Fathers and daughters – a royal bond. Almost like the queen in a game of chess, standing out from the rest as something intriguing, something powerful, something special.
Looking back, I have many reasons to celebrate my relationship with my baba (father). In so many little or big moments that take turns warming up my heart. Moments that I keep safe in my mind, like a possessive collector. Moments that are majestic only because they are about me and my baba.
Baba, I know you will be one of my first readers here. You have been my most enthusiastic and loyal fan. I am no way near the writer you think me to be. But your encouragement is all I need to take on the world. I have many memories of us together. I am surprised I remember, since memory isn’t my strongest suit. And like you, I am not good with the spoken word. Writing comes more naturally. So today I am going to write some of my most precious memories of us together. Just you and me.
You remember how you could never scold me? I loved taking advantage of that. On the face of it I’d freak out like any typical hormonal teenager but inside, I knew it was only a matter of time before you burst out laughing; an embarrassed, hearty laugh that made you turn red. Then I’d end up laughing. So your laugh invariably saved me from what could have been many ‘go-to-my-room-and-slam-the-door’ incidents.
You have always expressed love in a quirky way. You didn’t give me big hugs or cuddle me as a child. You’d pull my cheeks. Your favorite name for me was fluffy cheeks. The only reaction it got was my sulky pout. Now it only makes me smile. Over the years, cheek pulling transformed into something else. You’d put your finger on my dimpled cheek and give me a slight poke. To this day, this is my favorite ‘hug’.
You’d stop me from overeating or junk-food, not by telling me straight on, but by joking about it or teasing me to a point where I’d feel like banging my head on the wall. You knew me too well because that always did the trick. I guess this bonding isn’t complete until a daughter sulks at something her father says and then expects him to make her feel better.My 20-month old daughter already does that with her dad!
Your love for books and written prowess are two things I will always be proud of. You were the smartest kid in school and college. People wondered how you did it all because you were always playing sports and never studying. I often wondered too. I love calling you a human dictionary. There is not a word you don’t know the meaning of. And the best part is, the only help I got from you was, “Look it up in the dictionary yourself!”. A hereditary trait that I will love torturing my children with.
I remember a trip we took to Murree soon after my graduation. A time when I needed a breather from my life. It was a memorable drive, with blaring loud and annoying Bollywood music that you never told me to turn off. I had time to think about what I was doing, where I was going in my life. Even your silence comforted me, guided me. And by the time mama and my brother joined us, I was as good as new. A couple of months before I got married, I used to go with you for your morning walks. You loved them, still do. That is one of my happiest memories of us together. Another time, during my first pregnancy, I was housebound on doctor’s orders. My mood swings were at an all time high. You again came to the rescue baba. You took me out of home, drove me to a book store and what do you know! I was as good as new.
You taught me to be honest and upright. You taught me to never be impressed by false status or money. But to always be in awe of intelligence and ability. You taught me never to be stingy or unnecessarily worrisome. You taught me to go with the flow and to take it easy. You taught me the power of books. You taught me never to cheat – people, work or your country. You taught me all of this not by lecturing, but by doing.
Remember how you felt for an entire year after I got married? Every time I’d come to visit, you would just look at me with sad eyes. That was the first time I realized how much you missed me. Sitting in the car, waving goodbye, all I remember are your watery eyes and forced smile. One time I even cried on my way back because I saw how much you and mama missed me. And to think I was in the same city! That’s why I never wanted to go away. But you and mama made us apply for immigration. You made us go continents away for our betterment. Your foresight helped us make a great future here. But that doesn’t change that you and mama are sitting so far away from your children and grandchildren.
I miss my special hug. I miss sulking over something you teased me about. I miss your joyous laugh as you greeted your grandchildren with open arms. I miss how you spoiled me all my life and how you now spoil your grandchildren. I miss how you scolded me about junk food and now with your grandchildren you can’t tell the difference. I miss how, after every other week, you came home with a new stash of best sellers. I miss how you’d get upset when I’d make fun of your endless morning sneezes. I miss your laugh when I’d imitate how you read a book before going to bed.
I am glad I wrote all this down. But there is more. Maybe I will keep adding it all here. Nothing like the written word to breathe immortality into a precious memory.
See you soon bopsy!
My only beloved family, apart from my kids and mom,are Nids and my bhai. Lord how many family traits we share.All the bit about dictionary can be repeated ditto for me and Bats.Accept now we tell each other to google it! Your indulgence was probably a platter full of french fries!
I remember your dad saying to mr after your rukhsati,Its so unimaginably painful , I never realised it before. But the truth is that nothing in the world can come between a child and a parent! Now lam getting tearful remembering my dad and your dada.Dada loved you maybe a tad bit more than your own baba!! And so does the rest the family:)
Reblogged this on The Pursuit of Happiness and commented:
Because you are mine also
Never been good with the spoken word! Has landed me in trouble more times than I’d like to remember. But you know what? I have learnt so much from you that it is unbelievable. Simply the love you guys have given me despite my inadequacies has been the one real reason for going on. You and Akiff and mama too. But the little ones; well that’s another story. Never been the emotional type publicly (even privately also) involuntary tears just drop at the oddest times when I think and remember my grandchildren, and at the oddest time and place. Driving, shaving, reading even when scrabbling. Don’t they call these tears of joy? Love you but just a word of caution; I hardly know all that you think I know. But then isn’t this what daughters do so well, turn their fathers into heroes? It feels good too my dear
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Reblogged this on bik1012's Blog.
Augh – I know you made your dad cry. LOL. I totally got his sorrow over losing his little girl to her new life. I could see my dad in that scene. Some beautiful descriptions here, N. I like the possessive collector.
Awe you read my post:)! That means a lot, D.
It is so true when they say that ‘dads are their daughters lifetime heroes’,i can totally relate to your feelings Nida as i am also a fortunate daughter who has was raised by a father who is my best friend,my mentor and a person who raised me with full freedom to explore my self and supported all my decisions unbiased .With the result that even now i always look up to his advise in most of the matters or more precisely i look at things with his perspective and i am proud of it.
Well said! Its their lifelong support and wisdom that has made people like you and me comfortable with who we are and where we are in life.
Loved this post of yours, Nida.
Thankyou so much Archita:)!
These are very nice, and precious memories..
Thank you. They really are:)