Dear Dad..

Can’t believe that I have made it without you for the last twelve years! Life was a roller coaster with you around and it still is without you. We have had the bitterest of fights and have said the meanest of things to each other. We have disagreed on several issues concerning life styles, relationships, friendships, marriage, trusts and beliefs, religion, career and more. Though I can still replay scene-by-scene the toughest days of our relationship as a father-daughter, what I’d want to remember and cherish are the most important lessons of life that the sis and I got to imbibe from you. We are what we are today ONLY because of you.

Am sure it required a lot of guts for you to refuse when our nearest family offered to take care of your daughters soon after mom passed away. For this, we are still grateful. Not that we’d have been in bad hands. I know that they meant well. But they were not YOU.

That we three made it accepting each other with all our follies, and were open to each other, says a lot about the amount of trust you placed in us.

You were a man proud of having two daughters and not once did you sigh or sulk and say, ‘oh, how am I going to raise the two daughters’. It really is a big deal daddy. It was simply awesome of you to tell me just a week before my wedding that, just because I chose my match, it didn’t mean that I should put up with things that don’t go well with me, and that your doors would always be open, and that I’ll not have to take any blame if things did not work out. But, you also hinted that every relationship involved a certain amount of adjustments and a few compromises here and there and like everything else in life, I’d need to give the new relationships my best shot. You know you needn’t have worried appa. Not only because of the earthly family am married into, but also because you know that I’d hold my own. Yes, that is your arrogant daughter for you, a trait passed on to me straight from you. Still, your assurance meant a lot.

I don’t remember a day where you really got busy ‘saving’ to get your daughters married. You were honest and realistic and said that you’d educate us and that will be the only wealth you’ll really give us. That, you did. Thank you Pa. It is the most valuable of our ‘assets’ and this is exactly what your daughters are telling your grand-kids.

You always encouraged us to make more friends and ‘stay’ friends forever. Remember the days, specially the weekends when our home would be like a ladies hostel with our friends over, and you’d go in for a night shift for work. Friends, another of our valuable ‘assets’. They were with us then, they are with us even now. You knew each of our friends like your own kids, and they used to enjoy your company so much! All your Physics, Chemistry, Math, Tamizh quizzes, your flawless rendering of ‘Abu Ben Adhem’ with all the expressions in place, your regaling us with stories from your best and worst days as a child, your singing ‘thaaye yeshodha undhan’ or ‘thirupaar kadalil’, or ‘paavana guru pavana guru’, or Rafi’s’ Baharon phool barsao’, ‘chaudvin ka chaand ho’, ‘suhani raath dal chuki’ or theri pyaari pyaari soorath mein, ‘(something that the two of us failed to inherit!), cricket, so much…

You taught us never to fear. The worst outcome of any situation is death. Which anyway is inevitable. That is what you said. You were never worried about our heading home late from work, you never worried about our traveling alone, or staying home alone. Nothing. To you, fear meant doom.

You taught us to cook! The kitchen counter top used to look so neat after you finished cooking. On the days I did, it looked like a battle field and you hated it 🙂 I must say I have made a decent progress here, though not as perfect as you 🙂 You hated wasting food too.

You never let us infringe your space, something we have learnt to appreciate in retrospect. You were clear about what gave you peace and insisted that we don’t try and crawl all over in the name of ‘concern’ and a funny misplaced notion of ‘responsibility’. You respected our space as well.

Your gift of the gab. Well, what do I say! I haven’t met another person as articulate as you, specially in English. You’d reserve the best to be unleashed when you suffer your famous temper, and boy! What a temper! Which again is something your daughters too have inherited! I remember how fascinated I was when I first heard you use the word ‘unwarranted’ and shamelessly parroted the idiom – call a spade a spade! Your favourite quote, which you never failed to cite exactly when we needed to hear- Perform thy duty. Fruit is not thy concern! Haven’t really got there, but have really been trying Pa.

