Tuesday, December 27, 2016

HOLDING ON


In our lives, we have several relationships, some we are born with, some we forge, some we fall in love with, some we create, some we stumble upon, some we stumble into and so on and so forth. But almost no relationship is perfect and almost never is it unconditional. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, to be fair, it shouldn’t be. Give and take is the basis for all relationships to thrive. People expect things out of you and you have your own set of expectations that you hope (wishfully perhaps) they will live up to. Be it emotional, material, philosophical, physical, metaphysical, psychological, or something else, we all have our mutual needs and compulsions that we impose or have to live up to. The fact that these expectations are the root cause of strain in relationships is a different matter altogether and I don’t intend to get into that. Bottom line, most of us are not saints, and so we cannot give unconditionally.

But rarely, very rarely do a very select few of us experience a relationship that is purely unconditional. Even one sided, I may say. There are people, yes there are, whose minds are very simple and hearts extra-large. All they care about is you and they don’t care how much you love them back. They don’t broadcast their love for you. They hold it in their eyes and it reverberates into our hearts. They look out for us as we march ahead in this world without looking back. They will be your stepping stones, but they won’t tell you that. They make countless sacrifices but take every effort to mask those from your eyes. They live their lives for us and we owe ours to them. Do we realize that in time? Do we celebrate them? Do we love them back? Do we make them feel special? Do we slow down, sit back and enjoy a few moments with them? Do we make them feel it was all worth it, even though they never doubted it? These are questions each of us has to grapple with our own conscience.

I was insanely lucky to have one such person in my life. I was gifted to have you, dad. You didn’t judge me. You didn’t preach to me. You didn’t question me. You never imposed but always inspired me. You willed me to reach for the skies, yet you didn’t resort to false praises or promises. You took no shortcuts in life and made sure I appreciated that. You expected everything of me but yet nothing from me. You never ignored me. You always adored me. And most of all, you believed in me.

You laughed with me and cried for me. You carried me on your shoulders and you watched life through my eyes. You played with me, prayed for me, listened to every silly little story I had, told me the ones I wanted to hear over and over again, pushed me, held me, carried me literally and emotionally, gave me strength, took my pain, fought for me and did countless other things which will remain forever in my mind, heart and tears. You made my world yours and you were my world. You were everything for me. I don’t know if I believe in God or not. You see, I didn’t have to. I had you. Or rather, I have you.

As a school friend of mine exquisitely put it: “You were a part of every frame in the movie of my life, but you settled in a corner, letting me have the limelight.” A subtle yet surreal statement that put your life and mine in a symphonic perspective.

I have seen you when I was a child. And then I saw you as a child. Both were fascinating experiences in their own respect. I laughed in both and cried in one. I cannot forget either. Happiness gives us comfort while pain gives us strength. You taught me life without ever trying to.

I miss hearing your voice every single day. I miss playing tennis with you. I miss watching you play. I miss those laser precision serves that barely hit the line to the dismay of your opponent. I miss laughing with my mom every time you run aggressively towards the ball and clock it to the net and then curse yourself. I miss yapping pointlessly with you. I miss enjoying your silly fights with autowallas. I miss listening to you talk about random things with your trademark wisdom sprinkled all along. I miss the worldly conversations with you. I also miss the silence between us. I miss watching you sew. I miss watching you make love to that 30 year old Remington typewriter. I miss seeing you undress a coconut in record time. I miss sitting behind you on the scooter, hugging your stomach and whispering in your ear every single thing I see on the streets. I miss you sitting behind me in my bike, your hand gently resting on my shoulder and soaking in the sceneries in silence.  

Every time I think of you, a tear makes its way down my cheek as another waits for its turn. I can’t make my peace with the fact that you have left me. I don’t think I can ever. I can’t fathom that you have gone to a place I can’t find. At least not yet. Sometimes I wonder when I will get there. How will you look like? How will I look like? I imagine all the things that we will have to talk. Lots of things to catch up. Do you miss me? I do. I look up at the sky and smile every day hoping that you are looking. Make sure you do. Take care dad. Until we meet again.






My first memory of your loss



21 comments:

  1. Raj, what a lovely tribute.
    I feel your pain. Take care, Raj. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Dee for keeping me strong. :)

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  2. Such an emotional read. Yes, all relationship are based on give and take, except for parents. In most cases it is the mother. You are lucky to find it in your dad. May you build such a relationship with your daughter, Raj.

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    1. You are right Saru. Parents are such an anomaly. I do share a very special relationship with my mother as well. That one will need a post of its own. Oh yeah.. I do look forward to building a special bond with my lil one. If I can be half as good as my parents, I guess I will be very happy.

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  3. Lovely writing. We definitely do not give back to our parents as much as we get from them. But as a parent we should ensure to give all that unconditional love to our children

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    Replies
    1. Very well said Sari. :) Yeah... we should certainly give it all to our kids.

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  4. Lovely writing. We definitely do not give back to our parents as much as we get from them. But as a parent we should ensure to give all that unconditional love to our children

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  5. Moving read Raj! I always feel lost for words at such posts coz you yourself feel so full of emotions and you don't find the right words to express it. Feel your loss and pain and yes, parents do support and love unconditionally! Hope as parents we could and are doing the same!

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    1. I completely understand Deepa. Thank you for giving me the strength. Yeah.. I hope we can live it up as parents. :)

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  6. Raj oh Raj! wonderfully penned, I cried reading those lines! I can't say a word more about it. Keep writing keep treasuring all those memories

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    1. Ramya... I don't know what to say. Thank you so much for being so kind. :)

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  7. A lovely moving post! True some relationships are one sided and unconditional that are a reason for everlasting joy

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    1. Yeah Rahul.. Some relationships are so special that they thread your heart every day. :)

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  8. True words about the unconditional love in relationships, Raj.
    I lost my dad when I was very young. I don't have much memories with him but yet the void that I have in my heart even after more than 25 years is immeasurable. You are having so many beautiful memories with your dad and I know, the more beautiful the memories are the more painful it is after we loose that person. But, these memories are the only treasures that we are left with :)

    Lingering with a warm feeling after reading your post. Will catch up soon with all your recent posts as soon as I get enough time for myself. I know I have missed many here. See you soon again, Raj :)

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  9. I can only imagine your pain and loss Sonia. You are right.. sometimes the more beautiful the memories, the more the pain. But they also probably give you the strength. :)

    yeah... I have missed you here too. :) so come back soon.

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks you so much Jyotirmoy for the support and constantly giving me strength.

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  11. Raj, perhaps I can feel
    the Daddy-shaped black hole
    in your life, perhaps I can not.
    Grief is a unique
    sword in one's heart.

    My own passed away this very day
    six years ago. Perhaps I
    may borrow some of those words,
    perhaps I can not.
    Grief is a unique
    mold in one's chart.

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    Replies
    1. Uma... thank you for the lovely poem. It tugged my heart so deeply. Your brilliance with words never ceases to amaze me.

      I hope you can relive some of your beautiful memories of your father.

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  12. Raj, what a raw, touching tribute. Your dad is watching you and feeling so proud of you. I know that. I can relate deeply to what you've written. I lost my mother a few years ago and the pain is still here. How blessed we are to have had them mould our lives in only a way they could have. It is difficult to reconcile to the fact that they are no longer around us but yes their memories are. God bless you!

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    1. Thanks a lot Rachna. I can so understand how you still feel. I guess the pain will always be there, but so will their touching presence. We are indeed blessed. :)

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