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Let's just say it's complicated

June 22, 2015 14:01 IST

Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker will most likely confirm that fathers and sons share a very, very... VERY complicated relationship.

Sumrit Shahi tries to explain this convoluted relationship:

Dear dad, I don't love you.

I mean c'mon I can't love you.

You're not mom.

We can exchange curt looks not secret smiles.

You're the man and I'm the boy who's soon going to be a man and since we're supposed to endorse our ball scratching community's code we can't love each other publicly.

And you know that.

It's not like I can throw tantrums, shout at you and be dramatic with you, the way I'm with mom, when I'm sick.

Or I can't find my iPod. Or clothes. Or anything in my room, whenever it's cleaned.

So yea, I don't and can't love you.

Dad we don't talk yet we communicate.

When we get emotional, we discuss cricket. Or cars.

And shake hands when we want to hug.

Yet when we want to say something uncomfortable to each other, we don't hesitate.

One bit. And let it all out, raw and unfiltered supported by our ability to break expensive china, that mom's painfully bargained for at the mall.

Funny isn't it?

Not like we don't know each other.

But we just don't show that to each other.

Well, that's the way, it has always been and it probably won't change.

Let's face it: it's the way you and I've been designed.

You're so good at hiding everything -- emotions, worries, tensions and problems and I'm so good at pretending to not care.

You've probably have known all along that I've streamed porn ever since I discovered the merits of combining teenage with the scientific wonder called Internet yet you've been so oblivious to it.

You're not mom, who'll come into my room and switch off the Wi-Fi router at night.

Thank you for silently acknowledging my growing up and just letting me in, in the guilty hours of night while I really discovered what really being a man is all about, looking at you silently toil through the day.

You've probably known why that expensive scotch bottle from your bar has looked emptier every time my friends have stayed over for the night.

Thank you, for letting me fend off a hangover myself and suffer through it, your intention stands served. I now know where to stop. Well, mostly.

Dad, for the longest I've known that you know that I've dated, indulged and probably stolen your cologne every time before going on a date.

I've sneaked your car out at night and you've known the car meter reading yet you've pretended to know otherwise.
Dad, I know you know I've come home drunk yet you've always just poured yourself a drink, making sure I don't have to have that 'tension drink' every night, that you do, so that I can enjoy my drinks for a lifetime.

You smoke so much! Please don't. I understand it's to calm the worked nerves with all the worries to provide me a future when I don't have to smoke to worry about my future.

And now that I've just started to work, I'm done judging you on how you never wanted me to smoke.

Dad, I know there have been times, when you've not given me money, let me struggle in situations and make me hate you, only for you know, difficult situations can and have made me strong.

You've not been around for Parent Teacher Meetings, school pays, college functions -- only to make sure that those parent teacher meets, plays and college functions happen in the best institutes and I get a chance to be in there and sulk about you not being there.

You've often told me to save money.

And plan, only because you've worked so hard and set a plan where I can think about not planning.

Dad, I know today I can fit my foot into your shoes and you've waited long for that.

But I don't like those shoes-cause they're old yet you've chosen to accept my choices.

And not hit me with those shoes. There are so many things I don't want you to do and I shout and crib for that. You don't. Thank you for that.

Dad, I don't love you. I can't.

It's not like I'll just hug you tonight and we'll go emo on each other. We'll probably maintain our distance. Just the way it is. Just the way it has been.

Because in the end, dad, I know, you probably won't say that you'll always be around.

But I know you're my shadow-flexible yet indispensable.

And you'll stay with me through the sunshine so I can fend for myself when it gets dark.

And I don't love you. I breathe you.

For all that you've taught me by not saying. But by being the way you are. The way you've been. And they way you'll be.

***Let's just pretend I never said this. And discuss the upcoming cricket match again.***


Sumrit Shahi is a bestselling author of three novels and one of the youngest scriptwriters in the Indian TV industry with shows such as Sadda Haq and Million Dollar Girl on Channel V.

He has just released his third novel, Never Kiss Your Best Friend.

He is 22.

Photograph (used for representational purposes only): Still from the movie Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

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