I know it for a fact now that even on a happy day I can’t sleep without having spoken to Anant before hitting the bed! Precisely that happened today when today I waited for him to call me before sleeping till about 1:30 in the morning (my usual time of sleeping) and I realized that he’d dozed off cause he couldn’t get through my number.
I lay down thinking about the last time we were together, our trip to Kerala, the train journey, how we’d met, school, first time we’d talked! And panic struck! I wont be able to see him for a whole big year! That’s 365 days we’re talking about!!! And then the stupid ira who thinks a lot unnecessarily took over! My mind wandered to how I’d adjust there, to the course I’m planning to take up, if I’d be able to handle it, my over enthusiastic imagination supported it all with vivid images of myself in a strange country living with strangers studying something I have no clue about! And the tears started trickling as I thought about my parents, as I hated myself for over sleeping while I missed the opportunity of making breakfast for them before they left for work! To my dog who has always been so close to my heart and I leave him and go off during two such significant years! What if when I returned he’d grown much older than I’d anticipated? What if my parents fell ill and they needed me? What if? What if?
I decided to cook some instant noodles and watch a movie when I felt guilty about not having slept with my parents just because its difficult for me to sleep in a different bed, not realizing how they might be sleepless cause I’ve barely for a fortnight left with them. I got up and tip toed to their bedroom and quietly lay beside papa. Immediately he shifted so I’d have enough space and kept his arm below my head for it to rest on. I remembered the time when I was three and they were teaching me to sleep in our (me n my brother’s) room across the hall. I was terrified! Coming from a south Indian family, I was made to wear a payal from ever since I’d turned one. I used to clutch my payal and tip toe very carefully into their room late into the night and quietly lay down in the far corner of the bed so they wouldn’t find out!
I was the three year old again, clinging onto my father, trying to get some assurance. I rested my arm on his stomach as it went higher and lower along with the curve of his very modest 50year old potbelly as he breathed heavily peacefully sleeping. I remembered the time when I was in 6th grade and he would try to teach me Social Studies. He’d lay down on the bed and ask me to read the lesson loudly keeping the book on his stomach. By the time I was half way through, he’d be snoring and sometimes even mumbling in his sleep!
When I got jaundice right before joining college, my mother immediately took a week’s leave to look after me. By the end second day, she was back at school and my father had taken up the nanny’s job because he’s ever so patient with me! When I started college, he excitedly bought the latest detachable notebooks for me to flaunt! Even I wouldn’t have thought of doing such a thing!
He changed himself all through my life according to my requirement. When I needed a father, he was a father. When I needed a friend, he was the best one I could’ve asked for. When I needed someone to listen to me to, he was all ears for me, when I needed him to understand, he kept behind all his beliefs and understood me as well as he could. When I decided to move on, he gave me all he had with open arms and wished me luck!
He was quite upset when he got to know I was seeing someone at the age of 17 and was apparently quite serious about it. All he did was promise me that if I still loved Anant when I was 20, he’d happily accept our relationship and love him like a son. I turned 20 and within a month he asked me about Anant again. He spoke to him and ever since has been like a father to him.
I was sobbing very softly afraid to utter even the slightest of sounds when his alarm for 3:45am went off! Yes, the man I’ve been talking about is also a golf fanatic and gets up at that odd hour every weekend for his golf! He softly slid his hand from beneath my head and slapped the alarm off. I try and get some sleep and about 20minuted through I get a kick in my butt! (Literally!) I ignore it thinking it was part of my dream when I get a slap on my back! This time I just know its not my imagination playing tricks cause it hurt!
And then I hear my mother voice, “Get up! Don’t you have to go for Golf?”
Me, “Duh!”
Mother, “Oh! Common, your alarm woke me up and now you don’t want to go?”
Me, “mmmmmmmmmmaaaaaa!!!”
Mother, “ Oh! Its you!! Thought it was papa”
Me, “Well, Duh-uh…”
Mother, sniggers at herself!
Me (now pretty much awake), “Mumma, aap bhi naa!” (Mom, you’re impossible!)
Mother, “Teeeheee…and then caboodles of laughter”!
So, 4 am all me n ma are wide-awake! We were whispering and talking afraid not to wake up my grandparents when papa tip toes into the room, wearing only his boxer shorts(with a potbelly believe me it’s a sight!) in complete darkness and quietly opens his cupboard holding out the light of his mobile to help him! I get up and walk up to him and stood behind him (pretty sure he might have heard me and with no intentions of scaring him) when he’s peeping deep into his cupboard looking for god-knows-what. He keeps searching for about a minute when he finally senses me beside him and freaks out!
Papa, “ Uh---uhhh…! Woahh…Did I wake you? (my mum must really scare him! :p)”
Me, “Its me, ira”
Papa, “Oh!” (And my sleep is not important because…….?)
Me, “ I can’t sleep! (huge smile on my face)”
Papa, “I’ll cancel golf?” (So not wanting to!)
Me, “Nah! Can’t I come along?”
Papa (frantically putting on his clothes, a bit excited about his game now!),” Its not allowed! You sure you don’t want me to cancel?”
Me (now he’s adjusting his golf cap), “ What if, I tag along till the gym opens?”
Papa, “ You wont be allowed! I’ll just call them(4-ball) and tell them I’m sick” (gulping down his pre-golf banana)
Me,” Nah, you carry on..”
Papa, “ Oh! Baby I can cancel it, no problem!” (checking his watch)
Me, “Its ok, you carry on, I’ll try n sleep”
Papa, “ You come down when your mother leaves for school and join me for breakfast, then we’ll go shop a bit and get the clothes we bought last weekend altered”
Me, *You’re the best papa!* “Sure!”
I’m waiting for mumma to get up, I’ll cook breakfast for her and we’ll both leave together in about an hour and a half.
I love you papa and I promise I’ll always always look after you, just let these five years pass. I want you to know that I’m doing this because I want to give you every happiness in this world and I’m so proud to be your daughter!
caboodle mix :: , , , , edit post
7 Responses
  1. Dumb Eagle Says:

    i've been reading ur blog for sometime and just cdnt stop myself from commenting this time!
    The thing is i'm giving GRE this tuesday and believe me, all those things u mentioned have been going thru my mind all the time!! (including the missing my dog thing, coz i have one too and he's just a year old!) What if i get into a college n leave my home?? rather my country?? its damn scary... (and i still have a yr to go... if i do!!)
    But somewhr deep inside me, thrs somethin telling me that if this happens its gonna b an experience WORTH having.
    After all, its only after we break apart from our cocoon of security that we can truly soar the skies...
    So b positive. and getting scared is natural. :)

    P.s. love the way u write. Lucid and riveting. :D

  2. sundeep Says:

    You now what Ira,your blog is actually life a book.Each day I find something new.
    You have an understanding father, you are really lucky.God Bless You.

  3. Dagny Says:

    Beautiful, This is so expressive. n uncluttered. :)

  4. Sandi Says:

    Well, that made me teary-eyed. How lucky your parents are to have a daughter who looks back fondly on those memories. That sense of family will give you a great deal of strength in the next few years.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I must say, I get scared whenever I see a poem or a post that is more than a quarter page long.You post however compelled me to read it when the part with your father started.I simply could not shudder it off.Nostalgic. I personally have always adored,loved my father.I have been out of my home for almost 10 years now and every time I am back home, I always sleep in between my parents and we just talk till 2 AM.And,much like your father- he gets up at 5 and then we talk again.Good to see someone admiring parents the way you do.
    As for the relationship you are into,well...All the best for that.Hope it works out well for both of you.

  6. keerthi Says:

    reading ur posts make me feel homesick.. really sweet post