When we were children there was neither Father’s Day nor Mother’s Day. Yes, everyday was a Family Day. Pa taught us siblings almost every other day what being a family entails — no, there were no lectures, just simple acts. A word here, a word there, many a time a reprimand. A lot more from Mum perhaps… The conversations with them both were always the best.That outpour of the heart every day after school, college, a play, a party (censored, of course), and years down the line work. And when at home during tea-time in the morning, and as we grew up, the evening tea as well.
I remember when I had first moved out of home to go to a new city while still pursuing my studies, after much convincing and many a fight with Pa, I had called home once late evening from a PCO and ran up a grand amount of Rs.500.
I remember also telling Pa the amount that was showing and his firm response, “Keep talking. I will reimburse you.” It was enough to send my antennae up that maybe I’ll be summoned back home if I displayed any weakness, and within a few minutes I had disconnected making some inane excuse.
A hundred other memories tease the mind, whizzing in and out. So far I had never given credence to these so-called ‘days’, at best a marketing blitz of which I was very conscious and determined not to fall prey “to these silly new-fangled things”.
Even as I say so, I must confess I did succumb to Valentine’s Day eons back.
Mother’s Day just passed us by, but I never have and did not even think of wishing my Mum as I believe, more strongly than ever before, that each day is in a sense Mother’s Day.
But today and the last couple of days leading up to this day, somewhere Father’s Day has been niggling some subconscious layer.
Is it because it is an exact nine months today since Pa moved on to the other world? I don’t think I would have wished him had he been around.
But yes, I am happy that I did tell him many times in the past that I am so proud to be his daughter. As I hammer out these words, I smile, no grin at his full-throated laughter when during one of our arguments he scolded: “I’ve given you too much freedom and made a spoilt brat out of you,” and I had tearfully but vehemently retorted, “What freedom? Freedom is a flag flying high, but the string is in your hands!”
Papa, I did tell you so many times before and I know you are reading it again today, that those little tugs made us who we are today.