Before leaving my then job, and giving my full-time to The Storytellers, I felt that it was important to at least have a discussion regarding the decision with my parents; especially with my dad. We don’t have this conversational relationship; a typical middle class awkward father-son relationship. So it was very difficult for me to even decide to go and talk to him.
It was late in the evening; my dad was watching Saregama Pa in his room. With a bit of courage and a deep breath, I entered the room and started explaining. He kept quiet. I talked about the responsibilities of being an elder son and explained that this is not the best financial and safe option, but I want to do it. He still kept quiet. Finally, after a few seconds, which felt like an eternity, he calmly said to me to do whatever I want to and not to worry about the family responsibilities for now.
My dad started working at the age of 17 and took the responsibility of being a bread earner of the family. He got married when he was 21. I was born when he was just 22. And here I am, still confused with the responsibilities of life at the age of 25. (My mom, when pissed, always gives me her “mom” dialogue – “You were born when your father was just 22, and at 25, you still act childish!“).
My dad is a humble and simple, a typical middle-class family man. He has been going to the same office, every day for the last 31 years, 31! He had to drop out of one of the most reputed engineering college of Nepal, due to family responsibilities. I feel that dropping out has always stayed with him. He had to miss out on many opportunities and growth in his company due to the unavailability of a degree. And maybe because of this, he has always wanted me to finish my masters as early as possible. Sometimes I think that he does not want me to feel a bit incompetent or a bit empty, just because of a degree, don’t know.
Whenever there is a social gathering, some people ask me what am I doing these days. I tell them about The Storytellers, The StoryYellers, and Presenters’ club. They say “Thik cha, kaam chai k garchau?”. I explain to them it’s my work and I say this without any sort of arrogance. I genuinely explain to them, some understand, some don’t. It’s okay. Some even said to me whether I did my MBA just to do this.
One evening, after a long day at work, my mom comes to me and starts talking about how other sons give a certain part of their monthly salaries to their mothers. Then, she casually asked me when was I going to have a job. For a few seconds, I did feel bad. I wanted to ask her “All the hard work that I have been doing, is this not Work?”. But I did not, she was just being a mom.
These conversations do affect me a bit but do not scare me. I am scared of that day when my dad will ask me about my choices. I will have sleepless nights.
That evening, when he said to me to do whatever I wanted to do. Those words were enough for me. That moment was emotional and gave me such relief and a lot of confidence as well.
If he had shown even little apprehension, it would have a difficult decision for me to make. I would constantly feel pressure regarding my current work and enjoy less.
For a person, who essentially has been living as a government job holder. I will forever be grateful for letting me explore.
And I didn’t even thank him for it. I still haven’t.
I have to use this blog, perhaps maybe because this is the least I could do for now. For the kind of awkward relationship, we have, it took a big effort to even talk about such a rational thing, and being emotional and thanking him is a completely different level for me. I hope I get the strength to at least share this blog with him.
Thank You Dad! for letting me do what I want to do.
Thank you for the bicycle you bought for me and especially Thank you for handling those cries and tantrums.
Thank you for not buying me those expensive hot wheels or a motorcycle when I was 17 because now I understand.
Thank you for asking me if I need money every single time I go for a trip, even though I am earning in my bit.
Thank you for letting me drink beers with my friends at our home and even sharing your drink with my friends.
Thank you for letting me understand the responsibilities that come with freedom.
Thank you for providing our family the life that would not be possible without you.
Thank you for making me go and not go through things that a normal 25-year-old should have.
Thank you for not letting me know about your doubts about my work.
Thank you Dad! for letting me be me.
Thank you for being you.
I hope, one day I can say all this in person to you.