The Breadwinner’s Throne


By Joybrato Dutta

boy

It takes time for a man to build a foundation for himself. Especially, if the man isn’t born with a silver spoon, purkho ki jaydad, or a gigantic haveli. He battles against odds, overcomes each hurdle and inch by inch nears his destination. Every impediment makes him stronger, every failure makes him wiser and every betrayal makes him a believer. He becomes what life teaches him.

Then a day comes when he gets married, starts a family and starts teaching what he has learnt. By the age of 60 he commands every move; he makes every decision and protects the family from every misfortune. His family obeys him, respects him and loves him more than the God they believe in.

And then he retires. By then he has fulfilled most of his responsibilities. His daughter is married. His son is well settled. He has bought a house and a couple of cars. His wife has a small business. He is a satisfied man.

But is he willing to accept a change? No. Is he willing to accept a shift of power? Is he willing to accept a change of rules? A man who has ruled for 40 years has a big ego, at times bigger than the love for his son.

His son, by then earns a lot, can run the family and has ideals of his own. His ideals differ from his dad. Generation Gap. The son’s battles were different, hence his lessons were different. He is more aware of the problems and has a better solution. The breadwinner has an experience more than the son’s age but now that the battleground has changed completely will that experience count? Will he let his 25 year old son teach him how to live? It’s not fair.

Problem is, in modern times life has become more frenetic. People have stopped believing in second chances. Thanks to too many options people have become less attached to a particular thing. People move on easily. Whereas in older times people cared for what they loved. People respected their own efforts. The self-made bread winner still has the cycle he bought from his first salary. Whereas his son has sold the bike he was gifted.

The breadwinner is not used to these frenetic times. His approach still isn’t as materialistic. But, a king will never stop sharing his opinions. He tries to participate in the modern lifestyle war but is disappointed each time his solutions are disregarded.

But that’s how things have to be. His son is more aware of situations. His son knows the modern world. But there are situations that are best solved the old school way. These situations give him the confidence that he can still win. Each time his son seeks advice from him, his chest fills with pride. Each time he solves his son’s problems he believes that even in the changing world certain rules will always linger. That is when he understands that to win any war experience and knowledge both are required. He has the experience. His son has the modern knowledge. Together they can run a family perfectly.

In that way it’s not really a shift of power, it’s simply sharing it.

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