A Parker Pen from Singapore

During the early part of the last century, there was significant migration of Chinese and Indians to Singapore. 印度裔移民大多数是泰米尔人,,en,这就是为什么泰米尔语是这里的官方语言,,en,但是有些来自我,,en,说喀拉拉邦的故土,,en,其中有纳塔拉然,,en,五十年后,,en,会和我分享他的印象,,en,内塔吉·苏哈什·钱德拉·波塞,,en,和四十年代的印度国民军,,en,娜塔拉让,,en,到时,,en,被称为新加坡爷爷,,en,新加坡Appuppa,,ml,教我瑜伽,,en,稍微解释一下它的神秘面纱,,en,说像,,en,瑜伽练习者,,en,即使在人群中,,en,不是它的一部分。,,en,当我的一个朋友在工作中评论我走不动时,我记得这一说法,,en,有点像《肖申克的救赎》中的蒂姆·罗宾斯,,en,被企业的喧嚣,,en,哪一个,,en,当然,,en,可能是一种礼貌的叫我懒惰的方式,,en, which is why Tamil is an official language here. But some came from my Malayalam-speaking native land of Kerala. Among them was Natarajan who, fifty years later, would share with me his impressions of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army of the forties. Natarajan would, by then, be called the Singapore Grandpa (Singapore Appuppa), and teach me yoga, explaining the mystical aspects of it a bit, saying things like, “A practitioner of yoga, even when he is in a crowd, is not quite a part of it.” I remembered this statement when a friend of mine at work commented that I walked untouched (kind of like Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption) by the corporate hustle and bustle, which, of course, may have been a polite way of calling me lazy.

Anyway, 新加坡爷爷,,en,我祖父的表弟,,en,很喜欢我父亲,,en,他是喀拉拉邦第一批大学毕业生中的一员,,en,他从新加坡买了一支派克笔作为毕业礼物,,en,大约十五年后,,en,这支笔会教给我一个教训,至今仍未充分学习,,en,我父亲为他的笔感到非常自豪,,en,其质量和坚固性,,en,曾经吹牛,,en,我无法打破它,,en,即使我想,,en,他说,,en,没有注意到他的儿子,,en,您忠诚的,,en,整个四年的时间里,对这种假设条件的理解有限,,en,第二天晚上,,en,他下班回来的时候,,en,我在门口等他,,en,骄傲地微笑,,en,握住他的珍贵笔彻底压碎,,en,爸,,en,爸,,en,我做的,,en (a cousin to my paternal grandfather) was quite fond of my father, who was among the first University graduates from that part of Kerala. He got him a Parker pen from Singapore as a graduation gift. Some fifteen years later, this pen would teach me a lesson that is still not fully learned four decades on.

My father was very proud of his pen, its quality and sturdiness, and was bragging to his friends once. “I wouldn’t be able to break it, even if I wanted to!” he said, without noticing his son (yours faithfully), all of four years then with only a limited understanding of hypothetical conditionals of this kind. Next evening, when he came back from work, I was waiting for him at the door, beaming with pride, holding his precious pen thoroughly crushed. “Dad, dad, I did it! 我为你折断了笔,,en,伤心欲绝,因为我父亲一定是,,en,他甚至没有提高声音,,en,他问,,en,你出于什么目的这样做,,en,儿子,,en,用过分深情的马拉雅拉姆语来表示,,en,我只是太渴望解释,,en,您昨天说过您一直在试图打破它,,en,但不能,,en,我为你做的,,en,相当缺乏语言能力,,en,我对物理学已经有点太久了,,en,我将笔放在门的铰链附近,并通过关闭手柄来使用杠杆动作来完成压碎它的任务。,,en,我想向我的妻子解释时记得这件事,,en,物理不足,,en,为什么靠近铰链放置门挡会破坏地砖而不是停止门,,en,我父亲试图用透明胶带固定他的派克笔,,en!”

Heart-broken as my father must have been, he didn’t even raise his voice. He asked, “What did you do that for, son?” using the overly affectionate Malayalam word for “son”. I was only too eager to explain. “You said yesterday that you had been trying to break it, but couldn’t. I did it for you!” Rather short on language skills, I was already a bit too long on physics. I had placed the pen near the hinges of a door and used the lever action by closing it to accomplish my mission of crushing it. In fact, I remembered this incident when I was trying to explain to my wife (short on physics) why the door stopper placed close to the hinges was breaking the floor tiles rather than stopping the door.

My father tried to fix his Parker pen with scotch tape (当时被称为玻璃纸胶带,,en,和橡皮筋,,en,后来,,en,尽管他无法完全修复漏出的墨水,但他设法更换了笔身,,en,我还有笔,,en,而这持久的教训是无限的耐心,,en,两年半前,,en,我父亲去世了,,en,在随后的灵魂探索中,,en,我的这个密友问我,,en,现在您知道需要什么,,en,你觉得你做得怎么样,,en,我觉得我做得不好,,en,一些课程,,en,即使充分学习,,en,实在太难了,,en,摄影者,,en,莫霍的日常生活,,lt,电子邮件Flotsam,,en,只限马拉雅里,,mr,九月,,en,这是我通过电子邮件收到的一个有趣的,,en,月行者,,en,这是许多阴谋论之一,,en,登月从未真正发生过,,en,国旗怎么会飘动,,en,图片,,en) and rubber bands. Later, he managed to replace the body of the pen although he could never quite fix the leaking ink. I still have the pen, and this enduring lesson in infinite patience.

Two and half years ago, my father passed away. During the ensuing soul-searching, this close friend of mine asked me, “Well, now that you know what it takes, how well do you think you are doing?” I don’t think I am doing that well, for some lessons, even when fully learned, are just too hard to put in practice.

Photo by dailylifeofmojo cc