Advertisements flashed all over in the newspaper. Father’s day on the cards, celebrate in style - make it special for the one who held your hand and made you stand up in life. Surprise the person with this and that…..
It didn’t connect to me for 2 simple reasons (which invariably is a space for new discussion).
Firstly, I didn’t deal with father’s emotion throughout my childhood. My mother was one and all for me. I used to switch her role (which she successfully played along) from mother to father and vice versa when the situation called for respectively.
Secondly, I am yet not a father. So there would be nothing to spare my words on this say.
So why the hell on earth am I writing on this Fathers day??? A question definitely pondering my own mind but is filled with a reason.
Lazing the entire day, I was lying on my recliner watching the Sunday movie showcase.
It was a boring Sunday as I was unable to walk out of the house for my health conditions. So I had to restrict my freedom outside the house. That meant no smokes! That meant no junk food! And that also meant more irritation!!
My nephew was all dressed up and he went along with his mother for their routine shopping spree. That called for me to baby sit my niece. Having no qualms about it, I held my niece in my arms and was totally lost in her expressions. She made the weirdest of the expressions, patiently posed to my passion on photography, hummed along with my tunes, grasped my finger and started nibbling around. Well, biologically I was in no state to cater to her needs and had to feed her using the spoon. She kept me engaged for the next few minutes keeping me wondering on her appetite. She felt hungry every half hour and all that she was destined to was the milk. I thanked my stars to my wide range of taste buds which relished on the different offerings and the choices I had.
Once she was done with her stomach full, I had to pat her back to make her burp. And she would only consider that to be a game and started rocking on my lap. A word of her games, as she is made to sit on anyone’s lap, she starts rocking front and back instantly, and the one is expected to sing “aane banthondu aane” – “elephant, came one elephant” (undeniable that the translation fails to narrate the actual essence).
I spent a good few hours with my niece while my mother made gulab jaamun’s in the kitchen. (Revealing a secret – while I am sick, I come with up no of demands to feed my stomach and gulab jaamun was today’s pick after the pakoras I emptied). And my sister was happily shopping along with my nephew in some part of the city.
It dint take long for my niece to sleep on my chest, making me realize as to how peaceful it can be when kids are all around one’s presence. With the dying entertainment on TV, I put my eyes to sleep along with my niece.
“Mera naam chin chin choo” the door bell woke me up from my sleep. A special mention on bollywood’s influence in our day to day life - my door bell came with assorted list of songs from the bollywood flicks. One being “Mera naam chin chin choo”.
My nephew ran to me, hugged and handed over a gift pack. Placing a peck on my forehead, he sweetly smiled and said “Happy Father’s Day!”
Expressions failed me as usual and I was stuck with a blank face. (Special mention of my kinds – I fit into that part of the species who need a life long class on being expressive to situations) This was my weak link and I failed to achieve this time as well. I was speechless and was gasping for breath. I did feel something for sure, whether it was with my health reasons or the so called emotions running down the spine. But I posed a look which was cut off by my sister with an explanation -
“You do so much for these kids, treating them to be of your own. This was a way of expressing their regards of your presence in their life. Be proud to be called a father and feel free to treat them the way you want. I have officially given you the liberties”
Guess with those words, no one needs anything else to break down. I refused to express again and left a smile covering my emotions. Words failed to come out, I hugged them in return and left the room for not able to control anymore. It was time for me to take a bath. Recollecting the wise old man’s say – “Reasons can convince one’s ego at various circumstances”
“Happy father’s day!”
The advertisements flashed in my mind. It left me wondering, is this what makes a father - feel to be one?
I came out of the bathroom, feeling fresh and all energized, walked into the living room only to face my sister holding my niece and diapers in the other hand. Smile on her face spoke the untold words.
“This is what takes a father - feel to be one”
Like the wise old man says – “You don’t have to be someone to feel something. Life gives you many instances calling for those emotions which are felt the same way as being someone”