....and all that jazZ

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


The very first time a silly school girl questionnaire asked me who my hero was, unflinchingly I replied - My Father. I did not have to think long or hard, but as a teen I just knew it. There was only one person who I thought was just perfect. Superheros in our world are larger than life. They wear capes and masks and have super human powers and weapons. Mine had none of these. Mine wore the simplest clothes, his few clothes always neatly pressed and kept carefully. My hero worked hard, very very hard, everyday, saving lives, making people feel better, listening patiently to their woes and this day in and out for 35 years and he loved every bit of it. He wanted to do it, for the people who needed it, for us, and he wanted to do it forever. My hero was not big and bulky, but he stood tall among people because everybody who knew him loved and respected him. At home he was never the parent who raised his voice, let alone ever raise a hand, but we always knew that his word was final and we loved it that way because we trusted him and his judgement without a second thought. In his care was our childhood, adolescence spent and what a carefree, joyful one it was. Every Sunday made precious by his being around all day. Every outing made special by us getting him to take us where we wanted, or buying us the little and big joys in life. Every event in life made auspicious by his presence and blessings. I see even today, as clear as though it were yesterday, a 7 year old me on my first cycle, going around in this very building and appa holding the seat and running with me as I learned to balance. I see him giving me money to get my own first bus pass as I made way to junior college. I  see him watch me fill out my engineering seat application, standing in queue with me as I got admission. Clear as yesterday I hear him telling me "What is the point in failing without trying?" - when I had chicken pox during my very first semester exams, I see him coming with me to college, a bottle of glucon D in hand and requesting the dean to give me a seat in a separate room. I hear his voice at the other end of the phone when I called at 1 am from Andheri station after being stranded in monsoon floods asking me to be brave and find a rickshaw and come on home. I see him sitting next to me in our old Maruti 800 as I learned from him to navigate the crazy traffic in Lokhandwala and the first time I drove all the way to Rasayani. I see him waving to me at the airport as I left for the USA the very first time. I hear him chiding me gently, jokingly for spending 1200 Rs on a pair of pepe jeans and refusing to buy anything for himself in the newly opened Shoppers Stop. I see the pride on his face when he first came out of the airport in Los Angeles and I was there to recieve him, for his first ever international holiday. My first car scratch, my first accident, my first bank account, the first 5000Rs, my big fat crazy wedding, Akash, our house, when Akash was sick, when Akash turned 1, when we moved into our house - every ordinary day, every milestone event, every moment - a gift from my hero, my father - the backbone of my existence.

Akash, in all of his 3 year  old wisdom few months ago had said of his father "Amma, I feel brave with Appa" when asked why he only wanted appa to go swimming with him. I could not have summed up better how I feel with my Appa around. That was it. Today I am not so brave. I am actually scared of a life without him. I go back to the morning of my GRE exam when I threw up right before leaving. Appa decided to drive me to the GRE exam center. When we were almost there I realised I had left behind my passport. There was no angry outburst from Appa. Cool as a cucumber, he dropped me off and went back home, brought it and wished me luck as I went in and I thought he went to work after that. But when I finished and came out, he was right there, waiting with a packet of parle G biscuits and some water in his hand, smiling, asking me how it went.  Ofcourse it had gone well. Appa was right there. He had been there all along. Without my knowing, without my asking. He knew that was what I needed. Now in this moment of sorrow and weakness I have to believe that he still is around, doing exactly what he did that day. On days that I don't know it, on days that I don't realize it - That he always has my back. Always. He would not have it any other way. Knowing that, I feel a little stronger, a little braver, a little safer. My Appa, my superhero. Always.


  • Very Nice Raga. Yes your Appa is your super hero

    By Anonymous MUmmy, at 5:19 AM  

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