– a story
He had a conniption fit when he first heard about his son wanting to study art. Art?? Is that why he had sent him to the city, to the best school?? He wanted the boy to be an engineer or a doctor. How could anyone make a living with art??
Then his wife had told him about Raja Ravi Varma and paintings, explained about museums etc. How did she know about all those things?? Hrrrmph. All he knew about painters were those unkempt looking boys who came to whitewash the walls of his house.
Agriculture had been his life from the time he could remember. He was going to have none of this painter business in this family of illustrious farmers. A doctor maybe, an engineer probably, they were respectable jobs, but no painter.
He had ranted and raved, even threatened to take the stick to the boy the time he had announced insolently,
“You are janky!”
Janky! I will have you call me janky, forsooth. He had ground his teeth. His wife had to intervene and save their son from his wrath. What the hell did the word mean anyway?? Later on in the night he surreptitiously looked it up in the dictionary. Just as he had thought, it wasn’t even there in the dictionary. Bah! All that expensive education had not even done the boy any good. He did not even know to speak the Queen’s English. It was the same as the time the boy had told him to scooch. Scooch?? Where do they come up with such words?!!
What dreams he had of his son returning to the village as a doctor, attending to and taking care of the villagers, while he the proud father basked in the reflected glory. An engineer would not have been bad either. He had to relent and send his son off to study art after the head master and his arts teacher, had tried to convince him of his son’s potential. But it had taken his wife’s gentle persuasion to make give the final nod of agreement.
He was horrified when one fine day his son had returned looking quite unlike the boy he had bid adieu to on his way to that college that taught, ugh, arts. The colorful shirt, the long hair, the totally effeminate look had put him off. He had thrown another tantrum and refused to speak to him. Not all the efforts on the part of his dear wife succeeded in cooling him off.
“Dad, it’s time!” He woke up from his reverie with a start, to see his son stand nearby.
“Ahhh okay…” he said. What she could not in life, his dear wife had achieved with her death. How he missed her.
He accepted the hand his son proffered and stood up. The joints were a little stiff these days. He was in his crispest and whitest dhoti and kurta, the colorful head gear in place. He followed his boy, head held high.
The crowd respectfully parted, making way for him. He was amazed at the turnout. He felt his heart constrict. How happy she would have been to be here today.
Someone thrust a salver at him. He carefully took the scissors and cut the red ribbon stretching across the door. Everyone clapped, the cameras flashed blinding him. The exhibition of his son’s paintings was now officially open. He could hear people congratulating his son. He heard a few questions directed at him. He smiled and waved his hand to indicate he had nothing to say. Mercifully his son led him away to a quiet corner, away form the limelight.
From there, he watched the throng who had come to see the paintings. He heard that the paintings sold for astronomical sums. He wondered who the people were who spent such astounding sums for these splotches of…. No, he reminded himself, they were acclaimed paintings. It was true, he understood next to nothing about them. There seemed to be a lot more to this world than what he understood.
He watched the people milling around, listened to the snatches of conversation. He looked across the room at his son, to him still effeminately dressed, long unruly hair and all. How happy and contented he looked. People around him seemed to hang on to his every word. His heart swelled with pride. The reflected glory felt comfortingly warm even in the air-conditioned coolness of the gallery’s confines.
Words of the week: conniption, janky, scooch
Sheilagh Lee said:
I love this story it is avery good moral sometimes a parent just has to let their child find their own way be their own person with their own future.I love that he ws finally proud of his son
Thank you 🙂 Yeah, parents have to let children be their own persons, find their own way. 🙂
Sally A. said:
It would be good if we could all remember what the father discovered in the end…”there seemed to be a lot more to this world than what he understood. ”
Bingo! That is what it is about, isn’t it?? 🙂 Thank you Sally 🙂
G Vishwanath said:
This post tugged at my heartstrings.
I went through a similar experience myself.
In 2003-2004, my son, after a brilliant academic career at school, with great marks in Science ignored engineering, medicine, commerce, management, computer science, accountancy and announced he wanted to study the arts!
