MOMENT OF EUPHORIA

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(This father’s day, I am expressing my love towards my dad by participating in the #HugYourDad activity at BlogAdda in association with Vicks.  Do check out the awesome Father’s Day video as well:

Tugged at your heart strings, didn’t it? )

 

Remember those times when your father took you on his travels, when you were just his knee-high, clutching his small finger, looking so wide-eyed at the big world and at Him, who was nothing less than a superhero to you? I do. Very vividly, in fact. My father, or to be henceforth mentioned as ‘Baba’ (because father feels too formal a term to have him called as), was an explorer of new places. Out of all his three daughters, I was the youngest and always the most enthusiastic and ever-willing to join him in his travails. For Me, He was a superhero. One who knew every nook and corner of my city, an encyclopedia of information. Needless to say, I got the exploring gene from him.
It was during the winter of 2014 that I started exploring new places on my own. Despite being a traditional family, both my parents have been liberal in not coming in the way of my pursuits, of which I’ve been glad over and over again. I decided to start my wanderlust with a trip to Beth Al Synagogue, a Jewish synagogue in Calcutta, which has always been a source of my curiosity. The trip had been immensely successful and had went on to give a huge impetus to my further exploring plans. Parents had been overjoyed as well, though I suspect it was probably because they were relieved that I didn’t get lost!
Next destination was Magen David Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Calcutta. However, the surprise came with the decision of Baba to accompany me. His reason had been to see at least one synagogue as he had no general idea of nor seen any synagogues in his life. (I very strongly suspect even now that probably it was the work of my mom to force him to accompany me and check as to where I actually went!) Nonchalantly I’d shrugged and off we went.
Because he was an explorer himself, the tendency to show around directions to any particular destination becomes overwhelming. Ditto with him, so much so that I’d to pull him by his hand and ask him to just trust me for this one time and let me lead him. I guess it was his paternal instincts ruling, perhaps not wanting to believe that his young child has indeed come of age. That it was his turn to be led rather than lead. Because I was a good explorer myself and knew my way, we reached Magen David without a hitch.
As mentioned before, Baba has never been to any synagogue before (in fact, he claimed to hear the word for the first time and the existence of such institutions in Calcutta) and thus came with an open mind palate to fill in. As any synagogue can blow one common man’s mind and the fact that Magen David was in itself majestic, Baba suddenly became silent, perhaps self-conscious and let the guide fill us in all the details. The overall trip being a massive success yet again and with a very impressed Baba by my side, we left for our home, a journey which witnessed a moment, leaving an imprint on me to make me proud of, for perhaps my whole life.

That historic moment when the father-daughter explorer duo get snapped.

That historic moment when the father-daughter explorer duo get snapped.

The road which we took to for coming back, was extremely crowded and one has to walk really fast, with one behind the other. I was the one at front, Baba at the back. We’d been on silent mode and were walking, when suddenly I felt Baba putting his hand around my waist, as a gesture of side-hugging me. Taken totally by surprise, I slowed down (thankfully, that stretch was quite empty) and looked at him quizzically. Little did I know that the words he’d say would turn a huge milestone of my life. I remember the words verbatim being said, “Now I’ve become old, you know, Anne. It is now my turn to be led by you, my little explorer who has so grown up to show me places that I didn’t even hear of! Now that I’ve experienced it first-hand, I can sit back peacefully and clutch your hands to travel the world. Quite a reversal of roles, eh?”, he’d laughed. The look on his face was that of immense pride. For Me.
I’d been rendered speechless. Goosebumps had run all over my hands, which had suddenly become cold even in that scorching heat. Because I hadn’t been expecting such a reaction for all the life of mine, I just didn’t know what to say! It was as if my tongue had rolled up on its own volition and my mouth had dried up. I gulped and managed a weak smile and tightly hugged him back, as if my heartbeat hadn’t just been stopped for seconds. We exchanged a look which didn’t need any words to give a voice to our feelings. We resumed our walk in the same waist-to-waist way till we reached the metro.

 
It’d been the greatest compliment I could have ever got rewarded with, the moment to be forever etched in my memories and it had come from my prince. My Baba. My Superheroic Explorer.

FULFILLING HIS WISH

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( This father’s day, I am expressing my love towards my dad by participating in the #HugYourDad activity at BlogAdda in association with Vicks.  Do check out the awesome Father’s Day video as well:

Tugged at your heart strings, didn’t it? )

 

