Thursday, June 14, 2007

Aaah.... Dad!

Today is my Dad's B'day.


He would have been eighty if he were alive today. We would have forced him to celebrate his Shashti. And he would have scolded us for indulging in all that sham...

But as it is, all that I have to show my son of his Achacha is a foto- on the wall of my living room and a bigger one of the door of my wardrobe. Daddy's cheek on the foto in my wardrobe is a little faded on one side. This is with all the drooly kisses Sonny boy has been giving him since he was able to kiss.

Aah... Dad! If only you could have lived just a little longer... if only you could at least have seen my son...

Daddy had kidney failure. But he was one of the fortunate people who did not have to lie agonisingly unwell in bed, stretching out their dying days. He was active till the last week,weak and tired, but in full control of his senses and body. He passed away on 21st Dec 2002.

In Nov, on one of my regular visits to him, he and I were sitting on the verandah, when in an unusually expansive mood, he said.. I have had a good life, you know... I have 'lived' life... and I don't have any regrets... except.. maybe I would have liked a car of my own...and I would like to see your child... and you move into a house of your own...

Aaaah.... Dad! At the time, I certainly didn't know that he was going to go away from us so soon, but I wonder if he did...

We had just been chatting on how his illness made him lose out on certain foods which were so dear to him. Daddy loved good food and he loved to treat people to good food. But he was telling me that all that was alright, that he had reached a ripe old age, and he had lead a happy life, surrounded by friends and family who thought the world of him. (Irrespective of the fact that he would tell people to their faces what he thought of them- be it complimentary or not!) And the fact that now in his old age he had to compromise on a few food habits wasn't all that big an issue. "I have had a good life, you know..."

My son was conceived 6 months after my father passed away. Ah! the bitter sweet joy of knowing that one of my Dad's unfulfilled desires was coming true... How I wished that it could have happened a year earlier.. that he could at least have held his grandson in his arms..that one old, lined, stubbled cheek could have rested for a second against one smooth soft one..Aah... Dad!

At home, in Kerala, Daddy's foto is hung in the living room there too, and when he was of an age to baby talk, Sonny boy would look at the foto and say Achacha...Sonny boy has a rare smile for his Achacha. And every time he kisses the picture stuck on my wardrobe, my eyes fill up, as I look into the eyes of my father. Who seems to be comforting me at times.. who seems to be reaching out at times...straining to hold his daughter and grandson... Aaaah... Dad!

I think of him in all the happy times-
When we moved into our new house, just 4 months after his death, as per schedule and he wasn't there and neither was my Mom...
when I decided to resume working and got my appointment letter...,
when I got my first salary again, and couldn't spend it on a shirt for him...
when Sonny boy takes up a 100 rupe note and says Achacha..! Gandhiji and Daddy look similar-they're both bald!:-) Aaahh... Dad!

And I think of him in all the unhappy times, difficult times, and I look up at him and ask if he's seeing all this, and can't he do something to make things better.. after all he's up there now....
Aahhh... Dad! does the pain ever grow less, I wonder? Do you ever stop missing, stop longing... stop wishing...


Happy Fathers Day to all Dads!

10 comments:

Moppet's Mom said...

Beautiful tribute to your dad. Made me all teary-eyed.

Poppins said...

Very touching! You must miss him a lot.

Swati said...

Straight from your heart ...beautifully expressed. You made me cry. And dont you worry , he would be happy to see Sonny Boy , from wherever he is.

noon said...

My father passed away recently and I can totally relate to your post. Dad knew I was pregnant with the second child but he is not around now to hold the new arrival...(due soon). He was there minutes after my first child was born - holding him. Our loss that our children don't get to enjoy the love of their grandfather...what can we do about it but accept it gracefully and really think of the postive - like you said - at least he did not have prolonged suffering. My dad too - just like that he was gone...until then he was active and healthy.
We just have to see them in our children and in the way we naturally raise our children...

Just like that said...

Moppet,Poppins,Swati- Dunno how to comment to this one, was very sad myself while writing it...:-(

Noon- Sigh! If only...
but then, if it means that they would have had to suffer, and be bedridden, then I guess we can be brave enough for them, and continue to live a life that's full of memories.. and be especially strong for the sake of our mothers....

Sunita said...

A very very similar experience. Missed every single day.

WhatsInAName said...

I know that no amount of words can soothe your pain.
I am sorry!

Just like that said...

Sunita - loved your Dad in your post on him.

Win- thanks.

karmickids said...

I absolutely loved that part of your dads photo being faded on one side, with your son kissing drooly kisses on it...
I too wish my dad could have been around to see my son. He would have been so proud...

The Inquisitive Akka said...

I know, I lost my dad 2.5 years ago and my mom passed away 2 weeks ago.