Aug 23, 2010

Happy Onam - or is it?

Four days back, I wasn't even aware of when Onam was. I wasn't even sure that it was this month. For those unaware, Onam (wiki) is the traditional harvest festival of Kerala. This is when Mallus from all around the world -- yeah, they are all around the world, some even on the moon -- come back to Kerala and celebrate the festival with their families with feasts and festivities. You are supposed to do it if you are true-core Mallu.

Not that I'm not one. But I haven't celebrated Onam in the last five years. Ever since I came to Mumbai in 2005 to start my residency in KEM hospital, Onam has been almost like an afterthought. In the first two years, I eagerly longed to have a feast at the least on Thiruvonam day, at some restaurant in Mumbai.

But look at me now. I don't want a feast. I don't want to celebrate. All I want is to be left alone. Technically, I could even have flown to Kerala and spent some time with my family. Yeah, right! The last of my priorities now is to spend time with my family -- my parents and sister are okay -- but everyone else, I would not want to spend even the tiniest nanosecond of my time with them.

Why? Because I would have start to explain as to why I lost my way from being a successful orthopedic surgeon, the best academician in the family, to a paltry KPO job which hardly pays for what I deserve. Also, I would have to explain to them why I have grown my hair long, why I have pimples, why I have a paunch, why I can't live without Internet or Twitter, why I can't be anything but funny, and why music is so important to me.

They wouldn't get it. And I don't want to try and get it to them either. It's a lost cause, I feel. This feeling is so deep rooted that I've almost made my mind up to skip my sister's delivery -- the time that I'll become an uncle, or the time that I'll come closest to my cherished parenthood -- yeah, I'm forfeiting all that. I'm probably not going to Kerala then.

About a couple of weeks back, I had a conversation with my sister about this. Obviously, she was shocked. I tried to explain that I can't handle the family -- I also mentioned my parents as a part of the family that I can't face -- and she couldn't believe it! Of course, she can't believe it. She doesn't want to believe it. She thinks that I'm selfish and an jackass of an asshole. Well, I might be, but that's what suits me and my living right now.

So, on this day when the rest of the Malludom is celebrating the festival of Onam, I'm brooding at the thought of how my ties with my family are disintegrating -- mostly due to my own insecurities and issues, but partly due to them as well. I guess, I will once and for all be the brother who never lived up to his promises the son who never lived up to his parents' expectations.


Anonymous said...

I can totally relate 2 what ur going throuh...nw tat am done wid my residency ive 2 b home wid them and i dunno hw am gonna survive being gay & a doc in kerala.

Anonymous said...

You are aware of every situation that you are going through in your life, that is half the problem solved.

Your sister and parents need their brother/son (atleast as a guest in their lives). Do you think you will be able to do what you have to after addressing all the issues that face you today. I don't think so.

I am nobody to advise you, but let me tell you that certain things have to be done at the right time. You should be with your sister, I think she would like to see the uncle in you.

Do not distance away from people you once meant the world to you. Make that effort, it may be hard, but you will feel good.

A well wisher.

Kris Bass said...

@Anonymous 1: Why do you have to go back to Kerala. Why can't you practice here?

@Anonymous 2: Thanks for the advice. But I don't think I'm a position to be with my sister for her delivery.