Miss you so much Pa. Am not able to summon the courage to think how life would have been now, if you were with us. So, will settle for another of your favourite lessons- All for good.


20 thoughts on “Dear Dad..

  1. Wow, seriously wow…your Appa seemed to be such a wonderful person 🙂 Now I know why you speak such good Hindi, you had a wonderful guru with Hindi songs no? And great that he managed to raise you girls without your mom around! Big big salutes to him! and thank you for this post, I was very upset today, but this post made me realise that there is so much to learn in life, no use wasting time in being upset eh?

  2. just getting too emotional…There is a lot to learn from everyone’s life and I feel that I have learnt a lesson today from your dad. Though I have never seen him, he is my invisible and invincible guru!!!!

  3. Words can’t match certain feelings, but you did a good job Vidu in doing that! Yup, uncle tops my list as the ‘most friendly’ person / dad / uncle I ever had @ that point in time in life. Every one is a package and none is perfect; and so was he but definitely he did whatever best he could. Letting us be, being with us whenever & however way possible, accepting despite differences and debates, standing up in whichever way he can… are some great attributes and he was an living example! I genuinely appreciate and admire him for many of these great qualities; especially for being a ‘friend’ to all of us at that time when we needed the most! Your doors were always open for us, which is the most precious gift I could have had then & now too. The time spent with him, at your place, triumphs & tragedies at the kitchen, spring-cleaning sessions, endless comments / giggling, naming every one walking on the road, uff… evergreen & shall go with us forever! He passed on some great lessons, as you rightly mentioned @ being independent, standing up for yourself, giving & respecting the need for space etc and also some ‘not-to-dos’. Heartfelt thanks uncle for giving us 2 precious gals as our friends, accepting us as your daughters, and giving us such good lessons — which definitely took some time to sync in but it has & here we are 🙂 We miss the ‘all girls hangout’ adda & your presence for sure but I also believe that you are out there watching us from somewhere and giggling your way to glory! Luv you uncle & cheers to both your lovely darlings whom you will be proud of!

  4. True Vidya!!! Dad was always open to everyone and I still remember the time spent in ur house with Uncle… I was recently narrating our trip once to vandalur zoo ( 9th std…) to my daughters… Uncle escorted all girls …. great fun we had….. Oh! those were wonderful days… Hats off to him!!

  5. Wow Vidya ! its not very easy to express these but you have done a wonderful job ! you know what ? With every word that I read , I got the impression that I was reading about my dad. My dad is exactly the same (well almoosst) and I am blessed to have his support even today.
    I am sure even your dad was and is proud of you girls !!! Hats off to him and you !

  6. Touching! Not all parents say this esp in love marriages – It was simply awesome of you to tell me just a week before my wedding that, just because I chose my match, it didn’t mean that I should put up with things that don’t go well with me, and that your doors would always be open, and that I’ll not have to take any blame if things did not work out.

  7. I’m no one to say this but in my opinion one of the best posts u have written so far..I should say it was nice to meet your Dad…so nice to read it again next again..

  8. I have to say, read this with a tear in my eye. It’s nice to sit back and get some perspective right? In retrospect all the ‘bad’ times seem so un-important. I like that. Well written!

  9. A movie played in my mind as I read it imagining a double-plaited Vidya in Sankara Vidyalaya uniform and her father. Such intense writing Vidya ji. I don’t think you even read it again before hitting the post button. Such an honest outpouring of your train of thoughts. ‘Unwarranted’ was cute! And the lesson on fear, ‘concern’/’responsibility’ vs space… These are basic lessons in parenting I guess(I know its a bit too much for me to say before I become one..still).

    Thanks for giving us the pleasure of reading this. I believe in rebirth and I am sure that, that little 12 year-old will somehow read this post and you’ll get a 🙂 as your reply. Not to mention, truckloads of blessings from the stars. God bless!

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