It’s Father’s day today (The third Sunday of every June is celebrated as Father’s Day). As I was writing a long article about a dad for Father's Day, I realized that I haven’t written anything for my own father. Oh yes, I wrote an emotional letter to amma when she was hospitalized last time and you must understand that our bond had strengthened after she understood how much she means to me. So yes, this is my first letter to you. Why should I write a letter, when I can just walk up to your room and tell these things in person? But I love putting some of my special feelings to paper. And so here we go! A letter to you, Appa!
Appa, have I ever told you about some of my early memories of you? I still remember you giving clear instructions to amma to take care of my health, not to wash my hair often, put a kulla over my head, boil drinking water for me and put those special herbs in it. How meticulously you took care of me, when I was a cranky and sick kid! Oh, you might say that it was your responsibility and all that. But not once did I notice a sign of annoyance on your face.
Did you know that I have never looked at a kid and said, “How lucky that kid is!” Really! Trust me! From the kind of clothes that you chose for me and akka to the fancy stationery items that you bought us, everything made us feel very special. I lost many velvet pens, iron ruler, scented pen and erasers because my classmates really couldn’t resist such quirky stationeries. Many were stolen! But yes, I was a proud owner of some brilliant stuff.
When Shravan went for summer camps, workshops and dance class, I remember all the classes that you sent me, appa. From those painting classes to the violin class at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, you didn’t hesitate to spend that little money you had. Please forgive me for not being too sincere and for giving up all my early passions. You never gave me a chance to put the blame on you.
Okay, I have a question now. You started reading Osho when I was in Class 12, I suppose. But even before that, how did you know that children had to be given some space and they had to be let on their own to understand life better. Or how did you know to make children understand your predicaments, without hurting them? I clearly remember what you asked me before I was about to take up the entrance test at Lady Sivaswamy. Do you remember? This is what you asked me. “If I put you in Sivaswamy Kalalaya, appa might not be able to afford all the extra classes that you go to. If you choose to go to Lady Sivaswamy, I can still send you to those classes. What do you want to do?” And I think, that was the first crucial decision that I took in my life and there are absolutely no regrets, appa. Trust me!
Life was so complete when I was a kid, appa, i.e., when you took care of me. Now I’m a big girl and so I tend to mess up things for myself. You gave us all the exposure that we required. You never gave us a ‘no’ for an answer, when we threw tantrums to get some of our favourite things. From the first music system that we bought to bringing Calvin home, you had always known what your family needed. I love you for introducing me to some fine music and intelligent books. If not for you, I don’t think I would have picked up reading. You are indeed one among the very few optimistic and determined people whom I have met. I still admire the way you coped with a broken leg and how you continued to be humorous and happy even during that toughest time of our lives. Thank you so much for all of it. I’m not trying to sound formal. But I feel really good when I thank you.
And now, I should talk about the grey sides too. I certainly know that I disappointed you by being presumptuous. I know that I put you down by making some insane decisions. At the same time, I understand that you consider my mistakes as some of the critical learning experiences that I have had. Appa, I might not have made you proud, but I know that you appreciate what I have crossed so far and the sort of life that I lead now. So this Father’s Day, I thank you for being a super dad to us. And we love you so much!