I finally summon the courage to write a post on Parentous about the father, on his birthday.
I remember him coming early from work with a box of water colors in his hand, for my first painting lesson. We drew and painted the tricolor that evening. Art supplies were his domain. As were math and physics. Chart paper, palettes, brushes, felt-pens and crayons, I never remember buying any of these things. He always gifted them to me. On his birthday and mine.
I remember him staying up with me night after night, listening to the Hanuman Chalisa on loop, when I refused to sleep, absolutely convinced that ghosts were out to get me. He told me, “Come, get a torch and a stick. We’ll go hunting for them. Let’s begin with the kitchen, shall we?” I don’t remember whether I slept that night but I remember turning my face away, feeling belittled.
I remember him burning with fever but still getting out of the bed to reach for a copy of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to patiently explain to me being kind to someone or going the extra mile for them didn’t hurt anyone. He said the book had changed his perspective and he hoped that someday it would help me too. I was too worked up to pay heed to his words.
Today, I try my utmost to emulate him. To be able to become like him, keeping the hours he does, being punctual, sticking to my commitments. I look for him in every man I seize up as a prospect.
Being an only child, I am often cruelly asked, “So who do you love more? The mother or the father?” Mostly, I smile and evade. To the few whom I do answer, I whisper ever-so softly, “The father.” And yes, the mother knows. He is the person I feed the first piece of my birthday cake to. He is the bridge between us. The interlocutor, messenger and the lawyer, pleading my case.… Continue reading
*First published on Parentous.
**The kind folks at Parentous very enthusiastically agreed to accommodate this last-minute post on the occasion of his birthday. Thank you, Team Parentous.