WOES OF A FRIEND

I could make it: the buzz of phone ringing on the other side. But I quickly concluded it doesn’t matter if I didn’t receive any response.

The usual not replying my phone calls I have been noticing for about a year and a half.

The person I’m attempting to contact and unable to reach is a friend of mine for forty years. For reasons shockingly not understood by me, he got embroiled in a bitter divorce battle with his wife.

Not answering my routine phone calls, since then, has become an indication of his depressive days. Most of my attempts, my convincing reasoning of the facts of the unpredictability of women’s dangerous playfulness didn’t help to pull him into a normal routine.

The shock of rejection by his wife had trampled badly on his male ego. A fact which I never appreciated he kept the whole dark episode from me for more than a year. Perhaps, he wanted to escape from the indignity of tainted family affairs being a topic of disrespectful talk among his social circles.

By the time I knew it the whole web of intolerance, a volley of abuse, among his small family of four had become very dirty. It has traveled too far to be in a safe realm to grasp and beyond any reach of timely repair. It’s like a bad case of well-intentioned people wearing the blinds of distrust. And not willing to see their loved ones by removing them.

Let me discuss my friend’s positive traits briefly. I can say he is attractive, moderately built, brightly talented, and hardworking. He has all the trappings to be at the center of any gathering. I can mean this is his social persona supposedly.

In a sense, if he had managed to transport these traits and cheerfulness into his household. Had had he behaved in a manner which took his whole family under his generous shade. I supposed the whole flight of his life would have avoided the present turbulence.

But, after many meetings with his wife and children, I came to know about one secret. Most of the time not visible to the public: a religious mask my good friend was wearing at home: all the while.

Now the other shade of his personality was open. What I found out was about his dogmatic affinity to his religion and its procedures. And slightly fanatical rudeness whenever discussing it and awkwardly protecting it.

I move with a bunch of friends whom I considered them fairly open and generous. Our views are moderate; our lives less complicated. Among many of my friends we never assumed in our many years of staying together. The likes of religion or caste had no clout in our day to day social affairs or our family gatherings.

Ordinarily, I approved that religious time is 1% and rest 99% devoted to me, my family, and my profession and my well-being. I adopted this as my philosophy wheel with which I lead my family.

The unfortunate, painful consequence of my friend’s predicament was that he had reversed the priorities. Unknown to many, he allowed his deep women biased religious leanings to play a dominant role. He allowed them to dictate to manage all his family affairs.

His wife and his children endured the discourtesy for as many years. They took it as silently as their patience permitted and to the point, they depended on him. And they boldly decided when they no longer could adjust to his biased whimsicalities. Once they started earning by their means, they tossed him out with deadly revenge. Mother and the two children threw him heartlessly out. They pronounced they had nothing to do with him.

A year later, reeling in his conceit, his life shred apart, my friend, I guess, is presently suffering a deadly spell hurled by his wife.

Now, this was the mighty reason why my friend hardly responds to my phone calls.

However, I tried, but any amount of reasoning didn’t bring in any favorable shift in his bias towards his family relationship. He seemed comfortable in his stubbornness and escaped to a mood of denial. It happened whenever I confronted him. And I argued why he doesn’t make amends and reason out an agreeable outcome.

Driven by his foolish firmness he would brush me off, “I’m always right, it’s they who violated the family izzat.” He defended still trapped in his orthodox profile.

Several of our friends firm to win a solution to his marital standoff. We have pulled together to enlighten him, how he should go about calling a truce with his family members.

Four years later still whenever we sit together, I keep pressing on him how he should have saved his family. I wouldn’t mind giving a bit of perspective of my philosophy of keeping the family in a comfortable, secure shelter.

It went like this:

Caring for vibrant married life and seeing it in a happy flourishing closeness is pure conscious hard work. It is something similar to a tightrope walk. Our knack involved fragile balancing and eyes in the front. At the end of the walk, it’s all claps and cheers. Likewise, personally, whatever irritations caused off-balance; at the end of the day, I’m there to hear claps and smiles in my home.

I would speak and behave sensibly. I cared to see in my presence my wife and children never have to go around with a strain in their eyes and stress on their minds. On any given day my intentions through my words, action and thoughts displayed a supportive aura. Are my family folks relaxed in my presence? I considered this as the core mantra of goodwill I elected to build among the family members.

For my wife and my children, I’m attentive of their priorities, the need for their psychological space. In whatever way the pulls and plucks of the day knocked. I knew I’m in charge of the sails to see the family boat drifted smoothly.

Let me refer back to my friend’s issue. The major fissure that had caused the fracture in his life was his wife’s reluctance to reconcile. She stuck to her stubborn reasoning not to forgive him, and ‘he didn’t treat us well’ past.

A glowing serene face of a wife represents the tranquil conviction about her husband and children for whom she is an honored custodian. I have learned in a long, tough way it’s she who gives away half her shoulders to support our hardships. And in any eventuality willing to sacrifice the whole of her efforts when we are badly down defeated.

Despite the experience of goodwill, and the family life I have enjoyed. I miserably failed to impress my friend. To make him know how familial harmony is the bedrock of a man’s success and future. Like to make him know, “Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.”If our spouses have to play their part close to their heart, it is the essential task of the husband to keep the welfare of the family dear to his caring heart.

Moreover, there was every chance that a serious disaster would sweep in when we see father and mother display contempt towards one another. The likeliest result: the children suffer. A hostile background at home can leave children emotionally tired, psychologically confused.

I persistently attacked my friend’s neglectful approach towards his children.

The lively harmony in a house is one that fashions in every step for the children to build up pleasing attitudes. It matters for them proudly if both the parents appreciate their self-esteem and take pleasure in their achievements. A healthy intimate relationship between parents is a precursor for creating a healthy space for the children. It helps to realize their individuality.

A broken marriage is bad for health and mind, and it portends an unhappy future. It is true for all the family members involved. I wish my friend realized this reality much sooner than the time to repair the relationships expires.

As we take our tired steps towards advancing years. Our wishful prayers should include a few little comforts. I lovingly care to include the warmth of a loving companion and supportive children. Chosen humbly; a plate on our table, relaxing hobbies, healthy habits and simple routines, a choice to live independently. And preserve our own identity and remembered as a kind living soul.

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