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You always treated me like your precious flower. Every birthday you would bring me roses...you knew my weakness for them. You were ever so gentle......Wiping away my tears when I scraped a knee. Even when I was being stubborn or didn't listen....you never raised your voice. Not once. But calmly explained to me the right thing. Giving me direction, and reason....while we sat in the old cane chairs on our humid terrace. You were there, by my side and I felt so.....so protected, because I had the 'strongest' papa in the world. And nothing could ever go wrong. You would never let go. You even bought the house next to our bungalow, in Chennai. The one with the green and yellow mosaic flooring and a big chickoo tree. "When you get married you can live here, right next to me", you said softly.
But that didn't happen. Because when I was sixteen you were snatched away. By destiny. With no warning whatsoever. A strange thing happened to me then. I stopped feeling things with my heart. I had feelings but they were only coming from my head. I felt cheated, but there was nothing I could do. Whom could I fight with? I tried shouting at God. But there was no reply. Also I couldn't trust anyone. No one. I felt like they would hurt me. After all, you were the one who watched over me right? There was no one else who could do it. So the world became a scary place, where I was wary of everyone. I couldn't look at your photographs or videos. I shut out any image of you. Because I felt it would shatter me. I preferred to live in denial. What's wrong with that? The pain was too much. The pain of acknowledging that you will not be coming back. I felt like this for so many years..........
Now something has changed. When I look at the blue sky sometimes I can see your face....your image...I see you smiling. I don't know what that means but it feels good to connect with you. Even it is for a few moments. I find myself talking to you. Looking for answers....when I am confused. When I need direction. Questions I can never ask anyone else. I still don't get a reply. But atleast I have a one way conversation. And that feels good. There are times now when I feel like being pampered by you. The way you would put me up on a pedestal. And be proud of me from within. Even for the smallest things. I felt like I was someone so special. These are the times the tears flow from my eyes. And then I remind myself that maybe I am that special person. And that makes me shine.
I wonder how people can be bad or rude to their parents? Or even take them for granted. They are not going to be there forever. Ask someone who has lost one or both.....you will see the pain in their eyes without them uttering a single word. Sometimes they are considered a burden and are sent away to old age homes without their consent. So that they don't trouble or interfere! Have they forgotten all that they have done for them? It really makes me wonder papa. Because I am at the juncture in life where I want to give you back all the love you gave me as a child. I want to take care of you. And treat you like a 'precious flower'. Happy Father's Day