Friday, June 15, 2007

another year goes by and the distance widens...

All I can remember now is his concern and caring. Teaching me chess, playing with me, cutting my nails, untangling my thick and impossible hair. Visual flashes that last lesser than a second. There were also times when his hand imprinted on my shoulder or cheek, trying to control my runaway tongue. Once when my friends and I played "house", I was the dad and pretended to smoke a rolled up paper. Then I decided to make it more real, and took a cigarette from his pack and placed it in my mouth and felt a sting on my cheek. I couldn't understand why it was so wrong for me to do it when he did it. I guess he must have felt a bit guilty.

He would take me on golu rounds, visiting friends and family, even though I hated it. I am thankful for that now. He had become the breadwinner at an early age for a large family, taking care of 3 sisters and 3 brothers, in addition to a mentally-not-all-there-mother. He had a strong sense of family, and made sure he passed it on to me. Taking me on all those trips to visit relatives I barely knew or didn't want to know. The time when I had an infection on my foot and couldn't walk, taking me to school, all the way to the porch.

Teaching me to bike, running behind me even though he was not very fit. Feeling proud when I negotiated some minor traffic. Following me on my first bike ride to school, giving me that freedom and at the same time making sure I got there safe.

Reading those Amar chitra katha comics, opening up the world of PGW for me. Teaching me to enjoy books. Letting me help when he cooked. Helping me with hindi, learning french because I did. He loved learning new languages - he could easily converse in tamil, english, hindi, bengali and telugu. I think he knew Malayalam too, I vaguely remember him talking to some mallu friends.

It couldn't last though. I watched him literally lose heart in the last year of his life, even though he tried to not let it affect me. Mourning his dead son, even though he hid it from me. That last argument we had, even though I ended up listening to him, but he didn't know that. I wish I could apologize. I have done it so many times in my dreams. But he is not coming back, going further and further away from me. There is pain, but not the gut-wrenching, throat-closing variety any more.

He was not perfect, but that was what made him what he was. My dad.

5 comments:

pravin said...

happy father's day ya?

rads said...

*hugs

Dads are the best.

Dubukku said...

fantastic

I am sure you dad will feel proud reading this :)

rads said...

Tag please muni :)

upsilamba said...

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