wife will be, because I know she will be a perfect match.

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Comments 38 comments

Tillie's Tales profile image

Tillie's Tales 3 years ago from India

Dear Vinaya, Yours is a tale typical of India where men and especially women get married to fulfill a social obligation. Thus, your parents, who weren't the perfectly matched couple, for both of whom marriage had been a compromise, insist that you should settle down with 'the right girl'. In India, it is the parents' responsibility to see that their children are tied in holy matrimony to experience domestic bliss. n fact it is the third stage in a man's life when in accordance with his parents' wishes, a man enters grihastha ashram or marriage. Well written!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hi Angel, thanks for reading and commenting.

Cheers


Angelme566 profile image

Angelme566 4 years ago

family is the only one left when the world turns their back. Nice to read this again , loaded with values.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Angel,

so nice of you to appreciate my family.

Have a nice day.

Chers


Angelme566 profile image

Angelme566 4 years ago

tell me who is your father and i will tell you who you are ..The story boils in one thing ..you got an ideal family..be thankful for that ..it's a gift ,many don't have it. Love your family and i know you're so proud of them. Cheers..


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

I recommend these wonderful hub authors to the hub community.

http://hubpages.com/@sannel

http://hubpages.com/@poeticfool

Thank you very much for your wonderful comments.

Regards


Poetic Fool 4 years ago

Vinaya, this is such an interesting story and entertaining too. A little insight into your world. The bickering between husband and wife reminded me of my childhood. Those little spats are fondly remembered because they were actually playful expressions of love! There was no ill intent behind them. Thanks for sharing this with us all!


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

Vinaya, you are such a wonderful writer, and it shows so clearly in this story. You have conjoin a delightful mixture of facts and fiction in a delightful way. Your parents and yourself are so lucky to have lived in an environment with so much love.

Thank you my friend. Always a great pleasure taking part of your life in Nepal.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Made, thanks for reading and leaving a wonderful comment,

Cheers


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland

You are a very talented writer. Great hub!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hi Angel,

So nice of you. I wish I could. My dad will love to this.

Thanks for your wonderful comment.

Cheers


angel 4 years ago

Great family you got writer , an ideal one.Love them forever and hope you can surpass your dad's achievement ..i know you can.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Miss Sheila, thanks for reading and appreciating my work. Thanks for following me. I will love to follow you back.


miss shelia profile image

miss shelia 4 years ago from Ferndale, Wa.

Another awesome story, i love it, great hub.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Ruchi, your interpretation is very true. In a close knit family in Nepal every member is constantly under pressure.

Thanks for reading so closely and leaving a wonderful comment.


Ruchi Urvashi profile image

Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

Very interesting dialogue between parents and child. When parents don't have expectations from children, they can grow up freely else there is too much pressure. I can feel a little pressure on son as well as high expectations from the partner to be. I wish you all the best in your search for your partner.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

Sueswan, I have not thought it as a television series but I'm developing it into a novel. Thanks for giving me an idea. Thanks for your kindness.


Sueswan 5 years ago

I think Mother, Father and the Child would make a great television series.

Voted up up and away!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

keira, thanks for stopping by.


keira 5 years ago

Very touching story! Thanks for sharing this.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

tillsontitan, I just read and commented on "There Once Was a Woman." You are a wonderful poet and writer. Thanks for taking interest on my part of the world.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York

Your writing is very interesting and gives us, in America, insight into your part of the world. You portray the banter between to married people very well. I truly enjoyed this piece. Voted up and interesting.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Rosemary, thanks for your interesting inputs. There is no certainty on how a marriage lasts. My parents had married according to their parents choice, 37 years have gone their love is growing deep with every passing years.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

jimmy thanks for entering in the world I created.


jimmycloud profile image

jimmycloud 5 years ago from India

Wow lovely story i impressed thanks for sharing.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

I know many cultures where the wife or husband is still chosen by the parents. And quite often love grows but when it doesn't it must be awfully hard.

We who are free to choose don't always get it right, in fact we more often get it wrong.

But I do believe there is a soul mate out there for everyone and it is just a matter of waiting for the right person to come into our lives at the right time.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

Flora, thanks for sharing your idea on marriage. I wrote this story when I was 21. Now I'm 31 and thoughts expressed so much suits me. I have blended facts with fiction in this story. Your observation about some people's idea on marriage is so much appropriate in my culture.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I don't know that I'm actively avoiding marriage at all costs, but I have no interest in getting married. luckily I live in an era where I do not have to get married. Sometimes, people I know got married because they wanted to be married, not because they found the right person (i.e. some people can't live alone and went straight from living with parents to living with a spouse.) I've been around some couples who are quite nasty to each other.

thanks for sharing with us what marriage is expected to be like in your culture.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

@thelyricwriter, thanks for your inputs. I'll remember your points when I feel like getting married. At the moment I'm enjoying my freedom. But let me tell you, in our part of the world, marriage is a social affair and you have to get approval form every members of your extended family. Thankfully, this tradition is in decline.

@Snakeslane, in our culture male child with long hair, khol around the eyes and ear rings is quite common. These are my family photos, my mom, dad and I. Well actually she does not know about this picture. These she is too worried about her wrinkles that I do not show her photos.

@anndavis25, thanks for sharing your inputs.

@jenubouka, wise man...I don't know, but I have written exactly what I think. Thank you very much for your generous comment.


jenubouka 5 years ago

True words written of a wise man. I bet your soulmate has the same story to share with you when you two find each other, just know good things come to those who wait.

Awesome,


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

Vinaya. Do the things you love to do. Someone will share your interest and there you will find her.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

Oh wow, the khol around the eyes is for boys too...and is that your dad Vinaya in the second pic? (I am assuming that is your mother at the top. I hope she doesn't mind that you caught her napping!)


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Up and interesting article Vinaya. I appreciate the fact that your write about yourself, which means you remain true to yourself. Finding a partner is never easy, but do it for you and not your parents wishes. That is not saying that you can't accept their input. It just means that sometimes it takes time. Perhaps someone has caught your eye at the firm or on your way back home. It is not everything, but attraction is a key attribute. I was physically attracted to my now wife at first. Love will come, but sometimes you have to go out and find it my friend. But in the end, do it for you. It is your happiness first, then the others can share the same with you.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

Dear Snakeslane, my writing tutor once told me if you don't tell your stories (of culture and society) who will tell. Thanks for your appreciation.

By the way the baby is me!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

Vinaya Ghimire this is such a light-hearted beautiful story of the relationship of a young man with his parents. The dialogue is skillfully drawn. There is never any doubt who is talking to who. And the mannerisms are so subtley told. It is also really interesting to read coming from a different culture where matrimonial concerns are viewed differently (not always). I really enjoyed reading this story from you and I love the old family photographs. Baby is sooo cute!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

@Frank

@makusr

Thanks for your appreciation.


makusr profile image

makusr 5 years ago from India

Vinaya,

Greetings. I like your lucid style of writing. There's a unique flow in it and you can relate to it. It seems to be happening in your neighborhood. I like it.

With warm wishes,

MAKUSR


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

This was a realistic little tale I enjoyed it very much :) up and awesome

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