Search this blog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Letter

Dear Grandpa,

I do not believe in the soul-watching-over-me thing; it's ridiculous. (I did make the mistake of thinking that you would take care of me while you were alive. God takes care of us all; no one else.) I once read in a book that it's good--even therapeutic--to write a letter to someone that you're angry with, even if that person was you, and you don't even have to give it to the recipient. I am angry at you, Grandpa!

I never really got it. Not only are you the smartest person in the whole family, but also the smartest person I have ever met in my entire life. You read a lot, you knew a lot, and you were good at languages. I still remember you speaking to us in gibberish when we were kids. I don't think that was a real language, but for some reason my siblings and I were led to believe that it was Hindi. One of the few French sentences you still remembered from your youth is "Comment allez-vous?" Well, je ne vais pas tres bien, Grand-pere! I still remember your magazines: National Geographic for as long as I can remember; and Time in your last few years/months on Earth. I also remember how you'd draw vertical lines on a sheet of paper to make a "table" in which you'd write all the new words you learned. I remember your "Al-Mawrid" dictionary. You really were one of a kind, Grandpa. You knew how to deal with anyone! Kids and oldies alike liked you. For some reason, though, you couldn't deal with your own family.

As a kid, when we lived at your house, I used to think of you as an evil man. Now I know that you never were. You were the one to yell at us, but that was because you were the only one to take care of us. I hated it when you'd wake us up at 6 a.m. to have breakfast. I hated breakfast! I hate hard-boiled eggs, OK? Well, I don't now, but I did back then, and I did for a few years after. But everyone else slept while you made us breakfast...

Remember when once I had to memorize half of Surat Ash-shams? You made me memorize all in one session. I recited after you with unceasing tears. Not everyone has your memory, Grandpa. Not everyone has your brain.

But what's the use of being a good person if you listen to bad people? Couldn't you ever tell your wife or son that they were being mean or taking what's not theirs? I am all against corporal punishment, but haven't you ever beaten your son? Not even when he badmouthed you and his own mother? What about when he'd beat us mercilessly? Where were you then?

Why did you listen to them--whoever they were--when they told you not to let me go to med. school? Why would anyone want to hurt me? I know now that you had more than enough money to support my studies, but someone--could be you!--didn't want that. You always said education is the most important thing, but still you (or at least someone) tried to deprive me of it. You had no idea how I felt back then. And I have very good reason to believe you didn't even care. Remember the one time I yelled at you? When I told you about my depression? You called me on the phone the following day to tell me off--to tell me not to threaten you ever again. I was crying! I never threatened you! Someone had apparently told you to say that to me. A few weeks afterwards, by the end of the month, it was time to give me my "allowance". You sent it to me with my brother. You were angry with me, but you still sent me the money. A few days later I came by to apologize, and you received me ever so nicely. Remember? You told me that with my backpack on (I was going to university afterwards or something) I looked like a foreigner. I never understood you well. Sometimes I feel you never wanted me to understand you. You never explained anything to me, and that's what angers me the most.

At times, I wonder if I have any right to be angry with you at all--whether I ever had any right to ask anything of you. But now I understand. It's all my father's responsibility; and he's always ditched it. I blame you for that sometimes. You should have done something.

Right after your death, he started making excuses for evading any responsibility towards us. Shortly he'd start making up petty quarrels to terminate any contact with us whatsoever (good riddance!), and now we haven't heard from him in over fourteen months. Everyone that hears that says that I should talk to him and apologize. Well, he's the one that should be apologizing, and you know it. Oh, and by the way, the last time we heard from him he said horrible things about you. He says you left all of these problems and responsibilities for him to deal with; that it's all your fault. It's funny how people perceive things the other way around sometimes.

I really don't know how I feel about you, Grandpa. I saw you in a dream of mine a few months ago, and you looked so sad and tired. You sat on the floor of Teta's balcony (not your wife), and you kissed me like you always did when you greeted me--back when you were alive.

I don't wanna cry, Jiddo. I should stop now.

Relatively yours,
Your son, Abdullah

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Social Cycle

Today marks the beginning of my dental internship year. This, of course, is a new "era". It is hopefully the beginning of a (more) productive life. I showed up about three hours late; so you know how excited I am. Actually, I am excited at the prospect of being introduced into a new environment--at the idea of a fresh start.

I've changed school so many times that I've developed some sort of pattern. In the first few days, I observe my fellow students, memorize their names, and learn a bit about them. Over the course of (usually) a year, I make friends with almost everyone. Although this happened many times, it hasn't taken place for five years, my undergrad years.

I couldn't have made friends with everyone in class (upwards of three hundred students), but I am kind of attached to them. Cheesy as it may sound, I feel "at home" at school. And when I am around people I'm not familiar with (say, people from other groups)? I reach out to them and befriend them!

I didn't really get that new-school feeling today. Everything was vaguely familiar: the places, the people and their characters. Maybe because all dental offices feel and smell the same. The same applies to people...

This must be one of the worst posts on this blog, but I'm tired. Bye.