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How I Came to Find My Father

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Others often ask me about my father. Those who have read my book seem puzzled by the amalgam of his contrasting personality traits: kind and cunning; loving and hurtful; aggressive and submissive; hopeful and fatalistic; selfless and selfish. He is all of these and more. He changes his ‘colour’ with the situation, just like a chameleon.
I still remember how his observant eyes closely scanned the foliage around us as we spoke during those afternoons we spent in the woods just by ourselves. I was sixteen then and deeply troubled by how little I knew about the man I called ‘father”. Acts of violence, deceit, emotional abuse and unfaithfulness to his wife that defined him were told to me by my grandmother and mother when I was growing up. Those tales ensured that I kept a distance from him and relegated him to the role of the oppressor, not considering the fact he too was at the receiving end of oppression from his short-tempered father, money-lenders and the police.

In the woods, while hi…