I was told that as a little baby, I was very happy and very comfortable in any familiar person’s arms. As a result, I was always restless.. But,they say that in my Dad’s arms, sleep serenaded me like a little prince. It was since then, maybe that Dad and I began sharing our little life together.
Growing up in a Bengali family rife with rich culture was never easy. Ma was always making efforts in making us (Dada and me) the best kids in the society, while Baba, quietly pulled us away from her high expectations and gave us food for thought to make us learn from time to time… I also remember how after doing that, he used to silently cook sumptuous dinner for the evening to put out the flames in Ma’s mind. Such was life as a toddler…
I grew up in the shadow of my high performing brother. An ace in everything that he did, my parents were (are) immensely proud of him. When it was too much to take, I used to speak to Dad. And he, was always there to let me know, that he was around. Maybe, in ways I couldn’t understand. But he sure was around.As I grew up with a discontent of being the second best, the only time I spoke my mind out was when Baba was present in the room. He chose to listen without ever being tired. And somehow it comforted me.
Baba is old now. He hasn’t yet lost the zest to do good things though. Just that I don’t get to see him do things anymore. I work, he works.. I return late at night, only to find him secretly serving dinner on the table and quickly moving to the couch to pretend that he is watching television. I still see him grab a bite off the Mutton curry that Mom makes, just to let her know before taking a nap, how wonderful a cook she still is. His quaint silence, his empty eyes and his smile of reassurance make him worth going back home to.
People speak about their mother and how well she has shaped them into the people they truly are. It is only natural, for me as a daughter though, to tell my father, a little secret….
“When I get married to that one love of my life.. I will make sure, that my children look up to him, just like I do to you, Mipa.We will continue to have our differences and maybe you wouldn’t even want to see me again… But the compassion, the liveliness and the urge to be a better person, would not have been imbibed in me, had it not been for you.
That said, I will also make sure that your grandkids don’t turn out to be the vague people that your kids turned out to be. Needless to say, they will find you to be ultra cool, since you are probably the only Dad in the world who was cool with his daughter going and getting herself inked with weird images. (And you would also remain the only father who has relentlessly kept urging his daughter to get married.. for five years now :P) … Ok not being mean.
This is the only note I will ever write to you, to let you know that I love you. I will repost this every Father’s day for you to be reminded, that no matter how hard you try to get angry at me, I will still get back to you with the smile that is your unique gift for me since birth.
“There’s one sad truth in life I’ve found
While journeying east and west –
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.”
Happy Father’s Day, Pa.