We stopped being a family someday,
One day, when we did not even realize it was happening.
We stopped being kind and caring
Forgot the simple magic in asking,
‘How are you feeling today?’;
We stopped listening to one another
Forgot how talking means the conversation flowing both ways
How voices need not be raised
And comparisons not be made
For no two people are the same.
We still help one another,
We still step forward for family’s sake,
But it does not feel the same…
For then we start saying it out loud,
How we were kind and generous,
How things would have gone south,
Had not we been there to help.
We stopped being a family one day,
Maybe we never were one, to begin with;
Maybe it was all a sham that we played out without knowing,
All an act of token formality;
Maybe the achievements of one were made so bright
That the struggles of the rest were made worthless,
Maybe there were sparks, that were doubted, discouraged,
Sparks of brilliance that were extinguished;
Talents that were nipped in their buds, that were made to fade into anonymity.
Maybe we were all delusional
About the meanings of love and faith,
About how families stick together,
Through the storms and the sunlit days.
Maybe we have all grown up on too much of idealism,
Too many lies;
Maybe this is how all good things end—
In death, in despair and disappointments.
It doesn’t feel like being a part of a family,
For nobody talks of dreams, of struggles and of pain,
Of things that actually matter.
Now we judge, we plot, we analyze
And talk behind each other’s backs;
Now we tell each other how they’re precious,
But cannot make them feel the same.
When our children succeed
We scream from the rooftops;
When they fail,
We burden them with tears of guilt and shame,
Instead of offering a warm hug, a kind word,
Instead of telling them, “Failing and giving up are not the same,
“So, dear son, don’t give up, we are here for you.
“Go on, and try again.”
We are family,
But only in name,
Divided in opinions and world-views
United as a WhatsApp Group with a surname,
Where it is easy to pretend,
And one doesn’t need to look one another in the eye,
And face the hurt and the pain.