A walk down the memory lane
A schoolmate recently commented on my picture on Facebook. It read as follows," I remember those days.... when u used 2 wave 2 uncle once u reach classroom.... (Old school building, morning lectures)."
The picture was of my Dad and me. That suddenly made me feel all grown up and his comment got me into thinking. The sequence flashed in front of my eyes; the regime of my growing up years. Every morning Dad used to wake me up. Since childhood I was reluctant to get up early in the morning. Yet he always woke me up patiently. Never yelled, never hit or never woke me up with water droplets or so. Not any of these things. He repeatedly used to tell me get up till I actually did. Too much patience and persistence I will say!
Then how he would patiently wait till my mum bathed me, dressed me up, and filled my lunch box. I was a slow eater yet he would make sure I ate my entire breakfast. He would re-check if I had forgotten any thing. i just had to tel him, “Pappa! I-card” , “Pappa - Ribbon” , “Pappa - Belt!” Name it and he used to provide me with it. Mum used to get annoyed that I made him run after each thing I wanted and she used to scold me too for it but he never complained and infact used to tell her not to get angry.
After this routine, we would walk together to school. I used to hold his hand while walking just like any kid but that feeling is what I miss the most now. All I had to do was hold his hand without worrying about a thing. We would watch all the others who joined us to school and many a times we would race as to who would reach first, them or us.
Also quite sometimes he used to make me recite the multiplication tables and in the reverse order that too. Sounds so geeky and funny now, still I enjoyed every bit of it! Imagine blabbering all the tables upto school on the road along with a kid. Its early morning, people are around starting up with their hustle-bustle for the day, vehicles are in full swing plying things and people and there’s this father – daughter duo who recited tables and raced with others, lost in their own little world.
If it wern’t tables, I used to tell him the stories of school. What teacher taught, what a student did, who got praised, who got punished, how much homework was given and all such stuff. He always encouraged me, never complained that I chatter too much or that it’s a public place I must speak soft or I must save some energy for the rest of the day. He always listened to my stories, never complained or felt bored because of my talks. The best conversations of life were with him. All I had to do was talk and he would add up his part too. They say men just pretend to listen, but I guess they do so only to spouses or girlfriends and never to children. The reason is simple I think, as we grow old, we women tend to nag a lot, knowingly or unknowingly. And that’s what kids never do. They just want you to let them speak, hear them out and join in with them.
So when we finally used to reach school, he would cheerfully direct me in the line of kids.i used to wave him till the gate arrived and he always had a positive smile and a glow on his face. And after I reached the classroom too, I used to place my bag on my seat and rush outside the classroom to the passage which also served as a balcony as it was road-facing. And what the view offered was, all parents waving kids, some scolding them, the others wiping tears, some rushing in just to avoid being late etc. And there used to be one man at the side of the road, with his head held high, that cheerful smile and his left thumb up pointing at me as though just waiting for my one glance at him. And the very next moment he used to walk away without even wasting a second.
And today it’s been almost 6 years since school ended and around 11years since dad dropped me to school. Nobody wakes me up today or waits for me to get up. I don’t have to call out anyone if I want my things which I can’t find. Nobody waits so that I dress up and reach my destination. But certain things still remain. The moment I get up his smile greets me amidst his rush to go to office. He offers me tea that he made for me and mum. And whilst he prepares himself for yet another tiring day, he still asks about what am I looking forward for the day. Then when he gets ready finally to leave and reaches the gate, me and mum wave from the balcony and again that same endearing smile looks up to us from beneath, and as always he raises up his left thumb in agreement and without a blink sets out on his trail...
P.S: Such instances of childhood of pure love, joy, innocence and security somewhere get lost as we grow old. Life gets complicated, all sorts of issues crop up, we have many more people to interact with and somewhere down the line time never seems to suffice. Things change, scenarios change, but these guys don’t. The bond we share with them is where despite a busy schedule you don’t need any appointments or commitments to look upto them. Even if they aren’t around, you can feel their presence. Where you don’t have to ask for things, it just gets done for you custom-made as you want, when nobody believes in you these guys do more than even you could and when you wake up each morning there’s that smile that always makes your day worth living.