After some initial concern , we went along with his decision.
The results vindicated us.
He cleared his BA with first class and distinction from St Joseph’s College, Bangalore and went on to get elected as one of India’s five Rhode’s Scholars of the year 2007 and proceeded to Oxford University. I didn’t have to spend a paisa. The Rhode’s scholarship took care of his expenses and tuition fee.
He passed his BA from Oxford University with a first class and distinction and is now about to complete his Masters from Oxford University and is planning ahead for a PhD in his favourite subject, namely Philosophy.
If I had forced into some thing his heart was not into, I would probably have destroyed his career. We lived in different times during our younger days. Parental pressure, peer pressure and employment prospects and not our aptitudes influenced our decisions regarding the choice of our careers.
I will relate the story of how he earned the Rhode’s scholarship in detail later if any one feels interested in reading about it.
I will try my hand with conniption, janky and scooch later today.
Your experience sounds similar to the one we had with reference to my son the artist who gave up engineering after a month of attending classes. Of course he has yet to prove himself since he is still studying in his chosen field 🙂 Wonderful reading about your son. My wishes for him to achieve his goal of a PhD in Philosophy.
Yes, we lived in different times. Do you know I would have been an English Literature student if I had my way?? 🙂 Or even Home Science?? I loved it as much as I hated Economics in which I took my Masters.
I love the way you have used the words. That is true ingenuity. Great story
Thank you Ritu. 🙂 You saw the story for itself I am happy about that 🙂
G Vishwanath said:
As part of my volunteer duty, I had to SCOOCH through the milling crowds to mount a hurriedly erected JANKY make shift platform to pacify the VIP who was having a CONNIPTION at the poor arrangements made to felicitate him.
Thanks for teaching me three new words.
Will I ever use them? I don’t know.
For the benefit of lazy readers, who find reaching for a dictionary too taxing:
Conniption: a fit of rage, hysteria, making a scene.
Janky: of poor quality, untrustworthy
scooch: squeeze through limited or restricted space
Good one 🙂 Thank you for sharing the meaning of the words. The meanings given to us by Thom G at Three Word Wednesday site was like this:
conniption; noun: a bad tantrum. One has a conniption or conniption fit.
janky; adjective: broken or functioning poorly or improperly; messed up.
scooch; verb: to move over, or to scoot.
This week we had something different, slang words 🙂 But you will be amazed at how some of them have used it in their verse. Nanka’s (comment below) haiku is worth checking.
very interesting story .
Loved the way you have portrayed the ‘father ‘ . so real, so opinionated yet so lovable.you weaved the words so imaginatively.
And I owe a huge thanks to GV, as I am one of the benifited readers he mentioned in his comment.
Thank you Kirti, a lovable opinionated man was what I intended him to be. I am glad that got through. 🙂
Shail that was an interesting tale with a lesson to learn 🙂 I also liked the experience shared here by one of your readers Mr G.V, whose take on the 3WW prompt too is making me smile!!
These were challenging words to tackle Shail and you have done well!!
Thank you 🙂 GV is always coming up with interesting sentences using the 3WW words. This is the third week over here. 🙂
Good use of the words. Everyone says children should be allowed to be children and I agree…but parents too should be allowed to be parents.
Thank you. It’s true what you say, each one should be allowed to be themselves. Is there a conflict with that idea anywhere here?? Out of curiosity, what exactly entails ‘being allowed to be a parent’??
Jae Rose said:
Beautiful Shail..I could feel the father’s pride -and was so happy it ended with both father and son finding their own place(s) in the world..Jae
Thank you 🙂 It can end happily always… with a little give and take, a little understanding, a little forgiving 🙂
Interesting and lovable story. Had a few of those problems myself, when very much younger. Those two characters are worth bringing back sometime.
