Friday, June 29, 2007

Happiness... I am drenched in happiness

June 2007

A month I will never ever forget 'till the day I turn blue in the face and stop breathing.

The 18th of June
The birth of Emil Siddhartha Lehene, the latest addition to our family (well not to my clan, but WHATEVER!!!) - my little sister's and my karate kid chomping brother-in-law's son. Damn is he cute, can't wait for the day I get to teach him headbanging :)

The 29th of June
A day which tops even the birth-date of my own nephew. And I doubt there are too many incidents out there which could top that... but this one did - by a mile almost.

A day when my father and mother finally freed themselves from a box full of shackles and mental torment.
A day when crazy samurai me for a moment stopped being crazy, to soak in all the happiness pouring out of my soul.

...After 4 years of sheer hell and agony, after 4 years of struggle and running from post to pillar, after 4 years of seeing my father fighting a lone battle against corrupt, cynical and sarcastic government officials (inefficient clerks, sick police officers and haughty IAS officers in high places in our beauracratic circle) - I/we finally got what we had deserved by right.

On the 29th of June 2007, I (Prasanna Singh) was handed over a certificate by the Ministry Of Home Affairs, the Government Of India - a certificate that will forever change my life... a green piece of paper certifying that I was a CITIZEN of INDIA and that the afore-mentioned fact had been registered as well (from the 4th of June 2007 to be precise).

Back-track to the past:
** I was born in Dallas, Texas, The United States Of America

** I WAS an American citizen and I WAS a US passport holder - something even more precious than a "GREEN CARD"... something which a lot of morons out there are dying to get hold of. Morons all of you, whoever you are.

** If I was still living in the USA then things might have been different. But I've been living in India since Decemeber 1981 (which was when my family and I re-located to this country) - from class III onwards... and I've never felt anything BUT an Indian, inpsite of my past history.

** I am not the epitome of the perfect Hindu son, which you get to read about in the Ramayana (aka Rama) or in the Mahabharata (aka the Pandavas) - but I care for my folks a helluva lot, and somehow I dont have it in my system to relocate to so called "greener pastures", be it the U.S.A. or even to other Indian cities. My folks need me as much as I needed them when I was young. So I had always planned to stay back for them. Hence the decision to opt for Indian citizenship. Maybe if I was a more ambitious soul I might have flown the coop, but I'm not - and I dont give a shit either. This is me, and I am happy this way - I like myself the way I am. Some women might call this "the mommy's boy syndrome". I call it being there for your folks both mentally and physically, the way they did when you used to pee in your diapers when you were a kid.

** Some things never change - getting through this shit was one of the most difficult battles my family had to fight. We didnt know an iota about the laws regarding Indian nationality and we were given bad advice and led down the wrong path for almost a year. And it took us nearly another year just to get things back on the right track. We were lucky to get out of this beauracratic red-tape maze... some people never manage to and die trying.

** This would never-ever have worked out if it werent for my father. He's turning 71 in July and he's not getting any younger obviously... in these last 4 years he's fought a battle against arthritis (mild, thank god), losing one of his kidneys totally, not being able to walk due to artery blockages in both his thighs, and a by-pass surgery (his 2nd after almost 30 years)... he's not the witty happy soul that he once was and he's become slow in the head too. Plus his eyesight is failing him.
And yet he plowed on - he fought single-handedly against the shit that was thrown to him by the West Bengal and Indian governments. He persevered. For me.

If you havent spoken to your parents - I mean, had a meaningful conversation - with them in a long time, then do it. Now.
If you think of leaving your folks to fend for themselves when they start turning old and grey, then think twice.
There is no one, but no one, on this planet who will love you more than your parents - not your best friend, not your boy-friend or girl-friend, not your husband or wife, not your dog, not the broad you banged and whom you think loves you... None of them.
Its your folks that do - no one else. Remember that.

After 4 years of struggle and uncertainty we finally won. Truth be told, I kind of feel numb, like in a dream - I guess it hasnt sunk in yet. But I look at my parents and I see them smiling and their eyes shining brightly... and I cant but feel ecstatic - not for me, but more for them. I know both of them will be sleeping peacefully tonight after a very very long time.

I am happy - a new chapter is being written in my life now... and it is a chapter that shall be drenched in happiness.


panu said...

BUBUDA, take care. You need a respite after all this. The fight was worth every cent, samurai. And I AM glad you won in the end, that you did not let it get you down. Please please take care of yourself, i worry.

Thats the unfortunate's habit.

And you are right about the parents. I once saw a battle too.

My father fought and won. But it killed a lot of things inside me somehow.

Rijoo said...

Cheers for the good 'ol Jedi :) That touched.

Little Dandelion said...

I am so insanely happy for you. You deserve the best.