We never take out the time to write out the small stuff, the details. Or think of it. So today on what is universally Father’s Day and in our house was a regular housefull Sunday complete with 3 rounds of chai for breakfast, I take out a few minutes to remind myself of a few things I love about my father that also drive me crazy.
My father passed onto us the joy of Scrabble way before any of us could spell. My earliest memories of him and the game go back to long weekends back in Abu Dhabi, when friends of my parents would be over and some war over a vague word would ensue. I can even see the date penned in onto the back of the cover of our set of the first game ever played on that board in my father’s flourishing script.
I have vividly clear visions of him sitting in the lounge with a mike, physically editing our childhood videos using voiceovers and music, using two VCRs and one of those huge shoulder resting video recorders all wired up to each other. He would roar if we so much as breathed in the room at the time and even when we watch them today, I can tell from the breaks where he had to stop and redo because one of us interrupted this tedious labour of love (and obsession)
Despite the fact that he is a complete guy’s guy, not for a single moment ever in our lives has he ever even hinted at the fact that he is anything less than perfectly happy to be surrounded by 4 very opinonated, over bearingly independent (but amazing) women. (In fact i think he is secretly relieved that that lets him off the hook and we do whatever we want without asking for his help.)
Funnily enough he never holds a grudge and he has more than enough reason to. We have seen him meet colleagues who have burned him, people who have been mean with the same booming gusto he would an actual friend. He will remember details from a previous encounter which will boggle the mind, especally if the encounter was from over 20 years ago. Its a nice feeling to know someone remembers, and he makes people feel good. Yes I am somewhat surprised to realize that I also learnt this from him- to let go, and make people feel good.
All three of us got his enthusiasm (thankfully not the beat), and love for gaana bajaana and though the art gene may have emanated from our mother, the drama gene most definitely came from the father.
He is large hearted to the point of irritation and loving and involved to the point of the claustrophobia. We have long fought over the need to moderate, both his larger than life voice and actions but truth be told, I admit (sometimes) that the way he lives, loudly and fully, is perhaps the only way it makes sense. He has lived for himself and for those he loves, without a single moments pause to hold back. And mostly yes, he is right (and a cliche alert here) why hold back, why wait, when life is so very short for all that we want to do?
He is amazingly with it, and despite the fact that his three daughters have swung at him with a whole gamut of situations he has fielded amazingly. I remember after finally giving in and agreeing that K was the one, I smsed my dad to tell him. Yes, in our family we sms each other important life changing updates and he, without missing a beat, messaged me back with a quote which pretty much said something to the lines of nothing can rein a spirit like me except the right man. Go figure. He knew me after all.
Although we would never agree on most things as matter of habit, over the recent course of time, I have slowly realized that I have directly inherited several of his most, for the lack of a better word, noisome qualities- the utterly high expectations from friends and family, the ability to get hurt and then forgive almost simultaneously, his brilliant organizational skills, his passion for documenting, the surprising inner strength despite the emotional hurricanes and the flair for words. Abba, I dedicate my last night’s 100 point Scrabble win to you 🙂