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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Hugging him

The very phrase hug your dad sounds very odd. The reason is that there is always a distance between a father and a son. It would not have sounded unnatural if it was hug your mom. But dads are not to be hugged. Dads are dads. They will never express their emotions towards you. They are disciplinarians. They are strict and hardly speak. They do their jobs dutifully – both of earning the bread and hiding their emotions. No wonders I ever thought of hugging my dad. I have hugged my mother on numerous occasions. If I go to count them I will not be able to count for the simple reason that I hug her on every given day. But I cannot count a single occasion on which I had hugged my dad. Does that mean that I did not love my dad or viceversa? Absolutely not.

My earliest recollections of my dad are he tying my shoe laces and taking me to school. I remember going on his bike to watch the train from the overhead bridge and the fountain at the water supply office. As I grew up he would polish my shoes and service my bicycle and later my bike. He would teach me mathematics as well. He had a beautiful hand and was a creative person. Many a times he would dismantle the working electronic equipment from our house and thereby earn my irk. He had brought a game called little engineer to foster the creativity within me. He would buy me lot of books as well. Though the little engineer utterly failed to create any liking for the machines in me, the books succeeded in germinating within me the love for the language and most importantly empathy.

 He would pedal to my school in the early mornings with  me on the carrier when I would go on my school trips. Even when I grew up he would come to pick me up at the bus stop or railway stations and drop me when I had to go out at odd hours. He accompanied me when I went to Mumbai for my higher education. He was always there.

I still remember him holding the bicycle handle and waiting for my school picnic party to depart. It was early in the morning. It was still dark outside. There was chill in the air. My father had covered his ears with a handkerchief. That was when my classmate, a son of a doctor had asked me if he was my servant. I simply said no. He pointed out towards another man and told me that he was his servant. I wanted to scream out at him and tell him that he was my father and not my servant. But words simply did not find out the way to my mouth. Shame, insult, hurt I had felt it all. If that incident would have occurred today, it would not have affected me in the way it had in that tender age. Today I would have been proud of my father, irrespective of his conventional failure at gathering money and hugged him for carrying me on the bicycle on that chilly winter morning.

Today when I look back I cannot deny that my father has had a role in shaping my personality as it is today. With all his shortcomings and our different tastes, with all the differences in our personalities, I still owe him one. Today my father is not with me. He passed away two years back. But still I give him a tight hug in the form of his memories which I carry. I love you dad. 

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