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It was not easy decision to write this blog. In greatest of the confusions, I wrote this piece. After procrastinating it for months, I, finally, could muster the courage to publish this blog. It doesn’t feel happy, but it feels the right thing to do and right time to move on and drop this baggage here. I am sorry to write this papa, but I have to. I don’t held you responsible, neither intend to expose you. I completely understand you, love you and believe that whatever you did, was for my good. I could never confess, but it is more a kind of burden for me. I want to be free papa. I hope on reading this, you will understand me, forgive me and would be able to make peace with this.
There’s nothing like parenthood to make you really neurotic as you want to get it right at any cost. You want to help your kid all the way and even out of the way. I was in class 12th and I was a bright student. I was always praised by my teachers in PTM. I was an outstanding performer in my coaching classes. My father had always heard big appreciations about my academic reports. He was certain that I am competent enough to clear any exam and to be an Engineer. He enthusiastically arranged entrance exam forms of reputed institutions and filled for me. I gave my 12th exams and other entrance exams. I got remarkably good grades in my 12th, but I could not clear any of the entrance exams. I was not very serious about the result part and never imagined that it was such a great deal for my father. I had never failed him before, and hence never knew how he would deal with this failure and I guess neither he knew.
We all are humans with flaws. We all make mistake unknowingly, sometimes. We do get blinded by our own expectations and aspirations, occasionally. There are vulnerable moments, where we commit mistakes knowingly. Later on, to correct a mistake we behave in ways that lead to more mistakes than to corrections. It is really hard to accept our failure publicly. My father is no exception to this, he too has his moments of weaknesses. And this was one of them. When entrance exam result was announced, he was accompanied by his friends and I was not in the list. Period.
This happened for two institutions in a row, and by chance, when result of third institution was announced, he was alone. He saw the result and my name was not there. He sat there for some time and then he came back with his friends and sweets. My uncles congratulated me for getting selected in the entrance exam. My father said that she would not join this institute and would drop out from college for next year and would clear entrance exam of one of the most reputed institution in the country, next year. I was frozen and I could not understand how to take this.
Throughout my childhood and teenage, my academics were my credentials. It was my pride. I never ever had to lie about it, before. It was very uncomfortable and, at the same time, I felt guilty and ashamed to fail my father. In that moment, I came to know that I have shattered his beloved dream. I felt great guilt, pain and sympathy for my father. Slowly, news spread and everyone started congratulating me. I would smile, but the whole thing was humiliating. My father said to me one evening, see how people treat you and praise you, because they think you have cleared the exam and you are aiming for something much higher. All these praises should be your motivating factor to study hard and clear the exams next year.
He thought, he saved me from being a failure or feeling like failure and created a positive motivational factor. Mostly parents get so entangled with their kids’ life that their self-worth and success becomes inseparable from their kids. So, in a way he saved his reputation as well. He considered it the right thing to do because it was beneficial for both of us. His intentions were not wrong. However, I never thought of not clearing the exam was equivalent to be a failure. It wasn’t that big deal for me and I never needed any additional motivation for studies. In fact, this lie seeded the feeling of failure in my heart. And the praises were not the motivation, they were torture. It shuddered my self-confidence and self-esteem badly and also made me apprehensive and scared of next failure.
I seldom enjoyed this lie, but I always carried this lie as a part of me. How could I deny! For me, carrying this burden, this lie, was my way of torturing myself for failing my father. I felt sorry for him and I felt that I could not do anything to fix his pain. And with this incident I got to know that I have to hide my failures and sadness from him, because he won’t be able to handle this.
Today, I decide to forgive myself for failing my father. Papa, I have no complaints to make or no excuses, and I am sorry to fail you. I, somehow, felt myself responsible for your lie. I hope you would also forgive me and bless me to move on. To live a free and authentic life. I hope I would be able to make up for that failure, someday. Let’s hold each other’s hand and be hopeful and clean the mess, we have created. Let’s participate actively in process of becoming authentic, experienced and wise. I am blessed to have you as my father, teacher and guide.
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