Captain Benjamin Sisko

Star Trek characters are usually a lonely bunch. There’s a lot of tragic in their lives and knowing fully the dangers of a career in Starfleet – on either a starship or a space station in deep space – and also having to be away from family & friends for long stretches at a time. At times we have seen an officer who has his/her spouse on the same ship/station as them. One such person was Benjamin Sisko who, while as the first officer of the USS Saratoga, has his wife Jennifer & young son Jake aboard the ship he was assigned to. Ofcourse as Star Trek & Deep Space 9 fans are aware, that ended in anguish. While the Saratoga was engaged in the Battle of Wolf 359, Jennifer was one of those who perished in the Borg attack.

Commander Sisko was faced with the loss of his wife and raising his son alone. He found an outlet for his pain in his new posting at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars. There, Sisko worked on the prototype USS Defiant – the first in what was to be a fleet of warships to defend the Federation from the Borg. As his work there was winding down, with flaws coming in the designs, his former captain recommended him to take over the command post of Deep Space 9; a former ore mining space station built by the Cardassians during the occupation of Bajor.  It was to be Sisko’s responsibility to help prepare the newly liberated Bajorans for entry into the Federation. A first reluctant Sisko brought along his son Jake.

On his first visit to Bajor, Sisko would be declared as the Emissary of The Prophets (a worm hole dwelling alien species living outside of linear time and who the Bajors worshiped as their gods) by the then religious leader of Bajor and met them when he traveled into the wormhole. It was a title & respect that Benjamin would be uncomfortable with, his humility not letting him accept the fact that his Bajoran officers looked upon him as a religious figure. Although he had no idea at that time and it would take him more than 6 years to find out, his birth mother was a human possessed by one of the wormhole aliens or Prophet and was responsible for his birth. Therefore he was in a way part wormhole alien or part prophet! His birth mother left Ben & his father a year after Benjamin was born and he was raised by his father & his stepmom – who he always came to know as his own mother.

While in DS9 Benjamin would meet & fall in love with a cargo ship captain Kasidy Yates, who he also had to arrest once for shipping supplies to the Maquis. Their romance would still bloom and the two later got engaged and Kasidy got pregnant soon after. Sisko also had a deep love for Bajor, a planet & people he came to be closely linked with. I found it lonely & sad that at one point Sisko admitted that once the Dominion war was done, he wanted to retire on Bajor, where he had found a secluded spot and bought some land. He planned to build a house there and live alone. However ofcourse as his relation with Kasidy progressed, they both planned to build the house and live on Bajor for most of the time and visit Earth from time to time.

Sisko would never get to build the house or retire on Bajor. After the war was over and his enemies killed, Benjamin was taken by the Prophets to the Celestial Temple, Sisko appeared to Kasidy in a vision, telling her that he would someday return, and that he loved her. He left behind his son Jake, his new bride and unborn child. That was the last episode of DS9 so canon wise, we do not what happens afterwards.

Family Dinners

Family dinners for me is of 3 types – 1) when my sister & I were younger, 2) when my sister comes home for dinner with her husband & kids 3) when we have a big family dinner with lots of relatives and 4) the majority of dinners are when I am just home with my folks.

When we were young my sister & I had dinner with our parents it was usually around 7:30pm – 8:30pm and we’d be parked in front on the tv in our small apartment in Kuwait, plates balanced on a coffee table situated in the center of the living room. We watched all the great tv shows that they would air during those years – the A-Team, Knight Rider, Battlestar Galactica, Moonlighting, Remingston Steel, magic shows like from magicians like David Copperfield or Paul Daniels etc etc. Or even wrestling! We stayed back on the sofas with our plates until the show that we were watching ended. Those were some fun times. When we moved back to India, from 1987 till 1991 we didn’t get cable tv (hadn’t been launched in India yet) so if not for some sports event on the national channels, we’d watch some songs or stuff. At times we’d have our dinner at the big dining table at one end of the living/dining room of our house.

When my sister comes over now, along with her kids and at times my brother-in-law, they all crowd in front of the tv. Usually it will be a movie, which is fit for the kids to watch as well or some award show. I am usually in my room and at my laptop and will only come out for the actual meal and will eat it quickly and then go back. It’s funny to see how fussy my niece is about food, cause her mother was one real fussy eater until her 20s!! Like mom, like daughter!

When we have family get togethers it’s usually a noisy, unfocussed & fun affair. Drinks will be part of it and there’s a lot of jokes being bandied about and private conversations between 2 or 3 people going on in separate corners. Food is plentiful and plates being passed around and usually a small kid will come crying in and then it’s a group effort to pacify it, with only the parent being genuine; the others are just vague attempts with some humour thrown in. The percentage of humour increases if there is alcohol consumed and increases even more as the number of drinks increase. Towards the end is the usual goodbyes and promises of meeting real soon and the hurrying into vehicles.

98% of the time it’s just me, my mom & dad in our little apartment. Mom calls for dinner, I come in, sit at my usual seat at the table. If there is a football match on or if I want to watch a movie, I’m usually on the sofa near the tv and my folks are at the dining table. We eat usually in silence unless either one of us has some news to pass on. I finish my dinner, keep my plate in the sink, wash my hands & mouth and then head on back to the tv or my room.

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