For every child, to complete the wishes of his/her parents is a dream. Especially when the whole journey is a hard struggle that you have seen your parents fighting for, just for a better future for you, you know you must try every ounce of your life to fulfil their dreams. We’re three siblings in my family, all sisters and I’ve seen my father (henceforth to be mentioned as Baba, as he is usually so-called by Me) struggle against every odds to ensure we had all the best facilities in our lives, especially in our education. And it had been one hell of a struggle, one which went on to condition all the three of us as better individuals.
It had been just after the results of my class 12th boards. I’d scored quite well and had filled in admission forms in three premier colleges in Calcutta. The spotlight however had been on Presidency University, a premier educational institution which had seen various famous names in every societal sphere as its students. What needs to be highlighted here is, my Baba always have had this fascination with Presidency. I still do not have any knowledge of the reason behind it, but he have had this fascination for years. To see any one of his daughters studying in this university. It was here that the twist and the play of Life comes along.
The twist was, Baba had always wanted to see my second elder sister to study in Presi. A science student who was good in studies as well, Baba had very high hopes from her that she’d make it in Presi. Some unfortunate events and those hopes had got dashed to the ground. The reality that getting in at Presi is indeed very hard, perhaps made it even more saddening. I’m sure he never had any such hopes from me to make it in Presi, although life had some other plans for him.
Baba always have had that typical admiration for the science stream. Though my high-school background had been that of computer science, however arts being my passion, I’d taken the plunge into it after my 12th boards. The convincing obviously hadn’t been easy though, however Baba had went on to agree to it at the end. Because Presi has an entrance exam for the undergraduate degree, which is reputed to be extremely cut-of-edge and very difficult to pass through, add to that my non-arts background and one can have zilch hopes of making it in Presi. I guess it had been mostly God’s grace and a little bit of my hard work that I’d made it to the counselling list!
At last, the counselling day had come and the nail-biting tension of everyone. Because I’d already by then taken the admission in one of the premier colleges, I was a bit relaxed and was ready for any kind of outcome, positive or negative. Both my parents had come alongwith me (They obviously couldn’t have missed an opportunity to set their foot inside their dream university and I was too happy to have been able to give them that!). They’d been fascinated by university long before but now they were impressed much more by the foresight of the university authorities whereby the parents were allowed to sit in the gallery of the entirely air-conditioned Derozio Hall and not left to be stranded outside in the scorching heat, unlike the other colleges. (Doesn’t help the fact that the hall is impressively huge!) The calling of names had been going by at a whizz and finally it was the time for the department of political science. I’d quietly prayed to God to grant me the wish to study in this university, not for me (I couldn’t care less, to be honest), but for my Baba whose dream is this university. And then the name-calling of the selected students began.
It’d been an absolutely numb moment for me and I think for my parents as well, when my name was called. I because I couldn’t believe that my Baba’s dreams just got fulfilled and they for the very same reason too. I heard a familiar voice calling my name from a distance and turned around to see my parents rushing to meet me. I barely can believe now that I could actually rein in my tears to see those pride filled faces of my parents, especially my Baba, who at that moment, was running towards me with his hands outstretched and with a big smile on his face. I managed a smile in return and enveloped myself in his arms in a tight hug. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw my mother wiping off tears that were threatening to spill, with a smile on her face. I looked up to see tears at the corner of my Baba’s eyes as well and I remember saying to him, looking at his eyes, “Everything is fine now, Baba.” He had simply nodded.
 

 

Looking back, I think I was not just relieved that I didn’t break my record of fulfilling Baba’s wishes, but I’d been grateful for myself that I could give him his dream especially when it wasn’t really expected from me. This shall remain one of the most special moments of my life.

 

I LOOKED FOR HIM EVERYWHERE

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I looked for him everywhere.
I knew not in which corner he lived.
But this place would always remind me of him.
For it is here that he resides in.
Unknown but his presence being felt,
In the air and in the stilling heartbeats.
I looked for him everywhere.
In all the buildings that stood the test of time.
In the tall and the short buildings.
In the colourful and not so colourful ones.
Maybe ’twas in one of the ol’ ancient buildings he lived,
Or perhaps, in one of the new modern ones.

 

I looked for him everywhere.
In the Ghats, amongst the people casually idling.
Wondering if likewise he laughs around with his mates,
And relax away sometime.
I searched for him in the setting sun.
Wondering if he once stood at the same place as I,
And looked at sun with the same melancholy.
The answers yet again unfounded.

 

I looked for him everywhere.
At the lapping waves which swirled around my feet.
Musing if he ever did the same thing.
I searched for him in the cool breezes,
Did he feel refreshed and complete just like I did,
I knew naught.

 

I looked for him everywhere.
In the roads where he perhaps walks everyday.
In amongst the children playing football,
Where he might have played once like ’em.
Carefree and full of innocence.

 

I looked for him everywhere.
In the open windows where I might catch his glimpse,
But then, lightly smacked on the head.
Berating, such a silly Me!
Trying to take him in,
I soaked in the place, in its entirety.
For this place was an inevitable part of him.

 

I looked for him everywhere,
And found him in bits and pieces.
Yet the insatiable Me wasn’t impressed,
For it couldn’t find the whole of him anywhere.
Exasperated, I searched for the direction,
Towards the right path to him.
Out came the answer,
In the form of a missed heartbeat.

Search for him within your heart,
And there he’ll be, yours and yours only.