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Archive for June, 2011

Its Fathers Day tomorrow and the man I loved dearly, my dad, is missing from my life. I have no words to express the blank I feel at times, the sadness which eclipses me and the fury I sometimes am unable to overcome because he went away, suddenly without a goodbye. So many things remind me of him, sometimes an early morning phone call (he used to call me at 6am so often) or the chant of Gayatri Mantra (he taught us Gayatri Mantra and a lot of other mantras). It has been four years that we lost him and I have still not been able to come to terms with this loss, there is too much unresolved pain associated with his sudden demise and that is the reason why I haven’t been able to write about him yet. I have wanted to and tried several times but each time tears would well up, mind would go numb and the searing pain was difficult to bear. I dream about him a lot, sometimes several times in the week and last night he seemed to be saying “Guddu it is time to let go, you’ve been holding on too tight” and I woke up with a lot of light around me, it was 4am. I somehow felt his presence again, blessing me and I said “Papa I love you”. On hindsight I think I had dreamt the entire thing or it’s a figment of my imagination because I really want to believe that he is out there looking out for my mom, brothers and me and now R as well.

 I am a immensely proud daughter, Papa has been my inspiration, I became an atheist after I realised that he does not enter the temple and totally rebelled against idol worship however hard mom tried to get me to adapt it. It is a different thing that, years later, I came around once I saw Papa discover his spiritual side. I was a complete daddy’s girl, when I was growing up he was the perfect man for me, forthright, high on principles, sea of knowledge and what not . I can write endlessly about him, as kids we siblings were really scared of him and so were our friends, despite him being such a soft spoken and loving person (not with the three of us though, we have been beaten black and blue by him). I later understood that he had such aura about him that no one dared to create any nuisance when he was around. He was progressive for our town, had a vision for our future, wanted us to be adventurous and explore new things enrolled us to camps for swimming, badminton, basketball and even social service, which was totally unheard of in a small town like ours. He was a visionary, well read with a world view, something quite rare in the people of our sleepy town.

During his growing up years Papa walked miles to go to school for his primary education, slowly friends dropped out, then cousins too but he never gave up and finished school. Dadaji did not have funds for his further education so he earned a state scholarship and completed his graduation in Mathematics. Then he came to Bokaro with a dream, lived in staircases, only a few days maybe, till he was allotted staff quarters, he had joined as a Lab worker. An independent man, he had a goal in mind, to be an engineer . He enrolled for engineering and completed his B.Tech working simultaneously and then joined the same company as an engineer. He then rose through the ranks and would have become a GM before retirement. The story sounds just out of a movie script right? But he had done it and that is why I say Papa’s my hero, so is Mom and I am not saying it as a consolation  but because she was his support system. She worked too, and raised us good and also ensured my Chachu and Bua get educated, so pushed Papa to bring them and make them stay with us in Bokaro. So, because of my parents we grew up in a joint family setup, I don’t know how would it be had the grandparents also lived with us but this setup was awesome. Perhaps, I’d do another post about mama’s heroics, this ones for my dad.

 Papa made sure that we took family trips every year, again unheard of in Bokaro where for most people vacations were about going to paternal or maternal hometowns. How the three of us siblings used to flaunt about our annual vacations to our friends, who’d all be so jealous  These were no luxury trips, just frugal ones but nevertheless enormous funds. I remember once Mom mentioning her friends trip abroad and how great it was that she travelled on a plane. Our next trip was to Andaman Islands, we flew, we were all totally excited and Mom was like a kid, now even she was getting to take the plane trip and even she could tell all her friends at her school about it. And there I saw Papa smiling, he looked so satisfied and happy. He gave up eating non vegetarian food because mom was a veggie, that’s my dad for you all. That is the piece of him I cherish the most, he was happy giving. In my hero worship, I would not say he had no flaws, in fact in my teens all I could see was his flaws. He was a strict disciplinarian which bothered me during my teens as I needed more freedom, also he had anger issues sometimes, he was too competitive when we kids were concerned and expected us to excel in everything be it studies or sports. What I did not understand was that he had seen penury and had tried his best to keep us and his siblings away from it. He had tasted success but had walked the hard way and he wanted us to achieve all he was not able to, not because of the lack of talent but because of the lack of resources.

 Papa, this is an ode to you from us, your kids…we never got to tell you when you left that day..but to date we say it each day hoping you are listening out there.. We love you Papa..and V, P and I are totally proud of you, your achievements, your heart.

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