This is a month of birthdays in our family. Today is my Dad’s birthday. I commemorate the day in his memory with this, my humble tribute to him.
As I think back to the days of my childhood I realize how much of an influence he had on me and I realize that the memories of years gone by are long lasting and I truly cherish them as they come back to me at certain moments of my life.
Daddy, Mai and my paternal grandmother. This photo was taken in the 50s.
I was blessed with a father who instilled in me good moral values which as I got older brought out the best in me. I am very grateful to Daddy and feel blessed to have felt loved and nurtured. I cringe at my then callous and often selfish ways.
There are many memories that stay with me, mostly of holidays in Goa; Of warm summer nights on the veranda; with glow worms flitting in the cotton tree outside or the chorus of bull frogs heralding the beginning of the monsoon. The entire evening whilst Mai prepared dinner and later joined us, he would reminisce of their younger days or when he was a boy and how they went fishing. He was passionate about fishing and would often make his way to faraway ponds to catch turtles. Those days they were in plenty and Mai would make the best ever green turtle curry for dinner. I’m so glad he wanted to share his memories with his children.
I recall being somewhat of a mad hatter as I was manic about nature. He indulged by helping me in gathering attractive leaves and flowers to dry; He gave me money so I could replace my used up box of watercolours; He framed the first drawing and watercolour painting I made of a cottage with a woodshed.
Daddy loved music and among many instruments, played the trumpet; both his sons got their musical gifts from him. It is he who instilled the love of English movies in us. Some Sundays he would take us for matinee shows to an art deco theatre nearby called Metro and treated us to “choco bars” which were chocolate coated vanilla ice creams on sticks. He particularly loved wild west films; John Wayne and Dean Martin were his favourite stars. My first ever film was Seven Brides for Seven Brothers ! The theatre was classy, the ushers wore suits and there was a soda fountain too. When the MGM symbol, Leo the Lion, roared on the screen, it sent a delicious thrill through us.
There’s not a single day that I don’t think about my Daddy. If I could give up something just to spend one full day with him, I would do it, because I just miss him very much.
I wish he had lived long enough to see his grandchildren doing so well. In my heart I know, deep down, that he does know and is very proud and happy for all of us.
Happy Birthday Daddy ! We will miss you always.