February 2, 2009

My Dad - a tribute


Its natural to be fond of parents and I am no exception. This past month, memories of little events in my life with my father has been flashing far too often. Yes, he just left us and has left a big void in my life... Looking back I realise how big an influence he has been on my life. We are 3 siblings but my sister being 6 years older got married and left for Delhi when I was in class IX. So, most of my formative years have been with conversations with my dad and mom as my brother is a silent types...

Its with my dad that I debated on current affairs and issues of the World. I remember our long conversations and debates ranging from Ethics (Reliance vs Express) to reservations (Mandal Commission) to Communal tensions (Bombay blasts). Appa travelled frequently and I used to long for him to get back and have our talks.

He was such a perfect dad, always sacrificed his comforts for the sake of family... he drove 25 Kms each way in Bombay, just so my school was walking distance.. But come weekends, and he would drive us to Juhu, Gateway, Powai temple, Worli seaface, whatever my fancy... Never did he say no to me.

While we lived in luxury and got all we ever wanted, he taught me the value of money and the need to respect it. If, today, I am a good girl (well, that's how I am), its because of little things he taught me... from roughing it out in Bombay trains and BEST buses and not be chauffered about. He had an amazing ability to bring me back to reality.. I remember this particular scene of coming home with my M.Sc results, I had topped the Univ, I said. Appa, had that smile and twinkle on his face and said, "Oh, the others in your class are worse than you?".

Appa had a great weakness for sweets;-).. this is probably an understatement. Many times, he would joke that he simply had the dessert spread at parties and skipped the main course!! So, he would take the trouble of discovering the best, local sweets in the city he was in, and buy it for all of us home.. I surely have taken after him for sweets.

As is customary in our family, it was time to get me married and my parents were dead keen to do so before I started my doctoral prog. That was so tough on me and him. Even to this day, I feel almost guilty for leaving home... because that meant appa had not anyone to speak and share his thoughts... apart from mom ofcourse... So, off I left my dear home and city of Bombay to set up home in Madras. Life is so unfair, parents shower their love on children and then promptly send them packing after marrying them off, and both find the separation so tough.. My parents missed me and so did I. But my inimitable dad promptly retired in 10 months and came off to Madras. He claimed it had nothing to do with me being in Madras but come on, we all knew what was on his mind.

Life is different once you're married and soon it was time for me to leave Madras as husband got transferred in office. And so life went...

Well, simply put, I owe my life to him.. the values he brought me up with, the discipline he imparted, the shlokas classes we had in the evenings and the impatience he showed when I didn't get the Sanskrit pronunciation right.... the jokes he shared from his office work... Oh, I miss appa. I realise I've been very lucky to have such a great dad...

4 comments:

MOM said...

I have some thoughts to share will do that in a while, but Hey I need a photo there . Can you add one ??

Raji said...

will be adding soon!! Need to scan but was ready with the post:-)

R Swaminathan said...

He is one of the most genuine, affectionate and wonderful human beings that I have come across in my entire life.

gopati said...

I never was fortunate enought o experience the love and attention of a father. He died of lung infection when he was just all of 29 years. I really miss the support of a father. Well, my grandfather (dad's dad) who was everything to me and my brother passed away when I was eleven. However, those few years spent with him are so vivid in my mind, i can relive every moment again and again. It was my grand dad who who would sit with us in the garden - post dinner around 9 pm and share stories , his experiences with us and we would listen with rapt attention. He used to smoke and one fine day we just made him give up smoking ...for us he just did!

Even today I miss a father figure in my life, someone mature, someone I can look up to ....I had always been a timid and shy person and if today I am strong and confident I owe it to Gurudev , his teachings and practices. Well I guess nothing can replace the ONE in my life today.