Monday, November 2, 2009

Sweet Child of Mine!!

So many of us are so comfortable in the lives that God has given us, that we fail to realize, that what we take for granted are actually blessings that we forget to count.

Just remembered this girl called Richa from my 5th grade the other day. Daughter of an army-officer; had a brother called Rakshit who was 2 years elder to her; pretty average in studies; loved to play sports; she had lost her mother a year ago, when she joined our school.

The first time she came out to play, she was wearing her brother's shorts and a lose T-shirt, and everyone was wondering whats wrong with this new girl. She didn't play with the girls much, she liked to play in the group her brother was playing. We all had accepted the fact that she was this way because she had no mummy! But that was not all, those two siblings had all together different concerns than what most of us had.

Her brother was very particular about going home on time and be ready at the study table by 7 pm; whereas, we all invariably would forget that we had a home to go to, and our mothers would come out yelling to call us home for homework. Her brother didn't like if she made fuss over eating her evening snack cooked by the maid and we would leave half the things uneaten on our plate in our eagerness to go out and play. Rakshit made her check her school uniform every evening for the next day and we all had never thought of how our uniforms were always ready in the morning for us. My mother would plait my hair every morning for school and she had a bob cut (she loved her long hair though) because neither her dad nor her brother could plait them for her.

One Sunday, we all were playing in their house. Uncle was there too. He was reading something in the drawing room all the time and would come if Richa called out for something. We all were curious to know what kind of a dad he was. Was he very sweet to these kids, because they didn't have a mom, was he very strict so that they don't get spoiled? But he was like any of our dads. Like every other dad, he loved his children and was very proud of them, but could express so little. Richa once told us that her Dadi wanted him to marry again and she asked both the kids. Richa didn't want a second mom, but Rakshit thought of his father. He and Richa were fine with Papa alone, but what if Papa wants a companion in his life? At that point, Uncle said to Rakshit, "Son, I don't want to marry again for a companion, your mother has given me enough as long as she was with me. Dadi will keep pressing the point that you two kids need a mother to be raised well, but if you promise me to help me take care of yourself and Richa I think the three of us will do just fine." Since then, the two children became a little more responsible. Their dad was always there for them, even if not physically. They may have lost their mother's warm snuggle, but their father's embrace was just as warm and secure.

A man in uniform is married to his country. He has no time for himself let alone the family. Does that mean he has no love and affection for them? A father's job may be demand his time, but does that mean his heart is not occupied with the thought of his family's well-being? To all the children who think their dads don't love them as much because they don't see him around often because of work, he is the man who is staying away from the very people that he loves to give you a better life. Just because he isn't expressive the way you want him to be, doesn't mean his heart is empty. If you fail to see his love, then its your failure as his child to understand him.

It was once that we all were invited for her birthday party. A birthday without mummy was so unconcievable an idea in everyone's heads. Who is going to make the cake, who is going to arrange the food, who will keep all the kids in control, actually mummy is the kingpin in any birthday party... and how was this party going to be?

We went in and the whole house was full of balloons and streamers. The entire house was colourful. The cook took care of the snacks, but the cake was baked by uncle. Richa was dressed in a very pretty crimson dress (Rakshit's choice) with matching accesories. There were games and prizes. Uncle was wearing a fake wig and a beard and distributing return gifts. Rakshit was taking care of his friends and seeing that the little ones were not messing around. And then came Richa's birthday gift, a bicycle she always wanted, she was delighted. Later, uncle dropped all the kids home. By far one of the best birthday parties we all had ever attended.

This story must not have stopped where I stop narrating, there must have been all the milestones every girl and boy have in their growing years; the ones where you feel, its only your mom you can talk to. In their case, it must have been their father.

Why I remembered Richa was, I bumped into her on one of the social networks lately. She is working in Europe these days, engaged and getting married in sometime and Rakshit has joined the forces. The two chidren with their father did just fine... ! A good father is not about "the number of chores and errands he can run for you, respect him and more importantly love him". Something disturbing hit me in this generation and hence this blog!


Ramesh said...

Oh, what a moving post. Thanks Deepa for a very perceptive and wonderful narrative. And for extolling the wonders of fatherhood.

Deepa said...

Please don't say thanks Ramesh! I wish the narrative could absorb a bit more! But no Dad should have to say 'Thanks' ever... :)

Durga said...

Deepa, can't tell you how overwhelmed I am after reading your post, more so because I lost my father a couple of days ago. My father was (is and always will be) my hero. The loss has created a void in all the lives he touched. Every father is special and so is every mother. There can be no replacements for those wonderful relationships.

Deepa said...

I wish I was there Durga, I would have hugged you tight! I know, no words can condole you enough. But be strong and you have his fond memories to walk along with you all your life!

Sumanth said...

I agree with you Deepa, the narrative could have been a lil more engrossing as well captivating as it is. Guess u were shortchanged on time. Guess you are forcing me to come out with the ONE now!

Anonymous said...

Dont know what to say except a 'touching narration!'.


Deepa said...

thanks kiran!