Heard of branded shirt, jeans, shawl, bed sheet etc. We are crazy about getting cloths from Levis jeans, Lee T-shirts, Addidas shoes, Kashmiri shawl but have anyone heard of the “branded father” and have you owned any?
It seems like a puzzle but it is not something you need to break your head to solve the above question. I was in a chatting mood and have been talking about our first year in the respective colleges and places outside Manipur with my friends. Fortunately, all my friends in Delhi with whom I stayed for 7 years don’t have a “branded father”. So we all get along very well and there was no ego class and luxury show among us. In fact, we all are from different corner of the Manipur though we all are bound with a similar thread of struggling middle class family. We share everything about our parents sacrifice to send us here, financial problems, brothers, sister’s study and all that. Sometime we all laugh together saying that how come we have met here in Delhi though we belong to different place and not even known to each other in Manipur. Now we all are living separately in different places in Delhi & NCR but we stay connected all the time. We still thought we should catch up whenever we have time and we still feel that it is important to wish at the middle of the night with the surprise cake in each other’s birthday though we are too old now to do all these childish act. That’s the bond we have made in all those years of our stay in Delhi with lots of fight, crying and sobbing, especially ME.
I catch up with them last month and we are in mood to pick some people whom we met during college time. I was telling them do you remember their first question when they met us for the first time? Who is your father? What does he do in Manipur? I mean which department and what position? For me, it’s quite new that time to answer such question because what I know about my father is that he is a good father to me and not that whether he is known as a servant or a tycoon in the society. Irrespective of his job I’m always proud of my father and no stupid thought have ever crossed my mind that I wish my father is an AIS officer so that I can feel proud of or Oh shit! I’m feeling so ashamed because he is in such a lower position in his office??? But in some fractions of our society it’s a custom to look down others for the position of his/her father. I won’t generalize all, but we met such fractions here and there tattooing their branded father’s name on their forehead. They will never look into themselves what they are up to but obviously raise their eyebrows saying; Oh you know what my father is a director and my father do this and that. And we called their father as “branded father” like the brand Lee, Levis, Benetton of clothe lines. Once I had just replied to a college friend that how come you are so foolish while your father is so famous and so powerful while she started teasing a friend? I think from that day onwards we haven’t spoken till now. I don’t feel bad but I thought it would caution her from asking the same idiotic question to others and raising her eyebrows. Sadly we live in a society where money, power and fake reputation matters a lot.
We are kind of community where we feel proud of being paid for bribe and having capability to pay bribe. Such attitudes are buried under the skins & skulls of some fractions of people instead of feeling shame and irresponsible. They are responsible for spreading the caste system between the poor, middle and elite class people in Manipur while we are already suffered from the caste system of religion. Let’s take an example. Whose parents are not proud of saying that my son got through into sub inspector job, Commandos, and IRB by paying 10-20 lakhs? Such incapability of people in our society to judge human morality & value begun from people’s craze to own more money, power and one minute fame by paying bucks and using the wrong means. Of course, what all they are racing today is just to have a branded father or to become one in future. No one thinks in the moral ground. In fact, we study moral lessons only in schools without understanding them and we left that after we finish school. That’s the main problem with all of us. That’s the main reason why Manipuris are proud of a “Branded Father”. Thankfully, I didn’t spend my entire childhood in singing moral science in schools as I have escaped from capturing in a missionary schools and following their school of thoughts then furthering the same thoughts in the form of alumni.
This post is dedicated to my long lost friend who is regretted so much after finding out that I don’t own a “Branded Father”. I hope you will enjoy reading it sometime. But of course, I’m happy for you because you are born to a “Branded Father”. And I never miss you for the reason that I don’t owe a friend in you.