Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FINDING MY FATHER... The Empty Years


Life has been rough for me, but I have been fortunate to have a family that has loved me and brought me up to be who I am today. Most credit would go to my grandmother and my two aunts, who have loved me like a son and always been so supportive in everything I do. They made sure I grew up not deprived of any luxury, some would even go so far as to say I was spoiled by them but I disagree (I’m as normal as they come).

When my dad passed away I think I was about 7 or 8 years old, and it’s funny because I don’t remember much of that day. It is quite possible that because of the mental trauma, my brain decided to erase those memories and weirdly enough I don’t remember much about my dad. But of late I’ve been trying to find a common ground with him and finally forgive him for not being there when I needed him most.
                             
To be brutally honest I hated him when he died. He was my hero, I would sit and watch him play the guitar, listen to him sing, and boy how I wanted to be like him. And then he passed away, leaving a very big empty hole in my heart, I was confused. At first it was alright and not so much of hate, but loneliness and terribly missing him. It was only when I became a teenager that I realized how much I needed him to be there for me, and his constant absence manifested a deep sense of hatred for him. In my mind he was the most selfish man on the planet for leaving me and my brother alone.

For instance when I had my first girlfriend, I wished he was around so I could have told him about her, or when she broke my heart I wanted him to tell me ‘son everything’s going to be okay’. It felt like there was no life after her or without her, and I needed him to tell me that she was just the first of many to come. When I learned to play the guitar, I wanted to show him what I had learned, I wanted him to teach me to be as good as he was. I wanted him to be there when I sang in church for the first time. When I got into my first fight and got my ass kicked, I wanted him to be there to save my ass. I wanted so many things from him but instead, I had to go through everything on my own. Constantly encouraging myself, battling complexes and trying to be an example for my brother, playing the part he was suppose to play. I swore I would never turn out like him!

Finding a common ground is hard, because all the memory I have of him is lost and the ones that I have now, are just hand me down memories from my family, his friends and acquaintances. The stories they tell of him sometimes made me angrier, because they talk about how good a man he was, how he could make everybody laugh, how intelligent and smart he was and how well he sang. In my mind I was always jealous, jealous because I wanted to be a part of those moments too, and it sucked to be the only one who has no memory of him, with him.  And they say he loved me dearly, I only wish I could have heard him say it and experienced it for myself.

As I got older, I reached a point where I needed to know more about him at a personal level. I tried really hard to remember moments I spent with him as a child, and I would get flashes of events but all too random and too brief to make any sense. I would go through pictures and try to recollect when they were taken, but nothing would come up. You have no idea how frustrating it can be, to want to know more about someone you’ve grown up hating, trying to forgive them and wanting so much to not hate them anymore but learn to love them, but have no memory of any affection whatsoever.  

I do have a very clear memory of a time in kulikawn (a locality in Aizawl). I was in KG2 Mary Mount School, and one fine day I came home with my report card and he asked me how I did, I smiled told him I did very well showed him my grades and asked him for some cash to buy candy. He took the report card from me and saw that my grades were all marked in red (I failed every subject) he slapped the shit out of me! I can’t help but smile when I think back.

Oh and there’s this one moment I also remember of him doing something nice to stop me from crying. The bugger duped me, but I guess I can forgive him for it. Since I was failing in all my subjects on a very regular basis in Aizawl, my granny decided to take me down to Shillong to live with her and continue my studies there. So, my dad took me down to Shillong and after a few days it was time for him to go back to Aizawl so I remember him loading his luggages in the car and getting ready to leave. I started crying like a girl, loud, annoying and unstoppable. He couldn’t leave seeing me like that, so, he gave me his katana (the sword Ninjas use) and I stopped crying and he told me he was just going out shopping to get me kung fu shoes (I was crazy about kung fu movies) and he left and never came back. My dad fooled me!

That’s it, that’s all I remember of him and me bonding - 1. He slapped the shit out of me. 2. He fooled me. And that’s not enough for me, I wanted more, more memories to get to know him better. But as hard as I tried nothing came up, and I guess it never will or maybe in time my mind will unleash these repressed memories. But until then, I’ve realized the only way I can get to know him better is through me. They say I look a lot like him (only he was more handsome), I sing like him, that I’m smart like he was and that I make people laugh like he did… so even though I had promised myself to never turn out like him, I guess I can’t escape, after all I am my father’s son. And for me to know him better I need to know myself better.

I have finally found peace with him and myself since I realized this. Every new day is more exciting than the last, as I find out a little more about myself, I know just a little more about him. Now I can finally say with a peaceful heart “Dad I love you, for your strengths, weaknesses and flaws and for all that you left behind… thank you, I would not be where I am, if it wasn’t for you”.  


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great

Jacqueline said...

Zakk a big hug for you man... your the most perfect writer, most expressive I have ever come across. U made me realize I'am so blessed to have a father figure in my life... YOU ARE THE BEST

Himani said...

Buddy. I read this with teary eyes. Glad you've expressed it and figured out the right way to keep him alive in your heart and I'm sure whenever you'll need him, he'll speak to you through you. Good luck Zack! :)

Rohlupuii Pachuau said...

hey....i could giv u a bih HUG rite now, ur awesome, u make me laugh n almost cry at the same time. love the part where u like kungfu shoes, cant imagine myself seeing u in one haha. have a blessed life....UR AWESOME!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Very touching. Great post, as always. Made me realize how blessed I am to still have my dad around....

mahima said...

I really liked the way you narrated your feeling in a very touching way. There is a saying that "A child needs the Mother the most" but i would say He needs a father too who holds his son's finger and show him the world.
Unfortunately you lost him at very young age. Proud to be whatever you are today sans him...He must be glad looking at you. Continue to be the sweet and caring person you are..

zakk_kima said...

Thanks You guys for the wonderful comments :-) it really means a lot!

dhruvsabi said...

Zakk u r such a brillant writer as well. How many good qualities you are still hiding. After reading this u made me almost cry.Awesum hats off to u bro!!!
Stay blessed.

dhruvsabi said...

Zakk u r such a brillant writer as well. How many good qualities you are still hiding. After reading this u made me almost cry.Awesum hats off to u bro!!!
Stay blessed.

dhruvsabi said...

Zakk u r such a brillant writer as well. How many good qualities you are still hiding. After reading this u made me almost cry.Awesum hats off to u bro!!!
Stay blessed.

zakk_kima said...

Thanks Dhruv, I'm glad you liked it. This was the most personal thing I've ever written and published.

Anonymous said...

this is still the best which i have ever read .

$angi said...

At first when u were describing ur dad, I thought to myself that u were describing yourself . Even when my aunts talk about how friendly and jovial ur dad was, I always said that u were just like ur dad. So I guess u need to know yourself to know ur dad ;)

tate pachuau said...

Sangkim i grew up listening to recordings of your dad singing and playing the guitar. One hell of a musician i must say. We still have those recordings of him jamming at our place with his friends. Will it help you in your quest to know youself better? Lemme know :) Good luck bro.

zakk sangkima said...

+tete pachuau that would be awesome. :-)