I’m taking a break from films and cultural critiques and papers to eat my chicken bun and Chai. I’m getting back to my usual self (almost) and am attempting to rejoice in a welcomed silence. I just wish I didn’t feel so empty.
I’ve been seriously looking for a new job and apartment. I think it’s time. And if my parents give me shit about it, I’ll remind them of their own choices.
I mean, my father left his country when he was just 17. If he had stayed, his wealth and status would surely have acquired him a power position as a state official or a high ranking judge. He could have had a perfect Bengali bride and obedient children. But he didn’t want it, he didn’t choose what was easy, what he was privileged to without earning. He made his own way in a foreign land, married a foreign bride---holding down his family by holding up three jobs. And I can’t tell you if he’s happy today, but I know he’s proud of what he has earned.
And my mother---if you would believe it---was once a radical (that’s probably why she talks about pot all the time). The proof is in the pictures. No, she’s no Angela Davis, but she staged protests and fought for political prisoners’ freedom. She changed my father from being arrogant and self-entitled. Her passion for life humbled his ego and cynicism. We often clash, but I have to acknowledge that I am like her in many ways.
It was destiny that brought the two of them together. How could they believe a child of theirs would yield? I was meant to resist and defy, just as they have grappled with their own choices. But they seem to forget these things. They seem to forget who they were in light of how things are.
It’s going to be hard. Learning to get along on your own is sure as hell going to be hard. I’m going to have to give up a lot of the comforts I’m accustomed to, but I have not earned these things. They have given me agency---ensured that I grew up with an open mind, that I had the best tutors, that I lived in a nice home with the newest gadgets. They gave me a taste of freedom---granted, it was greatly limited, but it was freedom none the less.
Now they need to let me build my own life. They need to trust in my capabilities.