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The sweetest complicated word in the world.


The raised eyebrows. The infuriated glares. The judgemental looks. I've always been petrified of my dad's fury. I've always felt like I had to restrict myself to live. He's always held the conviction that a man should dominate a woman's life and that it's an 'ideal' woman's duty to be subservient to her husband or her father. Having said that, his own mother is a strong matriarch and has dominated the household, the lives of her descendants and even that of her husband. It's jarring to me how, despite being such a bold, brazen, and an independent woman, she has, in many instances, endorsed and condoned the patriarchal and chauvinistic demeanour of her sons.

I've often witnessed events contributing to the strenuous relationship of my parents and trust me, it's abysmal. It gives me a sense of how morbidly dysfunctional we are as a family at times. My father believes that raising his voice is an ideal way of exhibiting supremacy and authority and while he was busy following this conviction, he has no idea about the amount of misery and suffering he has inflicted on my mother, my sister, and me. He has no idea that the very reason why he never receives a voluntary hug, a warm smile or a sense of thrill from me is because all the treacherous sexist words he spewed still ring in my head and his displeasing behaviour, which he has portrayed in umpteen occasions, still haunts me. Wounds heal, but they always leave some scars. It's profoundly commendable to see how my mother has been enduring his mood swings, his unprecedented eruptions, and his authoritative chauvinism for over 20 years now. I couldn't have done the same. I don't think I can ever do it.

When I finally left for states, I felt like a bird who has been released from a cage of judgements, fear, restrictions, and confinement. The liberty to dictate my own terms and lifestyle was incredible. However, at the same time, I tend to respect my parent's policies as both of them hail from humble beginnings and have created everything for themselves from scratch with their own guts, guile, hard work, and values. Although, they've always handed me things on a silver platter, they have never failed to teach me about a life without privileges. They have never failed at teaching me about the significance of perseverance and the incorporation of strong values in life.

On the other side, make no mistakes, I am proud of the empire he has built for himself and am proud of his magnanimous and phenomenal reputation and aim to bolster it further. I am also incredibly proud of him for being the prodigy of the family and for building everything for himself from scratch. The flummery, the lavish lifestyle, and the charm I possess today is all a gift of his hard work. The massive respect I have for him supersedes my loathing for his occasional outbursts. Moreover, he has always encouraged me to achieve phenomenal things in life and has always been my rock. He's always taught me to "sing for my supper," not follow the herd, and take the road less travelled.

I've chosen to outweigh the negatives with the positives in my relationship with my father and have started accepting the fact that people are who they are as a result of the myriad circumstances they are surrounded by, their past experiences, and their upbringing. My father never raised me like his mother raised him. In recent years, I've been more candid and expressive with my father about my experiences, well-being, and my thoughts. My mother and I see a very positive change in his comportment. Such gradual progress only gives me hope about my flourishing relationship with him.

These two sides of the coin of my father's personality keep flipping every now and then. I choose to see the good, move forward from the bad and honour him anyway. The least I can do is conduct myself with dignity, keep my cool and resolve, and march forward.

Stephen Chbosky, in the book turned movie 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' very rightly puts it "So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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