Sunday, May 04, 2008

My daddy strongest

Dharma has been on one of his bummy nights again and somehow, his post took me back in time when I used to drive home late after college.

We used to live quite far away from the city. There were no street lights beyond the highway, the four-five kilometer stretch was pitch dark in the middle of fields and farmhouses. I would be home pretty late. Baba and aaji would be at the edge of their seats, watching TV, but always looking at the gate from the open door. When I look back, I can't really pin-point what to make of their parenthood. (Talking about parenthood, Void has also asked some interesting questions...)

My parents could easily have been those careful, mindful parents who don't let their daughters alone at night. They should have been, if you think conventionally. For there were more chances than less that I could have met with many of those sorry incidents on the long, lonely stretch. And they weren't the mobile-happy types either- 'This and call, that and call... No way! (So when my baba called, it would be a cue that he's really worried and time to move asap, which I didn't...) So what was it that made them let me be the way I was?

Someday, I am going to ask them, what made them give me the liberty they did. And how they managed to keep a tab on their anxiety on all those late nights. But for them, I would not have felt the thrill of being alone, nervous, happy---feeling so completely on my own on the long roads home. Perhaps it was their way of throttling us with cartloads of trust. Their trick was to trust us completely, with a child-like innocence and a fanatic reverence.

Someday, I am going to tell them they have been the most fabulous people I have ever met. My parents may not exactly qualify as guiding angels, the kinds who chalk their child’s future with a neatly planned itinerary of courses, degrees and careers.

Aaji consistently nagged me to work hard, but she never nagged me to be this or that. Baba, when I look back, was only concerned with my being happy. In his vocabulary, perhaps Happy = Full-stop.

I remember once when I was particularly scared before the boards, I sat with him.

“So, you think you won’t even manage to pass, is it?”
“I am not sure”
A short pause.
“Okay, never mind. Nothing matters, actually. Just stop being afraid. I hate it when you move around with that scared and sad face.”

And then, he said something some other time. From his bed where he sleeps all his time after office, shaking the right leg, reading a book, and always ordering this or that (his constant demand is fresh nimboo pani), my lazy, often irritating, but consistently loving and innocent father promised me late one night:

“Remember, no matter what you do and what the world says, I will always be with you till I am alive”.

At that time, though I was touched, what he said really didn’t make sense given that I hadn’t done, or didn’t even intend to do, anything outrageous. But today, I know. And it feels so good.

I leave you with a painting he did a few days back. (I can imagine his child-like glee if he reads this post, especially when he sees his painting online).

18 comments:

Anu said...

I have been a regular visitor to your blog, but first time commentor..:)

Words that strike the chord in your heart...:)

Lovely painting and lovely post..:)

dharmabum said...

a post leading to another post - isn't this fascinating, the blog world and how we connect? whats more fascinating is the train of thought that the mind takes - so mysterious!

sometimes its a tough call, parents just keep wishing for the kids and in the process, miss out on their own lives. my dad tells me it IS his life, i don't know :)

beautiful paiting!

void said...

You paint a vivid picture again. Actually, so does your dad. :)

Internation Musing said...

another touching story..)

Internation Musing said...

Wrote on Internations something about your blog..)))

theantisensestrand said...

wow!!..amazing post and painting...made me go down the memory lane to all those days and ponder over so many things..

phish said...

just read dharma and now you. moving onto void, but not before leaving a small trail here.

i completely identify what you have to say. much of me, is because of how my parents were. as a child, i was always given the option to choose. do what you think is right.

now 27 years later as i stand at crossroads of important (possible life-changing) decisions everyday, i just have it really easy.

i think our personalities too are shaped by them. how we think. how worldly we are. not to mention how we'll be with our kids. liberated or otherwise :)

Gauri Gharpure said...

@ Anu.. So you have been one of those who read, but silently tip-toe away, is it? :) Thanks for your comment.. Extremely glad to have heard from you, please visit often and comment more.

