I know Father’s day is still about a month away but this wasn’t planned to be a Father’s day special, anyway. I don’t know what stirred my thoughts, probably it was a dream, I vaguely recollect – I was happy going somewhere with my dad; the best part being that I was a pig-tailed little girl again 🙂
That opened the floodgates for the memories, I guess. I suddenly remembered the times when dad would take us out, with me standing in front on our Bajaj scooter and asking a million questions, even as the wind whipped against my face. The numerous photos he’d clicked of me flashed past my mind’s eye, at various ages, at various places, always dressed with a sweater/ shawl and socks to keep me warm, with a home-grown-rose in my pony-tail and bangles on my hands – somehow I know now that these were his doing, without anybody ever telling me so.
A conversation recorded one Saturday evening years ago repeated itself in my ears – it was a time when he was tending to me and my baby sister at home, as my mother was at work. The scenario was – he was trying to get my li’l sister ready for our visit to his friend’s house which was in the next block of the quarters that we lived in. The true warmth and the homeliness of that Saturday evening, with the hazaar questions that my sis asked in her chweet baby talk and the loving way in which he answered; come to fore every time I listen to that recording.
I remembered the times when we went to the movies; he never disregarded our request to go on a movie-outing, which is probably why we never really felt the need to go with friends or others. Those family outings used to be so much fun. My first badminton lessons were with him, when he patiently taught me to hold the racquet right and persevered with me as I failed to serve correctly. Many years after that, we’d enjoy a good game as the sun set on the summer evenings. He was the one to teach me the rules and nuances of carrom and chess as well.
I’d work hard to be the topper of the class because I knew it meant so much to him. He would be proud of my little achievements and would relate it to his friends, who were less fortunate in this regard, with obvious delight. He and my mom would be a regular at all the school functions, without missing even one. They never failed to encourage us to participate in extra curricular activities.
My love for books was also derived from him I guess, I actually don’t remember him giving me a book and asking me to get started; but he never refused me one whenever I wanted to buy them. I remember my mom grumbling about it a few times when I’d be so immersed in a book that I’d forget the world, but dad, never. And so also, my love for music. He would take me along to the Sheshadripuram concerts and to competitions to nurture my interest. He would narrate with zeal the trials he had to face to learn to play the veena from the noted and eminent RK Suryanarayana, which probably spurred me on to take veena lessons as well.
We’ve had our share of arguments and disagreements, me and my dad – I guess a part and parcel of every child’s growing years; but I never can and mean to under-estimate the sacrifices he has made and the efforts he has taken to ensure my comfort several times. I sometimes wonder why this has to happen – when young we always believe that our dad is the right-est and the best, but then as we grow, there arise differences in opinion and ways of thinking which bring in these minor skirmishes in our relationship. I suppose it is the difference in the ways, the two generations are taught to think.
No matter what, I’d want him to know that I do understand and appreciate the scores of little things that he’s done to make my life easier and more comfortable, and continues to do so even today; and I only wish I could be daddy’s little girl all over again.