By Jamuna Rangachari April 2012 A daughter goes beyond blaming her father for the death of her mother By Jamuna Rangachari My mother died when I was two. I heard that even when she was alive, she was unhappy due to money issues at home. My father had left his job and embarked on some business, which had failed. She, my father and I, were staying in my maternal grandfather’s home. Mother died at a time when there were a lot of money issues in both homes. I realised that being blamed for my mother’s death had caused him immense suffering. Yes, my mother was loved greatly by many people but hadn’t my father suffered too due to her untimely death? My grandfather was saddled with many children and now after my father’s business failed, he, my mother and I had to be taken care of as well. Lots of people attributed my mother’s unhappy life and untimely death to my father, though no one really knew for sure if it was the case. She had a bad headache one day and passed away on the next. As my father had lost his mother when he was 20, I was left behind in a house with many females, including my maternal grandmother and two young aunts. I blamed my father for subjecting my mother to so much misery. After my mother’s death, my father migrated to Africa. He again came to India and had an arranged marriage, after which I went to Africa with him and his new wife who was more like a sister to me. Later, he lost his job and returned to India where again he lost a lot of money in property deals. Since then, I only remained in touch with my father because I had developed a bond with my stepmother and stepbrother. I never really liked my father because he seemed to be the epitome of an irresponsible husband. Jamuna Rangachari is assistant editor ofLife Positive who has authored two booksfor children, and compiled andinterpreted Teaching Stories and MoreTeaching Stories for Life Positive. Only recently, when my father fell ill and could not read because of the retinal problem in his eye, did I realise that reading was as important to him as it was to me. I began calling him every day. Slowly, as day followed day, I began asking myself for the first time if I had been too harsh in judging him. As a father, he had always given me total freedom. Wasn’t that wonderful? He had maintained his relationships with friends and despite his hard luck with business, everyone trusted him with their money. The people (including the servants) who had worked for him still came and met him whenever they could. I realised that being blamed for my mother’s death had caused him immense suffering. Yes, my mother was loved greatly by many people but hadn’t my father suffered too due to her untimely death? Maybe, if she had lived longer, she would have witnessed a turn in his fortunes. Had that happened, all the pain she had undergone would have turned into a faint memory.Yes, my father had lost a lot of money. He was not terribly smart with it. But should he be blamed for it till eternity? He was merely being himself. Now, when I call him, I sense the joy in his voice when he speaks to me. This has helped me recognise that there are many versions of love.
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