Welcome to Shail’s Nest and thank you. It is a common enough problem, faced by quite a few, especially those who have a dream different from those of their parents. 🙂
Loved your poem 🙂
V L Sheridan said:
Oh Shail, this was so beautiful! I have tears in my eyes. I’m so glad the dad could come around and be proud of his son. Great use of the words.
@V L Sheridan,
Than you so much for the heartfelt appreciation 🙂
@V L Sheridan,
Thank you so much for the heartfelt appreciation 🙂
RJ Clarken said:
Wow. What a beautiful story – and I loved the ending. It made me feel a bit misty, I have to say. I loved this tale. Thank you!
Welcome ot Shail’s Nest and thank you for your very appreciative comment 🙂
Oh how you got me with this one LOL
As a parent myself all I could do was stand back and let her decide the course of action. I don’t agree with it but then again, she has not let me down in all the areas that I’ve been harping on. Although I want to jump in and direct traffic, she’s been doing very well so far 🙂
Welcome to Shail’s Nest 🙂 I am glad to hear about your not directing the traffic for your daughter and that she is doing well so far. Way to go Ren! 🙂
It was an eye opener. Well, i as a student myself had to face a big no from my grand father when i opted to graduate with psychology as my major! and gradually could bad a doctorate in the same. He said psychology in India would be of no good career option, today i see much brighter future. I am glad that he finally allowed me to go ahead with my decision and what i can tell is that parents understand us the best than anyone and wouldn’t allow something that would harm or not good for their kids. Loved the story!
Not all the time. Sometimes children are forced into decisions that are not theirs. It needs lot of strength to stand u against parents. Look at me. I lost my opportunity to study English Literature because I hadn’t the fight in me to stand up for what I wanted to do. So what good did Economics do?? I don’t agree that parents understand children the best. They make decisions from their perspective which may not be the field of interest of the child at all.
It is good that you were able to follow the line you wanted to. 🙂 And thank you 🙂
Kim Nelson said:
Great message here.
Welcome to Shail’s Nest and thank you 🙂
WOW !!! Brilliant….so apt for today’s world, where Art is one of the preferred subjects indeed now. 🙂
Love the usage of those 3 words…u are too good at it, Shail. 🙂
Gee, thanks 😀 😀 Yeah nowadays parents are willing for their children to opt for Art as their subject. Sigh, I was interested in it once upon a time. I dared not even express that wish. And yes, I used to do pencil drawings then. 😉
wonderful use of some very hard slang. Great tale.
Thank you. It was a challenge to use them. 🙂 Looking forward to try my hand at the next lot.
Indian Homemaker said:
Lovely story, lovely moral. It’s so true that parents sometimes don’t understand the children’s world!
//There seemed to be a lot more to this world than what he understood.//
That is something all of us should have in mind, isn’t it?? There is lot more to the world than our limited vision of it. 🙂
Bob Hoff said:
An interesting and excellent story with a happy ending–who could ask for more?
Your story personally resonates with me. Darren likes drawing and art expression, yet he took a two year degree in drafting, only to find that he doesn’t like drafting. I don’t think that I influenced that decision. He has mentioned that he may take some art course in college yet.
Erik took a two year degree in Liberal Arts. I was hoping that he would go on for a BA in history or something similar. But he decided that for the time being that he wants to take a break from college/studying, and he isn’t even sure that he will go back.
I want them to make their own decisions, as I made mine about what to study.
Because I enjoy reading so much I want them both (actually all three of them, plus Jimi) to be readers. Their choices to play video games is one I wish they would reverse, but it is entirely their decision, though I know that they realize how I feel about that.
I think these video game-playing attitudes are directly correlated to our ages differences.
I am glad for the good fortune of the painter son and his Dad in your great story. Thanks for sharing.
Now I have a “confession” to make and I know that you will not harshy reprimand me or make me write this 500 times, but even at my age as I just read your story, I have always used and enjoyed using the concept of a “conniption fit, but I have always thought that konniption as the correct spelling. 🙂
Color me embarrassed. But at least I have a friend who writes and spells very well. 🙂 🙂