Our relationship was never too affectionate or unrivaled like the world boasts about. I usually agreed or protested to your suggestions. Sometimes my aggression landed me into punishment. Our (I and my siblings) demands were routed through Maa. You maintained the traditional role of family protector.
Why did I never ask you directly, face-to-face, what did I want?
I grew up into a woman and motherhood made me a better person. I realized what you never told me so, that why you were always occupied. You provided us the financial resources and opportunities to learn and grow. You were always there, reliable and committed.
Do you remember the days before your retirement? What a beautiful hill station you were put up at.
Conversations started over tea. We talked, initially about my career and retirement plans. Gradually I opened up about my childhood mischiefs; how I forged your signature in the school diaries, lied about parent-teacher meetings and how I sometimes used to mix brown ink in the lemon tea. Your laughter was heartfelt. You listened patiently, “I missed being there amidst my responsibilities.”
Casual talks shifted into discussion and arguments, our tête-à-tête would last for hours.
What swept me off the floor was the lullabies and rocking your grandson endlessly. I had wiped off my tiny tears, scolding it to let you cherish the moments you missed during our adolescence.
The winning bit was our discussion about PCOD and postpartum depression. We bonded when you jumped off your feet, “Start-up, go ahead beta. I always knew you were strong-minded and visionary.”
I see our friendship budding. You have become my mirror and I be your reflection.
Cheers to this new affair. Happy father’s day Papa.
With love and hope
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