Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tribute to my Daddiji

Yesterday... At midnight, I shut the door to the room and let opened the one where I keep all my pain hidden. I let lose the storm churning inside me. I cried, I sobbed, I simpered, I bawled my eyes out. I broke down the same way I had when you had left me alone two years back. I felt the loneliness wash back yet again. And I tried to reconcile with it. I don't think I did though.

Today... I pretended. I laughed, I worked, I ate, I read... I procrastinated. Putting off this communication once again. Because I know what I want to say is too potent to come out right. What I want to say is so huge that I don't have the words to express it. But I am gonna give it my best shot because that is what you always asked of me, Daddiji.

Everyday... I miss you. I miss the sound of your full bodied laughter. The one that you gave in to so often. Things that we looked over, never paid mind to, you used to find joy in them and let your laugh express and share those joys. I don't remember a time when I did not inadvertently give in to the urge to at the least smile upon hearing your laugh. I don't smile that much now. Almost never about silly little joyful things. I don't notice them. Not without you.

Everyday... I miss your booming voice. The voice of the wisest man I have known infused with the enthusiasm of a child. I miss how you used to wait for my return from school so that you can say, "What brilliant English they use in Economic Times. Lao, bhaiya, zarra paper leke aao. Dikhaye tumko." You used to keep aside the page you wished to show me - a para, a headline or a phrase that had struck your fancy and you wished to share with me. Nobody does that for me anymore. Nobody shares that joy with me. Not since you.

Every morning that... I come down those curved stairs at our home, beneath which was your study desk, I miss our game of gushing out, "Good Morning, Daddiji! How are you?" You taught me these little nuggets of behaviour that enchant people around me these days. The use of simple greetings and courtesies. And I miss using them with you. I wish, I beg, I pray to get a reply juts once in your voice gushing out equally fast, "Fine! Fine! How are you?" I am not fine. Not without you.

You used to lend me your ear and your wisdom without complaint. In some ways you have made me wise beyond my years but never at the cost of my childhood. If anything you made my childhood a fun-filled discovery. I remember a cut out - a coloured photo of the then Britannia CEO, his hair half black and half white with 'Black and White' captioned in bold. I remember your favourite saying. It was by A.B.Vajpayee and you improved on it made it your own. You used to say it every so often, "My house is my Hospital, my Hotel and it is my Home." I remember the first English word you taught me. "Thirsty". I get the meaning of it now more than ever. Because you are not here.

You treated me an equal. We were both children and adults. On or the other at different times. But always in sync with each other. Remember, how you used to pretend in front of everyone that you are scared of me when it comes to sneaking food you are not supposed to eat. And remember, the moment Mom used to go out of kitchen after serving dinner, you used to point at ketchup and pickles and I used to give in and sneak you some. 

Remember watching all those Raj Kapoor movies together in 2000 when they used to air it on Sony. And the time when we went to Mughal-e-Azam after it was released in colour. You translated all those Urdu words for me.

Remember talking about politics and partition. The tales of your birthtown Bannu. Remember talking about Indian cinema, the golden ages. Remember how we used to talk about anything and everything under the sun.

Remember how on every birthday I used to rush down, accost you and demand you give me you Blessing. I remember that expressing emotions never came easy to you but ever so gently you used to place your hand on my head and say, "My Blessings." and then pat my back. Those were the best presents.

 Remember you used to hand over your entire Diwali bonus to me. To me. And just that gesture made Diwali so much special to me... And then you demanded your grand send-off and abandoned me on Diwali itself. Diwali has never been a celebration since then. I doubt it ever will be.

Today is the second anniversary of losing you. And I have not healed. If anything I hurt more each day. I wish your presence, your guidance, your love, your wisdom a little bit more some day. Sometimes I wish you'd haunt my dreams. Sometimes I wish to hear a whisper of your voice in my ears. And each day I grow up a little bit knowing it won't happen. Ever.

They say time heals. Liars! If you love someone truly, you never get over missing them. Nobody can replace them. They leave their imprints and nothing and nobody can erase them. I cannot stop loving you and I cannot stop missing you.  Never.

But, don't you worry. I know you are still here. In all these memories, in all those Blessings. And I know in each and every cell, every pore of my being that I am loved, cherished and watched over by you. I know that you were, are and always will be my Guardian Angel.

I miss you Daddiji!