@Dharma-- yes, it's fascinating, the kind of web that has formed here! mind's train of thought, talk abt it!! the speediest and unruliest of all the trains in the world. :D
parenting is tough and you are lucky, I have known that through many of your posts.. :)
not sure abt the missing out bit though.. one thing I learned from my mother was to follow an individual's passion with as much a stubborn determination as one would play the role of a wife or a mother--in the long run, it helps.. and i will tell him everyone has loved the painting..

@Void-- thnks.. :) (and when do we get more updates on the lines of 'the slivers of silver oranges??)

@ Hans-- Thnks so much! thnks again for the post, that was so nice of you... really..

@Gaurav-- Hello... thnks so much.. and how have you been? I was not able to hang on ur blog for long the last time i ws there.. :( wud be back..

@Phish.. you talk again of the interesting online web of people and thoughts like Dharma has.. :)
yes, most of the what we are today has some role or the other played by them.. Actually no, I would rather attribute the good to them, the bad to my stubborn self..But talking abt kids, I am not sure, really not sure.. (who said something like 'children make enemies with their parents and friends with their grandparents :)

firaq darvesh said...

Dear Monu,
" Hum ne chaha hai tumhen khudao.n ki tarah...Kyoon shaq kar ke khudaaii ko jaleel kare.n? "
- " khalish"-9-5-2008./baba.
Dear Monu,
" We loved you like Gods....why should we defame God's grace by doubting you...? " Khalish" 9-5-2008.....baba.
take care.

suren said...

happy = full stop........ great n great ppl they are :)

and well this post seems to be lucky too for it has survived one of the impulsive moods ;)

dharmabum said...

my turn to ask - so when do we hear next, of the forcing, adn getting rid of u know what...:)

Anil P said...

I suppose it is difficult to comprehend the sacrifice it entails to entrust trust in another, especially one so close.

Some answers will forever float in the air, defying comprehension. It is only in experiencing it can one hope to come close to sensing it let alone understanding it.

Gee said...

Hi, my first time on your blog ! Have to say, you write really well...so evocative !
The title of your post reminded me of the time my sis very proudly wrote those very words on a grafitti board at some mall, and embarassed my dad ! :-)
And I can so relate to what you've written about your parents. I've always wondered too, how tough it must've been for my folks to have given me so much freedom despite everything that goes on in the big bad world !
Cheers to parents, I say !

Gauri Gharpure said...

Baba... :) thanks..

Suren-- true and tough at the same time, to implement, i.e. but am glad!

Dharma-- now u know...

Anil-- yes, he says the same thing. 'you won't understand till you have kids'. further, he's anxious, even scared at times that we won't be as patient or as giving as they were...

'Some answers....understanding it'.

ur comment, btw, is so beautiful in itself, the way the words are placed, sound and make meaning.. you must save what you just wrote, perhaps reproduce it for the readers on ur blog.. nice, thnks!

Gee--- Welcome to the blog, and keep coming!
your sis and your comment reminds me of my sis and the fights we had, and baba's often biased intervention that upheld my idiotic cause with a pacifying wink at my sis.
Its this special relationship daughters share with their fathers, isn't it? parenting takes totally different turns depending on whether u have a baby girl, a baby boy, or both a son and a daughter.. if u have no brother, and are only two sisters, I am sure the similarities may go much beyond an adoring father-- the fights, jealousy, bullying (i ws the younger and bullied my sis no end) and so on.. Ohh, i am off track, sorry... Be back soon Gee!

void said...

You're missing. I take it the real world has you caught up? Or perchance you're on another trip?

Srivalli said...

thats such a lovely painting!

shrutinair said...

I just started following your blog... and I have to say I am loving it....

The Gharpure family is one which touched my heart & my life quite deeply. I know I have never said this before.. but I still have everyone's faces & all vivid memories right before my eyes...

God bless!!

Gauri Gharpure said...

Thanks Shruti.. touched :)