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It is that time of the year again. By the way, I wonder HOW many posts I have opened with this same sentence. I’ll have to go back and check. Be that as it may, and moving on, let me tell you about the time of the year. For sure it is February, and last year, I chose this month to ramble. Why not do it again, I thought. So here I am, to ramble for all twenty-eight days, ooops sorry, all twenty-nine days this time!

What’s different about this year is that I might be out and about a lot and so will be blogging via the phone mostly. So posts might be real short and hopefully sweet. But don’t get your hopes too high on that. Too much sweetness cloys, which is precisely why I have a packet of potato (or jack-fruit, banana or colocasia) chips handy when I come online.  I HAVE to nibble on them to escape the saccharine dripping posts shared by friends and foes alike.

Just the other day I saw a meme on Facebook that requested not to forget the one who  *sacrificed all to let me win* aka the father and the one who was *with me in every pain* aka the mother. I take great exception to posts like these. Did YOUR father sacrifice all to let YOU win? Fine. Tell us about it and I’d appreciate the fact as well as the man. Was YOUR mother with YOU in every pain? If the answer is yes, I’d be happy for your good fortune and be equally appreciative about her.

BUT… (yeah, the but always butts in, eh?)

Do NOT tell me father equals person who sacrifices all or mother equals someone who is with you in every pain. That’s UTTER rubbish and nonsense of the first order. Fathers are not a homogeneous unit, neither are mothers (just as women and men aren’t) to assign a single positive quality to all of them. Remember the emaciated girl child rescued from a cowshed? She was kept there for eight years by her mother. Another mother broke the bones of her toddler and didn’t even take the child to a hospital until it was too late. A father beat up his son and broke his arm. Another threatened violence and terrorized his toddler that she continued wetting her bed well into her teens. Yet another raped his pre-teen daughter. From which angle does it seem to these folk that all fathers and mothers are synonymous with goodness?

Of course, these might be extreme cases, but you only have to look around to see the many children abused and abandoned by parents. Parents (together or individually) can be cruel, narcissistic, jealous, selfish, egotistical, miserly, indifferent etc in varying degrees. In fact they can be extremely controlling by their smothering love too that children struggle from feelings of guilt to even breathe on their own without permission from them.

What I want to tell these people: When you suggest parents are repositories of all the good things like sacrifice, love, empathy and such, you are ignoring and belittling the struggles of children who have had a difficult childhood. Can you imagine how unfairly loaded the struggle is for a child for whom the one to look up to for nurture becomes the very one(s) who throttle? Your wonderful father or mother does NOT make ALL fathers and mothers wonderful. A very simple thing to understand actually. So, why not stop at telling the world what a wonderful father you had/have, how great your mother was/is? Wouldn’t that be a much better way than assuming foolishly, arrogantly, that everyone else has the same life as you?

So, now you get a fair idea of what’s going to happen this month. I was talking of cloying sweetness before I got sidetracked to rambling about one of my pet peeves. And that’s going to happen a LOT. Coming back to the posts for the rest of the month, you’ll find they may be short and (hopefully) sweet. But, be prepared for the caustic, bitter, salty, tangy, and of course the bland too.

So here’s to February, a month of ramblings.

©Shail Mohan 2016