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Happy Birthday Pappa!

Just the other day I was watching the Hindi movie “Dil Dhadakne Do” and I got emotional when the dad defended his daughter and fought for her. My son asked me why I was teary eyed and I told him it’s because I miss my dad!

I don’t think even a day has gone by Pappa, without me remembering you. In subtle ways, you are omnipresent in our lives. When I say “our” I mean my mother, my brother and I.

I don’t think anyone whose life you’ve touched in some way can ever forget you.

The sarcastic punchlines, the humor you had up your sleeve. I don’t think anyone who has had an acquaintance with you can ever forget that. I still judge a man based on the threshold I’ve created in my mind observing you. Shiny leather shoes, a plain or striped shirt( never checkered) tucked in, a matching tie. an elegant tie pin and golden cuff links. Wow! The image of yours that I have plastered in my mind. Such a well dressed, smart man. And I’m sure no one can ever beat that.

You would have been 69 years old today Pappa. I really wish you had grown old with us and that I shouldn’t have lost you at a tender age. But honestly, sometimes I feel it’s probably the best that you left early, because I have never seen you vulnerable and old and dependent on others. It’s probably a good thing that Chettu (my brother) remembers you on your birthday and not the day you left us. It is because you’ve never left us..

My son who idolizes cars remembers you for your pictures with your cars because just like you, he’s a car fanatic! I still keep Ghulam Ali ghazals when I’m cooking or meditating, because that connects me to you. I remember the arguments we had in the 90s because you didn’t like A R Rahman.

It’s just probably a good thing that I don’t have any memories of you being sick or bed-ridden. Because I know that’s something you wouldn’t have liked too.

Just like the inbuilt sarcasm in you, you left us like ripping a band aid. Bam! It came as a shock and went as one!

Even today we remember you fondly when we pour a drink, because you were so cool for your age that both my brother and I had my first drinks with you. I’m glad you didn’t wait till I was 21, otherwise we would have never shared that moment.

Jokes apart, Pappa, I miss you. With all my heart, even today. Because there’s no one in this world who has treated me like a princess, like you did. And I miss you when I badly need a hug, but I’m thankful that you have left your pieces in our kids. I remember you when my son hugs me. I remember you when my niece sings and I remember you when my nephew pinches with his toes! We are so lucky to have glimpses of you in our children.

Some days, I just look up and talk to you and tell you that “I know that’s you!” I think it’s beautiful we have this relationship. A sacred one, that no one can ever tamper with.

I love you Pappa. And I owe it to mamma and you for wishing for a girl child even in times when it was looked down upon to have one. I’m thankful to you for raising me as a badass with opinions.And I’m thankful to you for giving me immense love that I can treasure for eternity!

I hope you’re spreading your infectious energy in the heavens with your sense of humor and still being the life of a party. I sincerely hope you still get drinks to enjoy from time to time and I hope you’re still the Chandler Bing of your society.

We love you Pappa and we always will… ever so fondly!

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