Of the numerous memories that inundate me right now as I type this piece, all of which, I must say, being as vivid as they were when they first happened, what I miss the most are perhaps the piggybacks I used to have on my father’s back, and the swings using the bed-sheets that he and my uncle would fabricate just for me.
As I grew up to the age when one has this obligation to be enrolled in a school and go there daily, I remember him polishing my shoes, and escorting me to the bus-stop every single day. As I further grew up and as is often the case, I found myself more attracted to friends and cricket than to the swings and the piggyback rides(I still have friends and occasional cricket matches, perhaps I could have savored a few more rides back then).
As years passed and as I was overtaken by both stupidity and a tendency to take him for granted, I started being more aloof. I now wonder, how the same me who would wait at nights for my father to return and tell him all that happened in the school and would never miss a pat from him for my good grades, began to keep things to myself (How stupid in itself indeed growing up is. And what a hefty amount of ignorance it brings along). And how his bedtime stories that first inculcated the hope and love in me were replaced by the Nintendo and Mario. I, in a state as I am in right now, sometimes muse, that will there ever come a time when I’ll be able to understand him or at least be in a position to repay a fraction of what he did for me.
Then, as the age and my craving to learn– not pretty sure of the latter– demanded of me, I got myself enrolled for higher education and had to get away from the house for the first time. The only piece of advice he gave me back then was that ‘Nothing is permanent, but we are always here for you. Come back whenever you feel the need of doing so, beta’ (sounded quite a juxtaposition back then, but makes complete sense now, else how would I know where to go when I am dejected). The problem with my father despite the fact that he has been managing the bank for well over 30 years now is that he doesn’t understand the basics of economics for whenever I asked him for any amount he always transferred more than the asked amount(I sometimes wonder how he managed to do what he has been doing for living for so long).
On my sojourns to home(it’s sad when one has to use the word sojourn with the home) on vacations and on the festivities, I never failed to notice the fridge filled up with my favorite sweets. The same man who used to castigate me for my tardiness and in failing to wake up on time now adjusts the curtains every morning to ensure that the sunlight does not hinder my sound sleep.
Another problem with my father is that he never gets my ‘I Love You’. I see my sisters telling him that they love him and he’d smile back, a smile that only a daughter is capable of bringing on a father’s face (However hard it might be to digest this fact but no wonder how desperately a family might wish for a boy so that their lineage sustains; a father secretly craves for a daughter, nevertheless; for in his daughter’s ‘I love You’ lies his ultimate happiness and in her happiness his redemption). Whenever I tell him that I love him, he always replies back asking ‘what is it that I want now?’ Besides, he never smiles back.
Musing had better of me and I was looking for a theory that would console my soul in distress. Can I never hear back ‘I Love You too’ from my dad. Why has it to be so hard? And then I fabricated something like this–
“A daughter loves her father, a son learns from him.”
And as long as I keep learning from him my deeds will tell him that I love him. As long as he is contented that I have learned well I’ll get those ‘Love you too’ back.
Thank You, Papa.
I am proud to have learned all that I already have and much more that awaits.
And yes, with as much conviction I believe in the fact that you love me, I am sure that you are not aware of this day.
So, Happy Father’s Day, Papa!
You know I love you, right?