Friday, March 23, 2007

To the first man in my life

Birthdays are a time for celebration. And what better way to celebrate my father’s birthday than sharing my memories of him… the first man in my life. He is turning 81 today..

Whenever I see a warm picture of a dad and little girl, it takes me down the memory line and brings tears to my eyes. It brings in to mind the endless paths I have walked holding his hands, the endless times he has carried me on his shoulder while tucking me to sleep..

We have always shared a special bond probably because of the huge age difference between us. He never refused me anything and always provided me everything that I wanted. He is the one who boosted my self-confidence, taught me morals and induced values in me.. I don't know if I can find the right words to describe what he means to me.

My earliest memories of him are of a tall lean figure, always clad in a white full sleeved shirt and a sandalwood thilak on his forehead, who always looked terribly distinguished to my young eyes. Till I turned 4 years,I was staying in my mom's village since she was working there and he working in the town which was some 30 kms away. So he used to visit us during weekends,bringing lots of goodies to eat. Shortly amma also got a transfer to a school in the town and that's when I started knowing him more.His routine was to get up early(4 am), take a cold water bath and he will be in his favourite easy chair in the front verandah with the newspaper.

He is always the cool and friendly person and generally never lost his patience. But I was given a good spanking once and I still remember the incident clearly. When I was small, I was very much afraid of darkness. This restricted my free movement after sunset quite a bit as it was not easy for me to reach the switch either(I was just four years then). Suddenly one day I got a brainwave and decided to put on all the lights before it gets dark and promptly went ahead with my project(climbing on chairs, windows n whatever I could to reach the switch). When he saw all the lights on(it was just noon then), he switched it off immediately. But me being the persistent kind repeated the exercise. This ON and OFF went on for sometime and finally he switched off the Mains. So next time when I switched on the lights,nothing happened. I did my investigation and found that the big green magic switch is pointing UP and not down as usual. I climbed the window (It was way too high for a chair) and switched it ON and here he lost his patience and beat me until the sticks were broken into small pieces and my legs were all swollen. That was the first and last time he ever gave me a beating!

When I was in 4th std, amma got transferred to another district and came home only on Sundays. So for the next three years only both of us were at home. Everyday he used to cook rice(that was the only thing he knew to make) and pack my lunch box with rice and curds much before I even got up coz he didn't want to see me struggle..

Every day he would pick me up at school, just to buy me something on the way coz he knew i'll be hungry.. He used to get me chocolates without the knowledge of amma (she used to scold coz I used to make that my main meal n conveniently skip my main meals). And guess what? He does it even now. He is yet to realize that I have grown up!!

He is the one who taught me to ride a bicycle, who showed me how to stay balanced, look forward, and to find the right speed. He did the traditional hold onto the seat and run behind the bicycle. He used to be too worn out at the end but he never expressed that. I kept saying "Don't let go!" and he said "I'm still holding on!" but he really had let go a while earlier because I was doing fine on my own. I realized this once I saw that he had stopped holding and I kept going.I felt so brave and happy.. :)

I know there were many times where I have taken my own decisions but he has never asked me to change it even though he would have liked me to take a different path.. I know I have hurt him whenever there were arguments in the family (mostly regarding marriage) but he has never hurt me back.. I wish I could make him all happy... He really doesn't know how I wish I could.

Now he is getting older. He is loosing his memory slowly and doctors say has a weak pacemaker. But otherwise he is perfectly healthy. I know now it's my turn to take care of him but I'm staying away from home and I'm not able to do as much as I want to do.. He welcomes visitors. He likes to talk to people but often forgets what he asked. There are many a times I have lost my patience repeating the same things again and again. How I wish I had inherited his patience.. He likes travelling and wants to go out and walk through the familiar streets he frequented before. But we make him stay at home coz he had blackout in few occasions and we are not sure whether he can manage alone..

I know he does’t know what a blog is and will never read this. So I can safely say what I always wanted to tell, but never did.. I love you very much and will always remain your little girl no matter how much I grow up.. I want to thank you for what you are… because that helped me become what I am..I'm really sorry for all the unfulfilled dreams that you have about me..

Accha, I'm Wishing you many, many, many more healthy and happy years of life..

21 comments:

richard said...

This has come pretty well.
I can see the emotions flow in your words. Good job!
ನಿಮ್ಮ blog ತುಂಬ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಬಂದಿದೆ!!!

Dhanya said...

Thank you Richy..
Yes it was straight from heart..
And what are these in kannada??
I can't read :((

The Avenger !!! said...

here's wishing your dad a very happy birthday and like you i join in hoping he lives many many more years to come :)

Dhanya said...

Thank you Sudhir..

Smitha said...

Hey dhanya..your blog is simply great yaar..Wishing ur dad belated happy birthday...Janmadina aashamsagal :-)

Dhanya said...

Thanks a lot Smitha.. I'll tell him :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Dhanya,
That was really straight from the heart. I can understand how you feel about his unfulfilled dreams. But they are "soon" to come true. So be happy......... Your father is proud of you I know!!!
Luv,
Shakila

fozylet said...

touching...

Anonymous said...

hi dhanya

This was so touching..I had tears in my eyes by the end... really wonderful..

Reshmi chechi

Resma T said...

Dhanya...really heart touching..donno what to say. but I can say one thing, its really a great work you have done. You are the proud child of a proud father...keep it up.

Madhurima said...

Dearest Dhanya,
Am also a daddy's girl...and i so understand what you must have felt while writing this.
Our dads are definitely not just the first but the perfect man in our lives.
Wishing uncle many more healthy and lovely years ahead.
love
madhurima

Nimmi said...

Beautifully written!
... it did bring a tear to my eye

Darshan said...

Nice post Chechi...

:)

Sridevi said...

read it today only[after five months since you posted]...
very well written... I can very well picturise uncle [and aunty too] since I have met him during college days... I just remembered the days when I visited your home,your dog and nearby old-age home where you took me once..

Anonymous said...

Hi Dhanya

Very touching & relates a lot to our lives too. Beautifully written, I wish your Dad many more healthy and happy days to come.

Regards
Rochas (colleague of Anil Dharman)

ദീപു : sandeep said...

Really touching...

Anonymous said...

Dhanya chechi, Hope u remember me..Srividhya, junior in Eng college..I feel tears in my eyes after reading ur blog..u touched me so much chechi....i just hope u'll shed ur loneliness off from u..i wish u all happiness chechi be it whatevery way, but true happiness :-)

Sreejith said...

Beautifully written!
Your post brought in memories of my parents who were also teachers
.. the white shirt .. lunch box..
..not much distant worlds !

You writes very well and I am seriously thinking about visiting your blog more often !

Cheers!

Sreejith Nair

Dhanya said...

Hello Dhanya...
Read the whole thing even though I dont know who you are...but someone who has my name...Beautifully written...touching...

Dhanya

TBC said...

What a beautiful touching post. Very well-written!

Gaayathi said...

Dhanya..
Nalla post ennalla enikku parayaan thonnunnathu.. athilum mele enthokkeyo... ethu valare vaikiyulla oru comment aakaam.. thante Achane enikkum othiri estamaakunnu... :)

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