Warm Love, Bitter Truth and Cold Desolation

So I went home after a long time. I bid Hyderabad a happy goodbye and boarded the bus to my hometown. I had so many plans, so many things I wanted to do. “Dulhaniya Dilwale Le Jayenge” was playing on the TV. I love that movie. It maybe old school, but something about the movie brings out the romantic in me. The bus stopped at a highway restaurant at about 9 pm for dinner. I was eating roti and paneer butter masala with my dad, who was accompanying me on this trip (my mom has this crazy idea that someone might do something to me if I travel alone) at the restaurant when my dad got a call. It was bad news. My forty six year old uncle had just died of renal failure.

In my twenty two years, I haven’t had to deal with a loved one’s death at any point. Granted, I wasn’t very close to my uncle. We had exchanged a few words at family gatherings and that is it. But I was very close to my aunt and she had just lost her husband. Also, the fact that someone whom I had seen just a few months back is now dead made me feel lost and unsure about my own life. It wasn’t a full-blown existential crisis, but it was close.

The day I arrived at my home, we packed our bags and left for Tirunelveli. The mood at my aunt’s house was depressing. Me, being the selfish bitch that I am, couldn’t handle all the crying. I wanted to leave and then, come back when everything was better. But I stayed. I had to. I consoled my aunt as best as I could. After a day with the mourning family, we came back home.

My uncle had just died, but I was determined to make the most of my visit. I dragged my mom to restaurants and malls and street shops. Thankfully, my dad had some work to attend to, so he had left town for a couple of days. If he had been with us, he would have brought our spirits down to rock bottom.

I spent a lot of money and didn’t feel guilty spending it. I had delicious home cooked meals. I spent hours talking to my mom. It was wonderful. My mom who had been miserable living alone with my dad seemed to like having me around. Then, my dad came back.

My dad has this power to make everyone around him wish they were somewhere else. I had been so happy to come home, but when I started to spend time with him, I wanted nothing more than to take the next bus back to Hyderabad. I am not quite sure if I completely hate my dad, but I hate at least 99.9% of him. He is loud, obnoxious and rude. He picks fights with everyone. He is controlling. He is paranoid. He treats his family like shit. He is a top-class asshole.

A few days later, I left for Hyderabad. I felt sad and guilty about leaving my mom with my dad again (for some reason, he doesn’t treat her so badly when I am around). But I couldn’t stay in that house any longer. It was depressing.

It had been a weird trip filled with death and heartache and love. On the way back to Hyderabad, I kept thinking about what I took away from this whole experience. But the truth is – nothing. I still feel like the same person. I haven’t been enlightened. I have one less person in my life and I still can’t stop thinking about how much I hate my dad. I still can’t stop trying to isolate myself from others. I am a lost cause.