Hate attracts hate. For me it has been proved to be true. Let me tell you a story of what really happened in my life that stands as a proof of it. My name is La min and my mother is named Tha zin. We were poor and my mother had been the breadwinner of our family. My father did nothing except finding flaws in everything we did. I studied because of mother. I wanted to work and didn’t want to go to university, but l was convinced to study English literature at Rangoon university. Mother had been a seamstress.
Every day, mother used to sit in front of her sewing machine and her machine in return would give her all gorgeous clothes. In the very beginning of my first year at university, l started a part time job as a waiter in a small restaurant in the downtown. I studied and worked hard. It was laborious, yet situations seemed going well and we were content. Mother’s sewing machine continued sewing clothes of silk and satin, of velvet and flowery, which she just sewed but had never worn. My mother’s journey, since she was born, had not been easy. She would recall and often tell me, ‘La min you are my last wealth, my last reason to stay on this earth and you are the future that l believe in.’ She was not privileged to go to school. Her parents didn’t send her to school, as in their time it was considered that women need not to be educated. She was married young. About her marriage, she would say, ‘Truly it was just like stepping out from a small oven and entering a larger one.’ Her Mother-in-law was a sarcastic, conservative and cruel lady. She made mother do all the household chores. Mother would say, ‘I cooked, cleaned, mopped the floor, washed the dishes and did the laundry carrying you on my hip. It was indeed laborious yet l could bear all of that, but what used to give me ineffable pain was your father ignoring me, my mother-in-law’s rebukes and my sisters-in-law’s heartless speech and gossips concerning me. You know La min your father just worked for a while after marrying me, but my son, don’t be mistaken that he gave me the money that he earned. He would give all his money to his mother. The forgotten, unrecognised being on earth for your father was l myself.‘ Tears would roll down her pale cheeks when she recall those bitter moments. I learned that later my father became sick because he used to be a heavy smoker, which took him to the extent of vomiting blood. Since then he stopped working and stayed at home. The earth had revolved around the sun for four times by then I graduated and got a job as a tutor at the same university where l studied while l studied for my masters. The salary was a mere amount, yet it sufficed my family. I think now it’s time to tell you about my father, a man of wrath, a symbol of ugliness for me. I never liked when l am being told that l look like my father. He was a man who himself didn’t take care of the family, but always criticising, rebuking as if he were the knower of all yet his words were nothing but pure exaggerations and flattery.
I have pondered many times how a father should be, what makes a good father. For me, l utterly detested a father, who did not stand by my side, who wasn’t ready to wipe my tears off when I cried, who wasn’t there to lend a hand when l was in need, who rebuked me of my petty mistakes, who beat and threw things at my mother. In whose eyes l failed to find kindness, whose wrath traumatised a trembling young boy named La min has indeed failed to reveal the blessings of being a father. Can we still say that he loves? I didn’t know until one day. It was raining harshly and l came home late from work. I was totally wet and was shivering. I was going straight inside the house when I heard a voice said, ‘You filthy dog, with which woman you have been’ said the so called father of mine. I was astonished and didn’t understand anything. He continued, ‘l have seen your flirting with a woman. Who is she, filthy just like you?’ he grinned. By now, l have come to realise that he has been mistaken me with my senior colleague. His eyes were red shot and was raging at me. I began to try to explain the reality, but before words came out of my mouth, he said, ‘Haven’t fully become a man yet, you wanna be flirting with women. You wanna ruin my name?’ Now l wanted to punch him on the face, but just told him back, ‘It was just a meeting with one of my colleagues. That’s it.’ ‘Wow, now you dog has thought l am crazy. Isn’t it? I saw your flirtatious eyes vividly.’ He yelled. ‘Why are you trying to exacerbate it. You don’t need to be giving an occasional care about what l do and who l flirt with, you understand?’ l yelled at him. ‘You dog, I am your father, is this the way you speak to me’ he said. ‘You are my father, are you?’ I yelled.
Mother quickly came out of the kitchen and tried to calm me down grasping me from my arm. It was late. My wrath had already taken me over. And the words that l had been waiting long enough to say to him poured out of my mouth, as if the water is being poured out from a kettle. ‘You are not my father, you understand man? You are like a trash in my eyes, you are a man who has earned no love neither from his wife nor from his son. All you have earned is hatred, hatred and hatred. I wanted to have a brave father who would stand by my side and would tell me, son, l am with you and l’ll be there for you. But you. You have never ever given me even a pretending care. I longed for an imaginary father, whose bosom may be a peaceful shade to take refuge in, whose strong shoulders may give me more strength when l am weak and miserable.’ I said and started crying my eyes out yet l hadn’t become content. ‘But you, you man had already failed to be a father, a husband even a human being.’ I said groaning. ‘May god condone you to hell you devil.’ I screamed at him. ‘La min’, shouted mother with all her strength and her voice echoed the house against the lashing of the rain drops. ‘By god, l command you to stop there. Do you understand?’ ‘Ask forgiveness now’, she demanded. ‘I can’t mother, l can’t’ said I. ‘I have tolerated all along my life. Now please let me speak out, if not l am afraid that my heart may burst out mother. This is a not even a mistake at all and he has alleged me of flirting as if I have committed adultery?’ said I. ‘I wish l wouldn’t have been on this earth, l wish l wouldn’t have seen all the miseries. Why mother, why did you bring me to this world, when you could have killed me while l was still a blood clot. Why…? Am I the one to pay for your bodily desires’ l shouted and banged my head against the wall. Mother turned my head with her shaking hands towards her then suddenly she crumbled down to the floor. She was breathing heavily. ‘Indeed Lamin, l didn’t bring you to this world just because you were a mere result of bodily desires, indeed l wanted you. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to love and care.’ She whispered and became unconscious and cold. A thin line of blood flowed from her mouth. I shook her hard and called out ‘Mother, mother’ and got no reply at all. I took my fingers to her wrist and examined for a sign of life. ‘Oh god, she is pulsating.’ l said to myself. For a moment l wanted to kill myself for what l have said but l thought I have to rescue my mother first. But… It was too late when we got to the hospital. Mother was taken to the emergency ward and after a while a nurse came with saddened eyes and told she was died with a severe heart attack.
The dark clouds loomed over the sky. The thunder struck menacingly. I wish l should have been struck by that thunder.
I should have forgiven my father despite all the hatred. Shouldn’t I?