I was born, in the winter the 31st of December of 1973, from a Dutch mother and Moroccan father who lived in the Netherlands. He died. when I was 6 months old, from a car accident we think he likely intentionally caused himself because of the history he had in Morocco and the life he build here in Holland. The fact that my mum was heart broken, and continued to be for a very long time after his death till I maybe was in my teens, is a thing that has formed me tremendously. So his death or absence in my life was felt through the pain my mum had and factors like; the way I was viewed by my family as they seems to feel somewhat sorry for me growing up without a dad and one who died at that, and how schoolmates saw me, and of course how I perceived myself as a child.
I think others will remember me as a little happy kid with great energy and quick wit but I felt dense and slow and like something wasn’t ticking right. Hard to explain and I feel a lack of words, but in retrospect it might have been the emotions that’s I couldn’t explain or voice out. I felt sluggish and dim witted for as long as I have been a child up and until I left for India when I was 18. The absence of a father, a second income, a mother who had to work as a single mother, all had its effect on me in many ways. I was my mother greatest confidant whether I wanted to or not, and I believe now I was her greatest motivator to live this life while she was grieving, whether I knew it or not. I tried to protect her from more heartbreak, when she started dating again, but failed every time. So, all in all, the absent father was a thing very much in our lives though unspoken and unseen. Not all bad but not all rosy either. I can say I’m done with my dad in many ways but in this story he will resurface again and again as at some points it paces me even till day.
Physically I look Arabic – you get that with a Moroccan dad! – and that alone made me very different. Especially in the 70’s being a biracial child was a novelty especially in the school I went to. It was something to be proud of that there were ethnic divers children in our school. I never understood the reaction of others to my appearance as a child, i just was me, and later the racists remarks or the wonderment about my correct Dutch language usage or on the other hand the idea that stuck with the Arabic Muslim community that I shouldn’t be so western, honour my father more, not go out, not smoke, not drink etc. So you see absent or present my father influenced me in many, many ways. I guess that is so for anyone but in the cultural and time setting it was just many things to navigate. I was a free spirit with many strong ideas about how I should be. At the same time making myself free because I wasn’t able to live like either groups wishes or by others perception of how I should be. This has always pushed me onwards on my extraordinary path.
– Radia, The Unusual Yogini
Ps: So I have given you some idea about the first man In my life that was truly significant and meaningful in making me physically but also making me to what I am now as he propelled me in this life. My dad for a very long time was a myth and a grievance at the same time!
Pss: How do you like the outline of the first chapter of the men in my life so far? I know, I know this is nowhere near finished but to it helps me to write the book from the core outward… at least that is what I believe i’m doing…