My mother just came down and sat next to me, discussing a situation.
She told me about how my dad was upset with something my brother had done. I asked her what happened.
So, my brother and his wife were going to have guests this week. It is his birthday week and so my sister in law has planned for a party on his birthday and invited her mother over. Her mother lives 1500km away and so she asked my brother to book tickets for her.
Which he did and which is what upset my father apparently. This is so because my brother himself travels in tickets cheaper than the ones he bought for his mother in law.
So my father thinks he shouldn’t have booked these more expensive ones for his mother in law. Despite the fact that she was visiting his son, at his place, for his birthday, going to help his son and his daughter with household chores for almost a month!
The main problem was not that the tickets were expensive. The problem was that they were for his mother in law. After all, it was the wife’s mother and it was a mother, not even the father. (My sister in law’s father passed away when she was four years old.)
So my mom simply deluded the above things with a simple sentence that said, that my father is going to talk to my brother about the situation. And ask him to be more manly and responsible with his money.
I was just reading a wonderful paragraph from the latest Brainpickings weekly newsletter. It was about LOVE and how we TEACH OUR KIDS TO LOVE without even knowing it.
(And it was also about how the most profoundly deep human condition was reduced to a shallow waters of instant gratification, post the World War II.)
It was a musician named Leonard Bernstein that was being spoken about. He happened to have some of the most beautiful ideas about reinstating that lost understanding of love in a whole post war generation which was ready for world annihilation any minute, which was impatient and anxious – the two greatest enemies of LOVE.
I read out a paragraph to her. It said
We destroy our children’s songs of existence by giving them inhibitions, teaching them to be cynical, manipulative, and all the rest of it… You become hardened, but you can find that playfulness again. We’ve got to find a way to get music and kids together, as well as to teach teachers how to discover their own love of learning. Then the infectious process begins.
[My mother is a typical upper middle class wife of a Government officer who was brought up in an orthodox lower middle class family but happened to marry an engineer who became an officer. So now she has to bridge the worlds of her childhood and adulthood. One of the strength bearing trusses of this bridge, that she and many other women like her, bridge is that of English. They belong to a society where English is a symbol of being forward, educated and classy. They themselves have grown up learning in regional languages. So I decided to explain it out to her.]
I began from the phrase, songs of existence. I told her the world Universe roots itself in Uni-single Verse-song. It was so because the whole existence was supposed to be seen like a single song of which we were all a part – and not just a part, a contributing part. Musicians in the grand recording hall of the Song of Eternity. This made the individual songs that we contributed, the Songs of Existence – proofs of our being.
So when we teach our kids to be cynical, manipulative and the rest of it – we are hardening them. We stifle the music inside them. We disable them from playing that music, that song of their existence.
This was the first time I ever brought out something I was reading with LOVE to the woman who taught me how to LOVE. I was finding words to what she wanted to tell about the situation with my brother and my father.
She came to sit next to me telling about what was wrong withmy father’s disapproval. And how he was using his position to manipulate his son, teaching him to manipulate. Manipulate him into carrying forward the patriarchal and inhuman values he was living till now.
I gave her words to understand what exactly was wrong about it all. After all this was the gift of the World of Words where we can share existences with people who have long died or live in far away lands where the sun sets as our sun rises. This is how we know, we are all sharing this existence, these songs within us!