The Meeting 

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Friday evening was significant. Very casually, my mother invited KC over for lunch at the new flat in Mumbai. KC’s schedule in Mumbai is always packed. Over 2 days he has to catch up with school friends and MBA friends. And spend quality time with me and his mother. Sometimes at the same time. I didn’t want him to reschedule his plans at the whims and fancies of my mother. 

I told her it wasn’t possible but left the final decision on him. I wondered how I would feel if he didn’t make the effort to make the time. I was going to resent him forever. I have suffered his mother for 8 years, he couldn’t take out an hour for mine?

To give some context, my parents met him and his family in 2008. It did not go well, to put it mildly. They haven’t met since. My relationship with my parents has mostly been stormy over the years. My dad’s heart ailment is what got me to call and visit after almost 2 years of no contact.

KC readily agreed. I was surprised when he insisted we accept the invitation. I moved it to breakfast because it was more convenient and we wouldn’t have to linger for more than an hour. It was a peaceful breakfast and I ferried KC out in 45 mins. 

I don’t know what prompted this change in my mother. I can only speculate. What I know for sure is that it doesn’t matter. I’ve gone through the whole circle of hurt, pain, tears, loneliness, learning to live without family and turning hard hearted. Am at a point where their views, opinions, affections, approval or disapproval have no place in my life. I walk on egg shells around them because they don’t understand me and I don’t understand them. It’s too late to repair anything now. Polite distance is all I have to offer now. Any gesture towards appeasement is too little, too late. 

My family is fraught with manipulation, jealousy, happiness at relatives’ misery, distrust, gossip, slander and selfishness. Everytime a relative calls after years of not staying in touch, my first thought is “what do they want now?”. I can almost predict their intentions and political designs and keep myself safe. It is a vortex I can’t get drawn into. Worse, pull KC into it. I will get out unscathed but he may not be so lucky.

This meeting was to test the waters but I have no intentions of breaking down the fences that have been built in the last 9 years. They do not get to mess my life again. Once was enough. Unfortunately the damage they’ve done is permanent. I will always be cynical about a parent child relationship.