Happy Birthday Papa!
Me-“Papa,Papa, When is your birthday? “
Sis-“Mumma will bake a cake and we’ll have a party..”
Papa-“Cake??..beta yeh cake-wake mere liye nahi chahiye.. mere liye toh mumma ko bolna gulgule banane ko!”( I dont need any cakes, ask mumma to make some sweets for me)
Papa-“That’s what my nani(grandma) used to make for my b’day every year.The day she made that I knew it was my birthday.”
For as long as I can remember, we used to have this conversation every year. My Papa,so simple and so sweet.He is the kind of person, who cannot see anything wrong with the world.No person is bad in his world. If someone says or does something bad to him, his reaction to it is.. “Oh Beta,May be he was upset.. or was thinking something else..so didn’t realise what he did or said”. He practically lives in 3 t-shirts and 2 trousers.. and not because he cannot afford to buy new clothes or because he doesn’t want to spend the money, but because he doesn’t see the need for that.He has come up the hard way, on his own and has still not forgotten his roots.In his words-“Beta, main toh daal-roti khaane wala aadmi hoon(I am happy with just simple food ) My grandmother came to live with her old parents, with her 5 kids- 3 sons and 2 daughters. She took up teaching at the local school.The family’s financial condition was not great; while the other two brothers went to live with their father and went on to join engineering colleges, my darling Papa decided to stay on and take care of his mother and old grand-parents. And so was forced to take the hard way.There was just enough money to pay off the fees. The cheapest accommodation he found was a single room in a not so great area,adjoining slums. He took up tutoring to help pay for the rent and other expenses. He studied using borrowed books.Every week,when he went home,he used to take atta(whole wheat flour) and fresh vegetable and that would last him the entire week.He would cook and clean and then study.All this hard work and now he is reaping the benefits. When I wanted to buy those very same books, for my B.Sc. coursework..he was so proud 🙂
After my mom’s death, he single-handed raised us girls. Raising two rebellious teenagers as a single dad is no easy task.. Sure there were my maternal grandmother and aunt to help,but it was his love and dedication that made it possible.He withstood all the pressures to remarry.. always smiling.. always patient… I am truly blessed to be his daughter and feel so proud when someone tells me how much I am like him.I was always a daddy’s girl.. And the way things are in our household, seems like Aadya is gonna be a Papa’s pet too! They say a girl looks for a guy who is like her dad.. I think in some way, that’s where DH scored too! There was something about him, other than his sweet talks and good looks-his being a self-made man, which made me even more attracted to him. My dad was initially apprehensive about DH..He was protective like any dad, wanting the best for his little girl.And the best he gave me always. The best of everything- Toys, clothes,values, love! Everything. He gave me my dream wedding..I am a big one on rituals and I had an elaborate wedding, the festivities started 3 days before the wedding.My wedding trousseau is still my most precious possession.. He made sure everything was just perfect.
I remember when I was in college,I had to leave from home at 6.00 in the morning..I would just manage to get ready in time. But no matter what, he would always be waiting for me with a cup of milk- mixed with just the right amount of bournvita, cooled to just the right temperature. There were countless times when I would wake him up at the last minute to drop me off at the station, because I was running late . And I would keep nagging him.. to hurry up!!! Now,When I am sleepy eyed and Aadya is crying impatiently to be fed,I think life has come a full circle.
He was the best husband, is the perfect human being and is the most loving father. I am yet to meet a person, who doesn’t have anything good to say about him.All my life he has been my hero, my ideal … it warms up my heart when I see DH being so involved in Aadya’s life. Its like I am reliving my childhood through them. And though he doesn’t think he has done anything great for us, I know he has sacrificed a lot . He refused so many great opportunities and promotions at work, just so we girls could be closer to family – he never let us feel less in any way. Always encouraged us to follow our heart and stood by our choices and decisions..ALWAYS! It breaks my heart when he thinks we might have lacked something because Mumma is not there with us.. Dear Papa,While no one can take mumma’s place and her absence will always be felt in our lives…You have given us the best of everything and kept us so happy.. Our home wouldn’t be the same without you. And even if I was offered the whole world,I wouldn’t trade you for anything.
Papa has been after my life since I got married to resume writing and continue writing.. even if I was not working.In the last 3 years,I started so many projects and got bored and so abandoned them. So,when I started blogging,I didnt tell him.. I know he’ll be happy to read to read this blog..And what better day to tell him about it, than today.
Happyyy birthday Papa…We are really lucky to have you as our father. Thanx for showering us with love always and enriching our lives.Thanx for accepting my choice as your own.Thanx for being there always. Thanx for standing by me n S!Love you loads.We are proud of you!
Happy birthday Naanu- From Aadya!!! Hope to see you soon..I know she will love her Naanu to the core!