Sunday, June 17, 2007
Happy Father's Day, Dear Appa!
Every time I sat down to write a post about you during the last 10 days, I seemed to hit a wall - not because of dearth of things to say, but, realizing that nothing I say would seem adequate, would convey the right emotion...
It is Father's Day already and if I don't record a few thoughts now (knowing you would read it), I would have missed a beautiful opportunity. So here goes...
My earliest memories are riding in the front seat on your bicycle. I must've been 4 or so then, and used to love it. When you pedaled a bit before you got on, when the bike reached a dangerous 45° angle and I was sure I'd fall down, you'd swing your leg over and seat yourself and we'd be off... Those days seem idyllic now.
When I was sick, I'd insist you take me to our family doctor; I remember hanging on to your arms and hiding behind you in an attempt to ward off the impending "injection" (shots) that our doctor always gave me...
When I cooked my first few meals and had you sample them, you would praise them to heaven and I'd be all beaming until I tasted them myself and realize I hadn't added any salt. When I call your bluff, you'd insist that less salt is good for health and that I am smart enough to know that already!
When in 5th and 6th grade, I used to love making posters. Some were alright, most were mediocre at best if I look at it objectively now, but, you were so proud of my work that you let me put them up on our living room wall... you encouraged me to hone my artistic skills.
I am not sure if you remember: when I was in 2nd grade, you bought me a cone ice cream for the first time. I had eaten popsicles and ice cream in a cup, but, edible sugar cones filled with ice cream was a novelty. I started at the top and finding the ice cream all over my nose and cheeks, I decided to eat it the smart way - by biting off the bottom! In no time at all, i was a sticky mess. I was quite sure I had done something terrible and that you'd never take me out again and buy me ice cream, but, you just laughed and rode us home on your bike and I got washed up, leaving just an embarrassing story behind for my dear brother to leverage :-)
I was not a pleasant teenager - I was angry about a lot of things and didn't quite know how to deal with your generosity.
While most kids would have the opposite problem, you always asked me for my "Buy List" and I used to be hard-pressed to put anything on the list: You and amma provided me with everything I needed to grow up well-rounded.
When I started experimenting with baking, and failing, you just joked about it, turning it into a ritual: "Sheela's Annual Cake-baking Ceremony", emphasizing on the Annual so I will not experiment so often:-)
Your sense of humor is incredible. You constantly keep up the cheer in the house and sometimes I think you would have been a successful comedian, if you wanted to...
As I grew up, we talked about Vedic philosophy, about God about how to lead a good life. We've argued a lot. You've never used your authority as my Father to shut me up.
Your generosity and blessings are the best gifts I can ask for, and I have never needed to ask for it, you and amma have been freely giving it to me.
This Father's Day, I just want to say Thank You! Thank you for being there and raising us as best as you did.
I wish you were visiting me now so I could say it in person... Happy Father's Day, Appa!