Scourge of Suspicion

by on February 15, 2023 :: 0 comments

photo "Same Spot, Different Beds" by Tyler Malone

The New Delhi based son, while chatting over the phone with his cousin in Ernakulam, Kerala, South India, got wind of some serious problems brewing between his parents leading a retired life. He was embarrassed to probe for details though an uneasiness hurriedly ran in his veins. He got so worried that, putting aside his family and work commitments, not to talk of financial constraints, he took the first available flight to Cochin.

His parents were pleasantly surprised to see him arrive. Everything seemed to be normal to the son. After food, they sat around for a chat. After chatting for a long time, gradually the matter for the rift between the parents started emerging. There was a serious trust deficit. Both of them were going on and on, interrupting each other, blaming each other, going at each other, raising their voices, more so the father. It was a struggle for the son to silence the parents and urged that they retire for the day.

The next day, the son had great difficulty in convincing the parents that they seek counseling. They were taken to a reputed counseling centre. Both parents were spoken to separately and together. It emerged that the husband strongly suspected, actually was convinced, that his wife was having an illicit relationship for a long time. This had led to frequent quarrels between them, even leading to being physical.

The son was told at the counseling centre that it would be dangerous for the parents to live by themselves without anyone else at home as they could go against each other physically and violently. He was told that his father was just imagining things and would need counseling. But that for the counseling to be effective, medication need to be initiated. When the father was told about taking medicines, he outright rejected it saying that there was nothing wrong with him to take medicines.

The son convinced the parents to move to New Delhi. There, both parents were subjected to another round of tests and interviews by a psychiatrist and psychologist at a reputed hospital, again coming to the conclusion that the problem of suspicion was severe with the husband and that medicines would have to be administered to keep it under check, to be followed up with counseling. Here again, he insisted that nothing was wrong with him, refused the suggestion of medication and wanted his wife to be hypnotized to bring out that she was cheating on him.

Nothing came out of the efforts of the children to reconcile their parents as their father would solidly and stubbornly stick to his stupid beliefs and thoughts without an iota of proof whatsoever of his charges against his wife, even nothing to doubt in the least. What his sick mind told him was proof enough. Some parents do not understand how concerned the children are about them. They do not understand how much tension they give their children, very much more than what the children gave their parents when young. Though he went on abusing and mentally torturing his wife, he projected a pleasant disposition to the outside world with extra fine manners and exaggerated courtesy, wanting to please to the extent of flattery, all and sundry. Is that a symptom of suspicion illness?

The warring couple went back to their abode in Ernakulam. The cancer of suspicion had become irreparable, yet largely hidden and unknown to most people. They slept separately under the same roof, hurting each other emotionally but, surprisingly, helping each other physically with household chores. This was the only silver lining and saving grace in their drab life.

The aging couple had saved enough for their sunset years by investing in income generating and wealth creating financial instruments and could have lived a tension free happy life, enjoying the fruits of their labour, without being a burden or botheration for their children. But now they seem to be bent on destroying what they built. The anger and frustration could have been weakening their physical immunity and shortening their life.

The son came down to Ernakulam again from New Delhi to make a last-ditch effort to drive some sense into the sick mind of his father. As a cooling effect, he took his parents to the hill station Munnar, Kerala. They went about sightseeing. On the second day, on one such outing, as the son was walking together with their vehicle driver a little ahead of his parents, he was shaken with a scream of his mother and a weakening sound of his father. His father had tripped, slipped and was falling into a gorge below.

The son was too shocked to act on what to do. But the driver, being an experienced local guy in the know of such situations, summoned courage and quickly sought help from the authorities. The body was recovered with much difficulty, post-mortem carried out and released to the son that there was nothing to suspect in the least.

The other children, working in different cities, also came down on receiving the sad news. The rituals over, each of the children volunteered to take their mother over to their place. But the mother was adamant that she be on her own alone. The children wondered and had this nagging doubt whether the mother, who was as healthy as the father, if not healthier, could have pushed down their father to eliminate him. They wondered whether their mother actually did have an illicit affair as was claimed by their father. But they didn’t talk to each other about such thoughts. It is essential that everything, even the silliest claim, the silliest doubt, is thoroughly probed at the right time, to avoid silly misgivings later.

editors note:

“They f@ck you up, your mum and dad./ They may not mean to, but they do.” ~ Tyler Malone

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