Happy Father's Day - to the mom who raised me and the dad I miss
We all cope in different ways.
Happy Father’s Day.
Things are good here, in this new city.
I miss the rain back home, because it reminds me of you. Moody days, heavy clouds, drawn curtains, cosy corners and well worn books were always things we revelled in together. It doesn’t rain much here.
It’s been too long since we spoke. I’ve been busy, I haven’t even called Mom up in a while. I’m sorry about that. I did post something for Mother’s Day - I had to, everyone was doing it. Something about it felt off, though. Something about it felt inauthentic.
Today, everything is about Father’s Day. I saw the Google Doodle - a duck and a bunch of ducklings. It was cute, but I don’t know, it just seemed - so distant.
You’ve been gone for 11 years now, and distance is how I cope. I detach myself from the idea of you. I sometimes call Mom my Dad, I’ve found a replacement for you in her strength. I never really had the time to miss you; she did it all. I suppose wishing her a happy father’s day would mean a lot more to our equation than wishing her on mother’s day. There - that feels authentic. Here goes - Happy Father’s Day, Mom. Much better.
I can’t believe it’s been eleven years since your death - eleven years since I was forced to leave childhood behind, eleven years since I saw the depth of Mom’s power of will, eleven years since I spilled your ashes into the ocean bed.
I do keep the memory of you alive though. I heard once that people die twice - once, when their physical being loses life. And for the second time, when their name is uttered for the very last time. So I took your name. In a land where only your clan name mattered, I took your full name as my middle name; I cushioned your immortality in my identity. It’s all I could do, but that name is everything to me.
I wonder every day if I have lived up to your dreams for me - but I know I never could. You were never realistic, you wanted me to achieve everything that could ever be done. You wanted me to be the President of India and America; the UN Secretary General and the number one corporate lawyer in the world; the best mechanical engineer to ever be discovered, and the most articulate author of fine art literature. You expected me to be an artist, a musician, a dancer; and you wanted me to be it all with military precision. You were so contrary, so confused about everything you wanted for me. And in that, you taught me the meaning of unconditional love.
I wanted everything for you too, Baba. I wanted you to see me graduate high school, law school, and more. I wanted you to give me away at my wedding, and watch you fail at hiding your tears. I wanted you to be overprotective of me throughout my teens, I wanted the luxury of fights with you. I wanted you to teach me how to drive, I wanted you to be around so I could be just like you. I think I’m mad at you - I think I always expected you to come back.
I see all these Father’s Day posts everywhere, and they make me smile.
I hope you know I’m thinking about you.
All day, every day.