Friday, August 2, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 82

The Person Who Makes People Fight

Do you remember that puzzle which goes something like - There are 10 people in a room. If each person shakes hands with all others, what is the total number of handshakes - ? Now replace that puzzle with my family and fights between all of us ‘x’ number of times.
Rayyan is a calm and peaceful person, who may not know how to fight. Tell me, how will he not fight at all, with anyone for that matter, if he knew how to fight? Now, that doesn’t mean there has been no fights because of him. If I check out my family, all of us have fought with each other defending Rayyan at one time or other.
In childhood, Rayyan had this habit of winking his big eyes and throwing a confused look at the person who is attacking him, be it physically or verbally. He did not have the defence mechanism of shouting, crying, creating a scene or fighting back. Of course, fighting back was not even possible if the person who is attacking him is an adult. This sight could move even a very hard hearted person to jump in defence of the child who found himself lost in the situation. Since he doesn’t respond angrily or defend himself, any person in the vicinity will jump to defend him without giving it a second thought. This includes my sister’s husband and my brother’s wife, apart from our neighbours, friends and complete strangers as well.
Sometimes I feel Rayyan could have responded like us mortal emotional humans, so that we did not have to act like stupid people fighting over silly things about a child. Surila, my elder sister and my mom favoured my husband quite a lot. He had rough childhood and took up burden of his mom, dad, siblings and worked hard to make their life comfortable. Whenever I had a tiff with him, they would jump in his support. But, when it came to Rayyan, my mom and my sister both fought fiercely with him.
When Rayyan was born, his father was not around and came back only when he was 14 months old. He went back after 5 months and came back when he was around 3. Nor did this help them to build a bond between them, neither did it help them understand each other properly. There was even the language barrier. Having a tough childhood, my husband could not understand, digest or cope with the fuss my family created around Rayyan. Soon, he also realized this is the good way to black mail me as well. Any issue we had, he would target Rayyan and all the chaos would erupt around me. In fact, I think he succeeded in his plans to some extent.
Once Rayyan came crying in when I was sick with morning sickness in full swing. When asked he said “Abba hit me on my head because I was riding scooter inside house”. I had heard my MIL complain about it to him earlier and got angry that he hit the child blindly without trying to explain. I told my husband that I had allowed it, and he should have explained instead of hitting him. We were having argument over this issue when my mom who was visiting us, took Rayyan away to my neighbours for his safety. My husband insisted that he did not hit Rayyan while I was sure that Rayyan wouldn’t lie. This angered my husband and he wanted to bring Rayyan to settle the issue. Rayyan was just around 3. He rushed to my neighbour’s home and demanded my mom to hand over Rayyan to him. My mom asked “why?” In anger he retorted, “I will take my son with me and do whatever I want to do with him. If I want, I will throw him well. Don’t interfere in my family matter”. All my mom heard was, “I will throw him well” and nothing else. She held on tight to Rayyan and my husband tried to snatch Rayyan from her. It is very embarrassing to write how this would have looked and that I come from the family of savages.  I don’t know what happened, but after sometime my husband returned, defeated, without Rayyan. Actually my neighbour said, he had no chance of even touching Rayyan there. Since then, there has always been this fight as to who has right over Rayyan while the poor child watched helplessly.
Another incident happened in my home when my mom gave Rayyan an apple to eat in the morning. My husband says Rayyan was eating apple without brushing and said, “Khulli karke khana”, which in Urdu means, eat after rinsing your mouth with water. This poor child did not know the meaning of Khulli and sat there confused. His dad looked so angry that he did not dare ask him anything. I was just out of my mastectomy surgery and everyone was stressed. Somehow, Rayyan’s confusion and silence without any response angered him and he pulled Rayyan towards the bathroom. I did not interfere because I did not want Rayyan to develop a bad relationship with his father and also not to feel that he has no right over him. I tried very hard for him to have a healthy relationship with everyone, especially his father since I was not sure what cancer would do to me. I was physically tired as well. There he kept insisting “rinse your mouth, rinse your mouth” over and over like a crazy person while Rayyan stood in fear dumbfounded not knowing what to do. By then, my patience wore off and I walked towards them to see that he picked up a bucket of cold water and splashed in on the poor scared child. When I entered, the poor shivering child looked up and asked, “What is khulli maa, how do we do it?” I hope this explains why everyone fights for Rayyan. I don’t want to dwell on what I went through then. . I wonder how he found this peace when his childhood was so rough! The water splashing incident is something he remembered for a long time.
I have never seen a child not to shout, cry or throw tantrum when someone hits them or shouts at them apart from Rayyan. Even Farheena will shout “Maa” in a thundering voice when she smells even a bit a danger from anything or anyone. She can fight it out quite roughly and will not let an issue go, until it is settled in her favour.
Apart from the serious issues, there have been silly incidents which leads to fights. Like someone wants Rayyan to finish whatever is on his plate while the other would want him to eat how much he can. I would say, finish your homework before you play and my brother would fight with me saying he should play first and then do his homework. Which shirt he should wear would be the cause of  fight between my sisters. All this because the person who was supposed to talk, would just watch and would go with whoever won the fight. He would never say anything in response.
I thought this would end when Rayyan grows up, but unfortunately that did not happen. When I was visiting USA, an officer at the JFK scolded me for giving excess baggage for Rayyan to hold. I tried to explain that I had Farheena to take care off but he wouldn’t listen. He gave me a “You monster mom” look. During our stay there, many jumped in his defence for silly issues, with Jay contributing the most.
When I underwent surgery for polyps, the doctor was worried about how Rayyan is managing everything rather than worrying about me, his patient. He kept assuring him that he could relax since the hospital staff would take care of mom. They did not….
My brother has great respect for my husband and has never fought with him. But last year, he too fought with my husband because he kept verbally abusing Rayyan because of his non-religious ways. I sometimes hear from his friends as well, how they have been angered when Rayyan doesn’t respond to bullying, teasing or any form of negativity from people around him and they have jumped in to defend him.
Yesterday, I fought with Farheena in Rayyan’s defence and finally I realized this is not going to end anytime soon. Better include as a ray in this series. The puzzle of how many fights will always remain a puzzle.
BTW, as a child I thought Rayyan was scared and confused about how to respond to people, but now I am not sure what he thinks when he remains calm without a twitch when someone is shouting and throwing abuses at him. I have never seen someone target him because he was at fault, and I am sure I would erupt like a volcano in such situations. Like, once his paternal uncle barged into his room and shut down the PC and pulled out plugs when he was playing games with his friends (yes in his own room). Rayyan was in college back then. He also threw lot of filthy words and verbal abuses at Rayyan but he was calm. I heard about this from my neighbour. I am sure if I was around, it would have stopped at the door of my room with a bang. I do not recall Rayyan provoking anyone other than Farheena, whom he teases for missing her workouts or being too lazy.
Somehow, I feel the look on his face says, “I don’t think it is worth fighting it out with this person. He/she doesn’t seem good enough for me to put some sense into them”. Somehow the calmness says that those who are giving in to anger and fighting are ‘Stupid’ though he doesn’t agree with this and says, he simply doesn’t feel like responding. But, there has to be a reason for it, right?
On the other hand, Rayyan never looks down upon me for my fighting spirit and usually passes good comments about the way I am. His compliments are quite pleasant and funny. He has never stopped me from fighting with anyone. Now, it is my turn to be confused and blink ……

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