“I am adopted”.
Not really, no.
That’s my favoured way of expressing psuedoindignation at my parents’ divergent philosophies and ideals in life.
For instance, they are BIG believers in the hypothetical ‘innate goodness’ of people. They find goodness even in the basest of souls and are always ready to blindly trust anybody and everybody they meet. Even after having their trust broken scores of times, sometimes devastatingly, they are still inclined to shower benefits of doubt on whoever presents a pleading face. ‘Insaan hi insaan ke kaam ata hai’ (humans are there to help humans); that’s my mother’s favourite movie quip, which she conveniently customizes to suit the occasion.
I am a MISANTHROPE (a proud one). Ever since I learnt the word from a representation in a children’s encyclopaedia of that famous painting by old man Bruegel, I had felt a strong inclination for that hooded greybeard, and, now, with the gradual greying of my days, I know I am him. I don’t, however, understand why he had to go mourn and all; I expect nothing but treachery and deceit from the people of the world, and, I am seldom disappointed. We need a new painting; of a misanthrope rejoicing at the world going to the dogs.
Anyway, so with these contradictions in opinion, I am usually always exasperated at the way my parents go on putting their faith in people with absolutely no concern about the prospect of betrayal. I have tried teaching them misanthropy; I had to hastily abandon the attempt before they made me lose my ‘faith’ in misanthropy!
I conclude such arguments with the proclamation, “I am adopted”. I insinuate that in no other way can any sense of such radical difference in opinion be made. Of course that’s all part of the argument and it infuriates them further and that gives me further opportunity to keep repeating the phrase (for, you see, arguments are my strong suit, not my parents’; another contradiction in character) until they give up in exasperation and concede defeat. I like winning arguments, a thing my parents suck at.
I believe I have made my point.
This has become much of a daily practice for me, and these days, if I am busy multitasking, I choose to convey my objections to a course of action involving my parents’ decisions by simply yelling “I am adopted”. It doesn’t make them change their decisions, however, but I believe I save them much time by dissuading them from discussing the matter with me, and hopefully, I put them on their guard by subtly instilling some doubt in their minds over the matter, where they had none. Misanthropes contribute too; in their own unique way.
This Daughter’s Day, however, I spoke differently. I actually said, “I am not adopted”.
I like celebrating anniversaries. Of people dear to me; who I trust. Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, you name it. I like planning things up in advance and surprising people. It’s not out of some ‘innate goodness’ in my character. I like the embarrassed, sheepish expression people get on their faces when they are sprung with a gift or a greeting. That someone remembers, that someone has you in their thoughts, this very realization brings a pulpy sugary look on your face, which is priceless to behold. I kind of feel a superior halo.
So I never miss opportunities to entertain people on these select dates. I am usually well aware of the dates I need to remember for this purpose and I execute these wishing missions quite smoothly. I don’t need reminders to do that. Apart from the misanthropy in me, I am proud of this aspect of mine.
This Daughter’s Day, however, that pride of mine was wounded significantly, and it pleased me immensely.
My parents wished me on the occasion, surprising me with their meticulous planning of the event. A feat, quite befitting MY biological parents.
I believe I said, “I am not adopted”, instead of “Thank You”.
P.S. If a hopeless cynic like me could be melted thus with thoughtful gestures, why are girls, without doubt better daughters than me on all accounts, treated with contempt? A Daughter’s Day food for thought.
28.09.2014 Image Courtesy: http://storyoferas.com/musings/misanthrope-review