Saturday, July 21, 2012

A note to my father

Dearest Daddy,

The relationship that we have shared over the years has matured into something that is difficult to define, a relationship that is like no other, nothing, and nobody can quite replace it ever.

As far as I can recollect, as a toddler, I was quite scared of you, because you were one disciplined person! The Army perhaps does that you, and it was implemented very well in our house.

If you said something that was the ultimate, it had to happen. Running to Ma for help was very comforting, 'cause she is such a soft and loving person that I don't recollect her ever raising her voice. But the truth was if you said something, it had to happen. So if any of us did not have our food or were stubborn about anything, we did not stand a chance with you. Though now I know yours was just a tough exterior, after all bringing up four of us must have been tough for you and Ma. In spite of your tough attitude, you indulged us quite a lot! Going to the market with you was fun. You would treat us to whatever we wanted!

As we grew up, you started helping us out with the homework, especially maths. Whenever the time came to sit with you, I would invariably start yawning and feel hungry. I realized very early on that the word "hungry" was taken very seriously. If I said I was hungry, Ma would immediately start making arrangements to give me dinner. But you saw through me. You would  calmly tell me to splash water on my face and come right back to study. Gosh! There was no running away from you.

I remember, if we were invited for any occasions, we would be the first ones to arrive, because the invitation card said 7pm, we had to be there at 7pm! We had to somehow get ready,  I still remember running towards the car with my shoes and watch still in my hand, because it was getting late, and you would be very furious if we got late!

Not just us, if any of my friends were invited over, and they got late, they would also get a frowned look from you. I guess you could not understand why young people do not appreciate the value of time!

After graduating, I thought I have had enough of this, I will have to protest. I think I mentioned something like- "Now that I am so much older, I really do not need your help or advice, I know it all. If I need to go out somewhere, I do not need your permission; after all I am an adult.

It used to annoy me a lot that every time I would go out anywhere, you would want to know the exact time that I would be coming back home, If I was going to be late, I was supposed to let you know. We did not have mobiles then, it would mean stopping at a public booth and calling you. All this felt like a huge imposition then. I just wanted to complete my education, get a job, and go to another city. I would be so independent!

Now that I am much older, and married, I miss you daddy. After all your affectionate yet stern ways shaped our characters, and it is because of your upbringing that we are who we are. I have realized how precious you and Ma are to me.

Over the years you have changed too.You have mellowed down with age or perhaps you no longer want to put up a tough exterior. In fact these days if I have a disagreement with you, I get away by scolding you, and you just listen to me calmly without losing your cool!

Sometimes I get irritated if I have to repeat something I said to you.I am like... Daddy you are not following my conversation, you are not listening, I just told you that! But I forget that you are getting older and I need to slow down. That's the level of patience I have daddy! You must forgive my behaviour. Believe me, every time I lose patience with you, I feel guilty and I yell at myself for not having a little bit of patience.

Now I wonder how you could be so patient with us when we were learning. After all you had to repeat so many things, so many times before we learned it right. Right?

You were always indulgent and you still are. You still make it a point to buy my favourite sweets whenever I am visiting. And I feel so indulged. I can live on these gestures forever!

Even now, you want to accompany me, and see me off safely, if I am going out on my own. And the rules are still the same. I still have to let you know that I have reached home safely. The only difference from then, and now is, I do this willingly. I don't mind it at all; it is so precious to know that someone cares for you so much! What used to feel like an imposition, feels so wonderful now.

Every time I visit you, I realize how lucky I am to have such wonderful parents. Every visit is precious. I get unconditional support, love, and advice from you. For you and Ma, we are the highest priority, but how much do I prioritize you?

I am so caught up with my profession, with my household chores...when I do get time, I just feel like lazing around and I end up making silly excuses about not finding time to visit you . My schedule does not have the entry "visit my parents today", because I know you will never complain, and always be happy to see me whenever. I know I have taken you and Ma for granted. I feel bad about not visiting you often or doing anything for you and Ma. But my busy and chaotic lifestyle overpowers me, and I push back my guilty feelings, and get back to the daily routine.

All said and done, I feel the need for you and Ma even more these days. In a world that is so chaotic, you are pillars of strength, and peace. Every time anything good happens, I wish to share it with you, 'cause the happiness that you will feel for me will double my happiness.

What never ceases to amaze me, is the amount of patience you have, no matter how many mistakes I make, you are ever forgiving, and I know that you are always there for me. Isn't that the best blessing ever?

I probably cannot thank you enough for what you and Ma have done, are doing, and will do for me, because that will take more than a lifetime. But all I can say is, because of you and Ma, living is easy, and life is so wonderful, I can take all the risks, and make all the mistakes, and run to you for cover.

There is no one like you.

Love you, Daddy. 


Mihir Choudhury said...

It is very nice to read your post on your parents, specially your father. Normally in Indian society, we are too shy to express our feelings towards our near and dear ones. And when we discover the values of our parents in our lives, more often than not they are beyond our reach in this world. It is heartening to find you expressing your true feelings towards your father and he must be very proud of you!

Ranjana Jha said...

Hi Mihir,

Thanks so much for reading my post, really appreciate it.

I agree with you. I have realized that there is no one like them and there will not be anyone like them in my life ever!

Selfishly speaking, I wish for them to outlive me, that way I won't have to bear the pain :(