Pl read

1. Why o Why?

If you are visiting these writings for the first time, or have not read the entry "Why o Why",

may I suggest you read that first and then read the rest in numerical order?

Monday, 19 June 2017

22. My Father

My dad was a self-made person, and most such people are simple in their approach to life, but have big hearts. His wants were few and given his origins and his exposure, he had both his feet on the ground.

Come to think of it, in many ways, he was a trailblazer:

o   By the time he was 25, he had seen and experienced more of the world than most people of his generation had or could at that age.
o   By the time he retired, he had served in almost a dozen cities as an
employee of the Civil Aviation Department, Government of India.
o   He gave us the best education possible, in places far away from where he served, sometimes fending for himself, because my mother was taking care of us.
But he never forgot his roots and also impressed upon us to do the same.

Today I wanted to write about him.
But, I wanted to write about him, as my father.
This, I now realize,  is harder than I thought.

Of course, I remember many nuggets...

-- The many holiday trips, in First class "coupe"s, we took, from wherever he was stationed to Madras (now Chennai). Since it was just our family in the coupe and it often took 36 hours even by "Express trains", the experience was out of this world. After Madras we would go to visit our villages, where many of my cousins also came for the summer holidays.

-- On rare occasions we were able to visit his "communications office", where he and his colleagues would be directing several aircrafts at a time,  and  observe the radar screens with blips, representing aircrafts in the sky,  playing  hide and seek, disappearing from the screen as it swept the sky, and reappearing in a another spot on the the next screen.

-- On Deepavali day, we would all wake up bright and early and wait for my father to have his "Ganga Snanam" and give us all new clothes. The latter happened only on such special occasions, so we all looked forward to these special days.

-- More recently, when I went home for the first time following my stem cell transplant, his first remark was, "what happened to all the hair on your head", to which I simply responded, "at least my head is still there", and that seemed to satisfy him.

-- A year later,  when our daughter got married to Tim, my father was there at all the wedding related events, blessing the couple, and acknowledging the relatives and friends who had come. Roopa was delighted that all her grandparents were there to celebrate.

There are many many more and I am thankful for the memories.

Still, I wish I had taken the time to know him better; I was too preoccupied with one thing or another when he was around, to really talk to him, to really get to know him, more than I do.

Fortunately, perhaps realizing that such a day will come, he had started writing “his story”. And, I am so glad he did. Reading it now, after many years, I can see the many dimensions of his life and his attitudes towards life, his love for us, and more. He was a proud father, delighted with our accomplishments and that of our families.

As it happened, his writing stops in the 1980s. So, I have to reconstruct the following 30+ years of his life, but I believe we have better documentation about his activities then than the preceding period. I have set a task to myself -- to complete the story before another year passes by.

The story that he wrote does not have to wait until I get my act together. 
You will it find it at “MY RANDOM THOUGHTS by S.Ramamritham”.
I am sure you will find it fascinating.