NOvember is a month of "looking forward to" for a lot of people. The Entire city of Chennai looks forward to it's "Marghazhi" festival -a whole month of music, kutcheri's and festivities in the next month. And very similarly, my family looks forward to the coming together of the different members. My mother's side, all five siblings make their attempts to get together at our village house during this month. And all of us, the nephews and nieces make our own attempt to join the festivities. The more the merrier.
This time, one such nephew was the highlight. Our man - named "Hari", who currently pursues his PhD in the US of A was staying in his "tharavad" after a very long period and we were all looking forward to meeting him. In these times of togetherness, every night becomes a night of our partying, in our own specific ways... Probably not partying in it's own sense, but these aer nights that grow old with merry chitchatter, merry singing and a lot of open hearted discussions, debates and fights. This time, there was some tequila to go around, and after shooting down some of those Tequila, Hari was in a state of Euphoria. And in this state, a lot of confessions came up - Oen of such ones being "Achch-aaeen, i love you!!" Achch-aaeen being the sluurred accented pronounciation for "Achchan" the malayalam word for "Father"
Though i spent quite some amount of time and energy getting to that title, this blog is not about that trip - It is about something that happened today, but something that rides along with Hari's sentiment..
During one of her housekeeping duties today, my wife discovered an item of undisclosed source in one of our almirahs. A very pretty, flower printed "Bombay Dyeing" bedsheet. For those of us who are a part of the lastcentury in India, would know that Bombay Dyeing bedsheets are a statement of refinement. They are prtty, and they are well woven. Though i was happy seeing that, i was not happy at my lie of questions regardign this specific sheet - Who bought this? How did this come here?
Sunday afternoons are definitely not a time of activity for my poor grey cells ( Am not saying that it is, on the other days, but atleast they try! :) ) And i said, we would have bought it in one of our shopping trips. She was not to be bought into that argument. It was bombay dyeing, man - and by the feel of it, must surely be costly - How could we have spend on such an extravaganze? With raised eyebrows, she then asked a million dollar question - Would my father have bought this for us ?
We called my father in the evening, and our man staunchly refused to accept that he had kept the same here. Finally, my mother agreed that yes, it was my father!
That's my father for you. Apparently, i had mentioned some day that i was a big fan of all those terrific Bombay Dyeing bedsheets that he used to get home, and i was not having any success in getting such wonderful sheets now a days. He had just nodded that day. During his next trip, he made sure that he bought one of such sheets and without telling us, hid that in our almirah.
Today, while just browsing through the shelves of the local bookstore in Chennai, The Landmark, i saw a photoframe that said " To my Father" written in typical Archies Greetings patterns. If i ever bought this for my father, he would probably laugh and shout at me for wasting my money. And, i guess, as usual, he would be right.
For it does not need any special artifacts, any special greetings to let your feelings show. The warm lights, the fuzzy hugs that we see in the ads do not make up the fantastic chord of caring that really, truly make the relation that is a father.
I hope some day, i learn to be as good as father.