The last time I blogged was on 4 May. Yes, its been a long time. Almost eight months. Of course there was that nagging, guilty feeling that, having once started the blog, I should be updating it. But, for one reason or the other, I just couldn’t.
December came and, as the days shortened and the cool winds turned chilly and we started rummaging for our Christmas decorations, I thought that, even if my mind has been blank for the past seven months, surely the spirit of Christmas should give birth to a blog or two. Despite the usual sentimental thoughts of Christmases past, of family and friends, nothing. Nada.
Then my wife left on 18 Dec to spend Christmas with Andrew and friends in Delhi, leaving Esther and me to spend Christmas on our own. On the drive back from Narita, I thought, this being the first time our family would be spending Christmas apart, it would get so terribly lonesome and sentimental fool that I am sometimes, surely a blog or two would burst out naturally. But Christmas came and went and, still, nothing. It seems you can’t even miss your loved ones like you used to anymore, at least not enough to produce a blog or two, because of modern technology which means everyone is now just a phone call away. Suffice it to say, my phone bill should be quite hefty this time. But still no blog.
Then, with the year coming to an end and a long weekend ahead, I thought I simply have to put in at least one blog before the year ends. Besides updating my blog, I think I owe it to 2009 which has turned out to be such an eventful and landmark year for me and mine.
2009 was when my son left us, for university, to carve out his own future, to try and be all he can be. As we planned and agonized over his future plans I came across a quotation in one of Bill Bryson’s books; ‘Once they leave for college, they never really come back’. It made me look back on my own life and made me realize that the moment I left home and my parents was when I joined college in Imphal. Imphal being just two hours away by bus from home, I would come home every weekend and it was like I never left home. Till my son left us in July, I used to think that the year I left to join my job was the moment I finally left my home and family. But I now realize that I had left my home and parents much before that. Because, except for the weekends and a few months during the holidays, I never really went back once I joined college.
I also realized that I had never really once thought of what my parents would have felt. I was young and the future was before me. I left home for far away Delhi, got married and then went even further away, beyond the seas, to other continents, and got caught up in the struggle of starting and maintaining my own family. My son’s leaving us this year made me realize that a cycle had been completed, in a way.
Life goes on and my son has now left, to go his own way. But it is so difficult and almost impossible to let go, to accept that our boy has become an adult, old enough to live separately, old enough to fend for himself. Old enough to make his own mistakes and, hopefully, learn from them. Because all we can do now is watch from a distance and pray and hope that in the short time he was with us, we managed to imbibe in him some qualities that will help him carve out a future for himself.
And so, another year draws to a close and the circle of life goes on. Relentlessly. A new year will soon dawn and, even as half our thoughts are with our son, we are already looking ahead with trepidation to parting with our other baby as she gets ready to complete her last year in school next year.
Such is life.