My friend K came today on his monthly visit. The topic of discussion today was on parenting.

K’s last born, now eighteen lives with him. K as my readers may recollect is a divorced single parent. K’s two elder children are daughters and now married and settled down to domestic and career bliss in India and the USA. K did not need to consult me on parenting for them, but now finds it necessary at least to discuss the matter to see if he is doing the right things with a growing young man who lives at home.

I started off by telling K that I know of no father who has been totally successful in providing the right kind of parenting and that it has been my observation that almost all, bungle their way around this and eventually come out smelling like roses. I also suggested that things will be alright and there is no need to worry unduly about this matter.

Interestingly, the topic then changed to some other matters that have been worrying K and on top of the agenda was the problem of an alcoholic in the family. That discussion took off in a direction that neither of us had anticipated. I had just been south to tackle the same problem for another friend’s family and I shared my experience of that visit and the course of action that we followed there. K is likely to get another meeting organised for me with the people concerned in his family soon and perhaps something will come out of it.

That discussion took us into another matter. K wanted to know why I don’t drink or eat non vegetarian food any more and whether I will start to do both ever again . This has been a topic that I have not discussed with many people, and certainly not with K. K knew that I was quite a bon vivant some years ago and wished to understand what brought about the change and whether the path that I chose is something that I enjoy being on or whether it is a distasteful experience that I am undergoing with some other self imposed compulsions.

That broke some dam inside me. I simply cannot figure out why it happened, but all the whymeitis that has been kept bottled up inside me for years, came out in a torrent, much to the surprise and eventual delight of K. At the end of it all he said, and I quote him verbatim, ” you are now ready for Sanyas.” Some friend!

I now have an idea for a post on whether I am ready for sanyas or not. In the meanwhile, some of my readers who have been following my rants here may have their opinions on the matter. I would be interested in reading their comments.

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