11 years ago, to this day, I lost my dad in what was a sudden incident. I was 21 – at the peak of my youthful arrogance. I loved my Dad. He made me into what I am today – literally & figuratively – in fact, in every sense of the word, I am what he made me into. Since childhood, he brought us (our family) up with values, hard work, ethics & an honest living.
I vividly remember each year of growing up, especially after the age of 10 – how he was sitting besides me when I had my surgery, how we used to ride bike to school every day – what words he would whisper in my ears while going to school – i remember it all. I clearly remember how he promised me an ice cream if I noted down the “Mool mantar” written on the Gurdwara notice board. And I did. !
But the early years are wiped out of my memory. What happened from years 0-10 are mostly hidden in my sub conscious and I don’t have any clear picture of that.
However, after being becoming a Dad myself, when I close my eyes, I can almost see a movie in my head of my Dad playing with me when I was 2 years old. How he would have lifted me, tickled me, smiled at me. I remember, even as a teenager, how he wanted to kiss me – especially you know, the nasty kiss where he just wanted to eat my whole cheek off. I do the same thing with my son. He’s 2 year old & obliges readily. But I eat him the same way.
Dad used to tell me stories about his childhood. How they (he & his brothers) used to walk few miles to get to school. I can just visualize my dad wearing shorts & bag on the back, plodding through the dusty streets of my hometown. It’s generates an amazing feeling of love to just imagine this.
A Poem by William Wordsworth comes to my mind,
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
especially the line – “The Child is father of the Man”– whatever William Wordsworth had meant by that, but having a child myself teaches me a lot about my father.
Recently, a dear friend who is almost in this 40’s, lost his father to cancer. No matter, how old we grow, Dad will always be Dad. Fatherly love will always be Fatherly love. And it’s beautiful. The memories, the life, the smiles, the joy of being a father surpasses the joy of everything else in the world.
Look at this picture for a moment:
It is of my son, Guransh. There’s an abundant joy, a kind of bliss in his smile. No matter how my day is going, the moment I see this picture, everything else melts away & my heart is filled with a kind of love, that is beyond explanation…