Khader Syed


Mon Mar 31 2014


Growing up, entertainment and fun for us was playing with friends or watching some TV. And TV wasn’t even cable TV, cause our parents didn’t want us to get corrupted, whatever that meant. We used to either watch soap operas or Indian music videos. Occasionally, on a Sunday we would watch a movie or something. I liked going out and playing with my friends, the few friends that I used to have. Because dad worked at a bank, he had to transfer to a different branch in a different town or city every four years, and so my friends changed every 4 years.

Mum or Dad rarely interacted with us. Mum would be busy watching TV or cooking in the kitchen, most often. Dad would either be reading a newspaper or watching TV. Perhaps they played with us when we were very little, but I hardly have any memory of that. I can’t imagine my memory betraying me like that.

And when I say us, that would be me and my brother. Not sure if my brother has different memories. He probably does.

Mum and Dad would often take us to meet their relatives. Not sure what my brother thought of that, but I never really liked meeting my relatives. I remember there were times when I used to take my walkman with me and listen to music when we went to meet our relatives. Looks like I might have been obnoxious and independent ever since I was a kid, doing things my way. At least, that’s what I like to think, even though the truth may have been different. And I, for one, am glad that they did not have facebook or twitter during my childhood. Yikes!

Almost everything I learnt was through the books I read, my teachers and my friends. I remember two teachers from my school years (when I was perhaps 12) who influenced me a lot. Either both of them were my english teachers or one of them was an english teacher and the other taught science, I think. It was these two teachers who influenced my early life and helped me form my nature, so to speak. Mum and Dad did the nurturing, and occasionally influencing my nature in opposite directions, one in religion and the other in atheism, respectively.

I left home to study at a boarding school in my 9th grade, and never returned home after that, except for a brief period when mum and dad moved to the city when I was about to finish my engineering studies. Since then, I think I’ve travelled to almost 20+ countries, and lived for a while in three different countries excluding India.

Fast forward to the present, I am trying to figure out if my parents missed something. And I can’t think of anything. Despite everything, I turned out fine, with hardly any trauma. And so did my brother.

What I am saying is that, I am quite thankful to them, irregardless. :)