Yesterday, this guy from my team told me his father-in-law had an accident in Bombay and he had to leave immediately. His wife left immediately, while he left after about an hour, after he handed over his work to an another team member. While he was at it he got news that his FIL had actually fallen off the train. He was really tensed.
Now, this guy and his wife were friends from junior college. He used to visit her parents and was in pretty good books, or so he thought. As soon as they announced their marriage plans, his parents agreed readily and hers did not. They opposed the relationship by not talking to her, threatening her and so on. Finally they got married with only his parents and her brother. The parents did not talk to her for a long time. She started talking to her mother, but her father was adamant. He does not want to see her and will not talk to her.
They are a very sweet couple. He worships the ground she walks on. He cooks dinner, when she is late from work. Her brother lives with them some days. He gets along very well with him. They as a couple love biking and I haven't heard an another couple go biking for 150kms. And they are constantly trying to reach out to her father in whatever ways they can. Last holidays, they planned to meet her father at her grandparents place. The grandparents had invited the parents but did not tell them about the daughter and son-in-law coming. Inspite of living under the same roof for 2-3days, the father refused to even look at her.
My colleague was back this morning. The guy seemed so sad. The FIL lost an arm. It seems he had fallen off a moving train. Someone had pushed and he lost his balance and fell on the tracks. He refused to see the daughter and the son-in-law in the hospital. They could just see him from outside. He is sad for his wife and whatever she is going through. She is not back yet. She is still at the hospital waiting to meet him just once.
I cannot help but feel, the price the father was asking for parenting was just too high. In the process he is refusing the warmth of a father daughter relation, specially in such a delicate situation and also refusing the daughter her peace of mind. As much as you think the child should be indebted to you for nurturing him/her, I feel parents are equally indebted to the kids for being born unto them and making them a family. Parents, at some point forget that the babies have grown into adults. You teach them to make decisions, and take that right away the moment they make the biggest decision of their life. You teach them to be happy and to choose happiness and when they do choose their happiness, you turn around because you are not happy.
I don't understand this price tag the parents put on for bearing them in the womb and raising them. Its really sad when you bargain the years of parenting for the child's happiness. Defeats the whole purpose.
A distant cousin of mine married a marwadi girl. Its been 14-15 years. He has 2 kids. They are a happy family. His father hasn't seen or met him for the last 15 years. He hasn't even looked at his grand kids. Not even the snaps they say. The whole family was against it, but everyone has come around. The mother meets him secretly at his sister's place or a cousin's place and it seems she never mentions him at home, since the father gets really hyper. 15 years, can you imagine? His argument was, this is not how I raised him, how dare he disobey. Such hard hearted parents.
You can not make decisions for your children all their life. I am talking about adults here. You may guide them, but they have the right to ignore or listen. Nobody is saying this is easy but you have to choose between what you think makes your child happy and what your child thinks makes him/her happy. And in the end, they might be wrong but they need your support to learn from it and move on with life and not your grudges and rudeness. You live your life and make them capable enough to make good decisions and then let them live their own life. You cannot live their life for them and enforce happiness upon them.
A general observation is, when parents are strict, the kids fall into the temptation trap for the forbidden. Whereas if the parents are easy going, the children are comfortable to wait and find Mr/Miss Right. So, educate, communicate and let the reins down.