Done talking with my FIL, K turned on the TV. In over one hour of programming we were exposed to a slew of ads for Father’s day. My mind travelled years back in time. With no special day to remember dads or make them feel special. I hope you knew you were always special. You were my pet. If that makes any sense. I loved you, adored you and looked up to you. In job interviews and personality development sessions when the questions about leaders or inspirational people arise, my thoughts always go to you. For me, you stand right up there with the leaders of the world. You taught me all there is to know about ethics and honesty, about equality and compassion, about empathy and listening.
Each day as you came back from a gruelling day at work, I watched you listen to Amma as she vented her frustrations. I sat content at your feet while you stroked my head and watched TV. I loved it when you asked me to make ‘sottu kaapi’ before you called it a day. I was proud when you visited me in that tiny apartment I call my first home and I made macaroni for you and served it with ketchup. I loved you for it when you finished it without a word and asked for more. I cherish the memories of you and me going shopping a long time back to get a dress for my sister for her birthday. I remember picking a solid lilac colored boring dress and you agreeing with me that it was smart. It was fun going home and listening to Amma pick it apart as a team. Us versus her.
I remember you trusting me with princely sums of money as I lived away from home and never once asking me how I spent it or why. I remember you tirelessly calling random people in the quest for a perfect son in law. I cherish how you never once took me to task after calling off a marriage that was doomed from the start. I love you for patiently and silently standing by my side as I went through teenage angst and a rebellious streak. I remember you leaning back with my weight on a bundle of sticks refusing to sit on a chair as you wanted your daughter’s marriage to be perfect. I remember fondly your pot belly and your incessant ‘walks’ around the house hands behind your back.
I smile looking at the picture in front of me as you watch over me from above. It has been three years almost and not a day passes without you crossing my thoughts. Father’s day is not for me. Every day has been and will be special for me because of you. I love you and miss you Appa.