Making Them Happy

Parents, what don’t they do for us? Here in Pakistan, they do everything for their children. There’s no concept of moving out at 18, getting a job to gather money for college, or dating and marrying someone without your parent’s approval.

Our parents feed us, educate us and give us a place in their homes from the day we are born, to the day they die. And in return, we are expected to be obedient, submissive and make our parents happy in any way we can. Some might say that we owe them this, but some might disagree. That however is another debate for another day.

Three years ago I and my sisters (the twins) had a fight with our older, married sister who lives in the UK. The details aren’t required here, but there is one little fact that has to mentioned. She is the eldest of our family of five. I was two years old when she left at eighteen to another city for college, so I don’t really know her that much. But she is the apple of my parents’ eyes. The the first-born, the high achiever, the confident girl, the orator, the Math whiz, the ‘appropriately’ married one. Everything is perfect about her, but where does that leave us?

When we had our disagreement, that automatically left us as the bad party. My father gradually realised who was right and who was wrong, but he still said that we should apologize to her as she’s the eldest. My mother kept pressurizing us as well. We, however, refused to.

Now that my father is in England with her, he convinced her to let go of everything and make amends. The same was said to us (again) through our brother who said we should do it to make Papa happy.

And so last night, ladies and gentlemen, the three of us sat in front of the webcam and chatted with our father until she came over. Papa conveniently disappeared.

We said hello to each other. Asked about each other’s health. Then talked about the weather. Actually, scratch that, the twins were the ones talking. I, on the other hand, was extremely awkward and didn’t know what to say to my stranger of a sister. One of the twins whispered in my ear that I should say something as well, so I told her about my upcoming college classes and what I would be studying. She nodded in response. We wrapped up our conversation.

What did I gain from all this? My father texted my brother later on to say that he appreciated our efforts and that he was happy.

And you know what? Letting go of my pride and the awkward conversation with my estranged sister was worth that text!


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