**Disclaimer-Contains Adult content**

I was 12 years old. Like every birthday this one was as usual as every else, full of nothingness. No parties, gifts, or celebrations like my friends, and cousins had. I was excited on my birthday as usual waiting for something good to happen to me and this time I had a plan- I decided to take Ma with me to a library and get a membership for me as a birthday present. 

To my utter surprise, that library did not have books I wanted to read and was not a library in the truest sense-the membership was far above our budget. I was disheartened, having tears in my eyes while we were returning in an auto-rickshaw, empty-handed. 

I remember twice being a crybaby in school. Once I cried in front of a friend who was into mythology reading then, that I did not get enough books to read and he was literally confused as to how to I was so upset about this; and once I was stressed about my family situations and cried again in front of a friend. So, that was me who also once saw one of the popular girls sitting on the staircase with her friend and I knew she was having similar troubles in her family.

That year I went to a book mela for the first time with Ma and she bought me books of Science and Literature to my liking- “Einstein for Everyone”, Stephen Hawking’s classic not-in-print book that I bought for just twenty rupees, Enid Blyton and Sherlock Homes.

I had a habit of writing down my name and the date on the front page of the book I ever bought, but whenever I sensed my father would get a hold of these books, I would erase the dates with a whitener, so that it does not look like that I brought them recently lest he scolds me. Such was his fear on my mind.

That year was the poignantly most painful, and grimmest year of my entire life up until now. I was in class seventh. The year was 2010. My father took me to a fair in the parade ground of the city. As we were exiting the car, we could hear the popular dialogue of ‘3 idiots’ (Chatur Silencer Speech -Chamatkar) blaring from distant speakers, to which my father smiled. I couldn’t understand a word but found it funny.

It was a trade fair where there were different stalls, and to our utter surprise in one of the stalls was none other than he who had ruined my relationship with my childhood: Narayan. He was selling lentils, and other indigenous pahadi products and we were happy to bump into him. Father and I asked all kinds of questions and talked to him for a few minutes before moving on. 

I was then happy to have met him, but it was only later that month, that all the traumas of the past delivered to me by him unfolded in my mind. I suddenly remembered what had happened years ago. I was petrified and angry and did not know whom to express. 

I used to play many computer games, and my father’s PC was with me for some time, but he had locked it, and I could only login as a guest and not as an admin because I did not have the password. But, to install new games, I had to have the password, so once when I brought a new game CD, I tried to unlock it. 

It was fairly easy because the password hint was given and I just followed that and it opened! I wish it hadn’t, for that day, what I saw completely changed my relationship with my father for the worse.

As soon as I entered via the admin login, Picassa image viewer opened and it was showing me objectionable explicit photos of someone who looked to me like none other than my father who was with another woman, and their heads were hidden. I was aghast and could not reckon what was going on.

I remember closing the laptop, and quietly climbing the stairs to the terrace, thinking what did I see? I felt depression overpowering me. This was the reason behind my father’s unnatural behavior towards us. 

I remember father once brought another officer lady to the house. They smoked, and drank, while Ma kept serving them. That lady and my father insisted that Ma have one peg of what they were drinking, and while they were both sitting above, Ma sat on the floor, taking her first and last peg of whiskey or rum whatever it was.

My abused past and my father’s vices had flooded and destroyed my mind gate. I was not able to process the information. These things showed me the way to depression.

That year sun was not shining at all although I wanted it to so that I feel better, the winters were much colder, and I was feeling the loneliest ever. I cannot express the helplessness I felt when schools closed for winter vacations, and I had no one to share all this with. Winter vacays were feeling like an exile in Tihar jail. I was not taken to a doctor but I was fully depressed and profusely lonely. Words ain’t enough to describe that feeling.

I confessed to Ma about Narayan and my father as well, and she must be very sad about it too. Narayan’s news must have come as a shock though she was always aware of my father.

And then the girl I had a secret crush on and who admired me, finally abandoned me, perhaps because I’d start talking to her about explicit contents from Chetan Bhagat’s novel that I read. I miss that girl dearly to this day. I see her face in certain strangers sometimes. 

I could never gather the courage to approach her again after her avoiding look on her face, even though she was my neighbor but whenever I passed by, I wanted her to see me and I wanted to see her.

The relationship with my father was finally not about being scared of him but about hating him for everything he had done. The last time I had seen him humble was when he went to jail for a few days, a few years back when he was falsely alleged in a corruption case. One night he beat Ma badly and ultimately Mama had to step in, to give him a final ultimatum that if he does it again he will call the police. After that, he never touched Ma again like that. 

I never will want anybody to experience the intense melancholy that I felt that year. I remember one of those December evenings, almost around the time of the new year, when after confessing to Ma, I was watching television,  guilt-ridden, anxious, alone, and depressed. Somewhere I was showing depressive signs since my childhood.

From 2015 to 2021, I was suffering from all kinds of mental health problems, but since then, I am perfectly alright and the how and what of it I have documented in my earlier posts which you can read.

I too, used to fight with Ma sometimes, sometimes as a child I used to become too aggressive, and as misfortunate my deeds were, in my past I too have raised hands on my Ma sometimes as a child out of my aggressive behavior, and then out of mental suffering as an adult too. With father,  there have been my some instances of  physical manhandling.

I can’t blame anyone for I too have done much wrong in my life, having also destroyed a lot of things in my house. After Swamiji came into my life, life gradually improved and has become stable now. 

I can’t blame father for having extramarital because I have observed that it’s more common than people admit. I too used to get scared that I might myself not be able to be loyal to one single person all my life. Through,  virtuous living, I have tried to change the mindset regarding that. If I will ever marry, if at all, I will try to be a good husband and a good father. But I am still not sure about marriage, neither I am sure if I can always show sexual integrity, for at times, frustration does creeps in or mind gets tempted to tread the tread wrong path,  although till now I haven’t. And for this, and many other mundane problems of life,  I know spiritual practices are the key which I am trying to abide.

I love my Ma the most in this world. She has suffered throughout her life. I try to make her happy. I want to bring smile to her face and don’t want her to worry about me anymore though she still does. The only person I scare losing is her and I want she sees a time in her life when she says that everything is finally alright. I do not know if God will allow her and me to see that day.

Today I am a changed man. I do not get angry, or aggressive easily. I do not get sad easily. I have become more kind and compassionate and I find my purpose in helping others having helped around fifty if not more strangers in the last year. I am trying to follow spirituality as per to my best capacity, and I hope to become a better version of myself with each passing year.

My family is doing much better than before . It’s not dysfunctional as it used to be, but I keep my distance from my father, for our values don’t match. I do not hate him, judge him, for he too in many facets of his life, must have been a victim of his circumstances. I am no one to comment on him for I have seen him cry too. All I wish is that everyone finds out their path to happiness. Jai Sri Hari!

The End

PS- Happy new year to everyone. May you grow more, love more, be happier, and prosper to your life’s potential in 2023. Always grateful for finding a family here.