My Dad Dearest
‘Dad’ is a term of affection and affinity, care and compassion, dedication and devotion towards family. A Professor of Civil Engineering, multi-faceted and multi-talented gentleman, dearest dad, your sacrifices have been infinite and no words are enough to honour them. You struggled hard to be involved in our lives, bore various ups and downs in life, such as mom’s illness, Ashima’s (my younger sister) demise, in battle-mode and though broken inside, always put a brave front, consoled us in hours of distress. Anu and I knew that you didn’t have a strong support from your siblings yet you never discussed it with us. Silently and steadily you worked ceaselessly to give the family quality life. You always shared household drudgery with mom who was endeavoring hard to strike a balance between school and home. How tired you were after the day’s grueling schedule, yet you and mom always sat with us at night to share the poetry of Wordsworth and stories of Anton Chekov.
Years rolled by and your responsibilities multiplied, but you always kept your daughters above everything, and never made us realize that our resources were limited.
You always gave us the best in all aspects of life. I remember, when mom used to be busy in morning chores, you made our ponytails; if she got late while returning from school, you made us eat workable lunch prepared quickly. How deftly your hands cut the fruits and served us in bowls! New geometry box, colourful sketch pens, fountain pens – a luxury for us was always gifted, whenever we brought laurels.
‘Never do anything wrong, it will come back to you,’ you always taught. And I would always jump with joy as I saw mouth-watering mangoes on the table you brought. Whenever we sisters had verbal duels, you patiently became peacemaker, acting as mediator, pacifying us. When I returned home late in the evening and mom scolded me for playing more than stipulated time, you gestured me to quickly go to my room and start studying. Chuckling at your generosity, I would open the book as you told mom to be silent as the girls were studying. None could hit us bad as you always stood strong with us, Dad.
On every accomplishment, whether academics or extracurricular, you took us to the market, we shopped crazily and you would carry those shopping bags when we walked slowly – tired and lazy. You have been a mentor, a friend to us, Dad you have been our pride as you shaped our future, keeping the infamous societal ‘Son-Meta Preference’ aside. I remember, whenever I felt low or anxious about issue pertaining to studies or friends getting annoyed, you counselled me by saying that all I needed was a break, and took me for movie and got me my favorite cake. Though we had rare outings because of limitations, still you took us to small excursions. Now when I look at pictures, every click has a story, which sometimes brings smile and other times, tears, as Mom and Ashima are always missed.
I vividly recall your moist and misty eyes as Mr Sunderlal, the superintendent in MLN College, Yamunanagar told you that some Ritu Kamra has been selected. It was my very first interview after completion of my M.Phil. The information made our family ecstatic. And then at my marriage, your eyes said it all. Decades have passed, but memories are fresh. There are countless tales of how you and Mom made sacrifices to make us self-reliant. You never cared for the opinion of people, but stood firmly by us without being judgmental.
Today we stand strong, knowing we have each other’s back. Every day you have a lesson for me, and you make me realize what I lack. I wish to tell you every day, papa, you are the best. I have you, and I am truly blessed.
Your loving daughter
Ritu Kamra Kumar