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24 Jan 2019, Edition - 1290, Thursday

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Giving is more valued than sacrifice

Santosh Avvannavar

Umbilical cord is a magical one that connects a baby in the womb of its mother, connected from the placenta in the womb to an opening of baby’s stomach to supply oxygen and nutrients from mother to baby. Soon after birth, it is clamped and the cord is cut to allow mother and child grow independently. In case this process is not followed, an uncut emotional umbilical cord can cause misery to the child and the mother, as it will hinder their individual growth.

This is one form of umbilical cord that is cut for the freedom and growth, so that life takes a smooth turn. But, do we really cut various other ‘virtual’ umbilical cords like children to enslave parents, acquiring ancestral property and others? These emotional cords, though they may not seem to hurt anyone, need to be arrested or pruned at some point.

There are various circumstances in which we bind ourselves with the virtual umbilical cord that is preferred to be left uncut. This does not mean that having such cords is wrong but understanding its existence is important. Becoming attached to a person entails being attached to his or her everyday feelings or emotions. That is how we develop and nurture a relationship.

Let me bring a story to tell that how we possess the umbilical cord and often we do not realise this

Murthy’s family is in joyous mood today because a new member, Joy, a son, is added. Soon after my birth, parents were in discussion about their expectations. My father is a well known and strict surgeon in the city. Yes, I had to address him as Mister otherwise he would not value and respond to my words. That might sound strange, it was really strange for me as well as other parents addressed their children with interesting nicknames in love. There were rules that were as strict as that of Murthy during work. Mrs Murthy decided my menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and Mr Murthy dinner and things I wear.

As I grew I started to have a feeling, there was no any ‘joy’ in my name. Instead of giving birth to a child, they had created a robot. Every month Mr. Murthy hosted a dinner party for several doctors in the name of ‘socialising’, it was more of showoff party to make themselves to Page 3 of newspapers.

During one of such parties in our farmhouse, I walked in jeans and t-shirt with a pair of slippers. The guard asked me for ny invitation card. Even after showing it, he did not let me in. While I resisted, he kept mentioning about the ‘party dress code’. Mr and Mrs Murthy peeped through to hear my arguments. Mr Murthy hurried towards me with a grim face asking me change and wear another he carried in the car. In helplessness I wore that to seek entry.

Being a ‘robot’ over a ‘child’ was frustrating deep in me as we sat over dinner. I kept rotating the spoon in the soup thinking of rejections by the guard and parents because of the ‘party dress code’. In anger, I started to throw the soup on my dress. In surprise and agony of my behaviour Mrs Murthy asked me to control. Mr and Mrs Murthy pulled me aside to have quick pro talk. In their tight-lip talk of trying to set things right as others were murmuring about my behaviour, looking at us from a distance.

For the first time I took courage to open up, “Mr Murthy your parties don’t need me, they need my dress. The invitations are for the dress not for the person.” Mrs Murthy pulled my hand to remind me about the amount of sacrifice they were making to educate me and I had only one reply to all her emotional saga, “I wish both of you were givers rather than sacrificing people, as the earlier is done out of love.”

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