Sunday, April 11, 2010

11 April, 2010 - Remembering Dad..

It`s been one whole year since I lost my Dad.
But sometimes it feels just like yesterday..
April 11th, last year at this time, I was with Dad.
I remember staring straight ahead at the cardiac monitor. Steady. Cold. Unflinching. I remember looking long and hard at Dad. And praying for the end to come..It didn't matter that I wouldn't see him anymore..death didn't scare me anymore. But the suffering did. As I watched the doctors in their last attempt at CPR, I sat tying my shoe laces, while my mother went around packing our things. There was no space for anything other than immense relief.Dad was at peace.We were finally going home.Pain didn't scare us anymore. The worst was over, I thought.
Little did I know that I would be learning about pain soon enough. That it would forever lurk in ordinary things. In the lonely moon. Or the strum of a wooden guitar. In the laugh of a two year old. Or an old, discarded record player. Little did I know that the surreality of it all would come back in waves, to haunt me forever.Destiny whiplashing again and again, until I would be on my knees and begging. While other people my age learn to live their lives and not just exist, I learn how Destiny negotiates it terms and collects its dues. And I shall never forget. The smell of Destiny. Like the distant rain on a breeze. Elusive. Slippery. A harbinger of dark clouds and thunderstorms. And then some easy rain.
Death is baffling. I roam around, touching familiar objects and photographs, listening to familiar songs and I smile.I think of picking up the phone to talk to Dad.And then I remember I cant do it anymore. And that is when it hits me. It hits me so bad, I want to crumble up and die. And then I think of Dad and all that he would want me to be. And I go about, making him proud. Like I always did.
One hot afternoon a week ago, the doorbell rang. Standing outside our home in Ranchi was a rickshaw puller with a bouquet of white flowers in his hands. As Ma stood there in perplexed silence, he extended the flowers towards her and said," I know you have a prayer service for 'Sahab'(Dad) today. I came by to pay my respects. 'Sahab' gave me dignity. Today I respect myself and the job that I do because he always respected me."
When Ma narrated this to me over the phone, suddenly it all became clear.
The presence of that one rickshaw puller who cared, is far, far more worthwhile than the coerced phone calls or plastic presence of extended family who dont.But it doesn't matter to me anymore. I no longer feel bitter or angry. I have learnt to calibrate people and level my expectations accordingly. And sometimes not at all. In other words, I have grown up. And even though I`m still grappling to come to terms, I am trying. Trust me People, I am.
- I joined a music club, because I had a compelling urge to be near people who shared the same passion, people who made beautiful music, just like Dad did.
- I started guitar lessons.
- I got a few stories published.
- I made a couple of friends(and lost a potential one too!).
- I worked hard towards joining grad school.
- I worked hard on myself. I still do.
When Dad left, I kept his wrist watch with me. Time stopped at 3:19pm that April afternoon. And I wore it on my wrist as a reminder of all that I have lost. Today as I celebrate Dad`s life and the hundreds of ways he touched mine and so many others`, I decided to wind up the watch. It will not bring back lost time, I know. But it will herald in brighter ones.

This will be my last post for a while, People. I will be flying to Washington D.C tomorrow.
Any readers from D.C? I hear this is the busiest time of the year in terms of tourists. But all that I hope to cover in two days is the Holocaust museum. I`ll be back soon. But before I leave, I want to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all you people who have been there for me during the most traumatic times of my life. You have been my most loyal supporters, my well wishers. You have been there with a warm word or a hug or a smile, just when I thought I would die. And you have helped me stand up and dance once again. Thank You People. Thank you very much..
So long! I`ll be back soon.


Serendipity said...

Hey Mish, Its been a year?
I read this post over and over, it tugged at my heart, I admire you so much. Ill be in the US soon, would LOVE to meet you.

BK Chowla, said...

May his soul rest in peace

Anonymous said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. May he live forever in your heart. May his memories bring you comfort, and peace. And I am sure he would be extremely proud of all that you have become. May his soul rest in peace.

Passionate Goof said...

I am very very happy to hear that the watch has been wound to move on! Wherever you are, wherever you go, he lives on through you, so never feel bad, because he is always there with you.
Hugs girl, big tight hugs!

Sunshine said...

take care! its hard to believe so much time has gone past..!

i hope u enjoy ur trip & come back refreshed!!

*hugz* :)

moon said...

Touching post...

As the previous commentator has put, he is living forever in your heart.

OrangeJammies said...

Oh gosh. I don't know what to say. Correction. I don't want to say anything. Please accept a hug.

Reflections said...

Piper I dont quite know what to say...except to say tht its a beautiful post. Some part of it were just haunting for want of another word.

As for the thanks....there's no need for it. We love U too:-))!!!!

Anonymous said...

Piper, he is with you in so many ways, specially in the music that you love.

Sagarika said...

*Hugs and the squeeze of hand* - the one I promised you :) - Miss you here... hope you having a blast... Subho Nababorsho... hope its hale hearty happy and healthy 1

Anonymous said...

Mish, this was incredibly touching. Time is not a good enough healer, methinks. But yes, its so nice to see you working so hard towards living a beautiful and meaningful life, one that your dad will be proud of :-) And yes, it was very touching to see that your dad helped other people come up in life. And this is what made me cry.. that you pick up the phone to talk to him, and realise he isn't around. God bless, Mish! My parents recently got Skype and want to see their grandson frequently, but are worried they will 'bore us'. After reading your post, I feel I MUST ensure they see each other atleast once a day. For as long as possible.

Piper .. said...

Serendipity: It`s been a whole year..but somehow that doesnt seem to register.. Hey, left a couple of messages on your blog too. I would love to meet you. Where and when will you be here?

B K Chowla: Thank you Sir.

Anonymous: Thank you, my friend..

Goof: Thanks a lot, Goof. You`ve been a constant source of support for me.

Sunshine: Thanks a lot, Kiddo. :) I`m back and yes, the trip was fantastic. How have you been?

Piper .. said...

Sunder: Thanks. I know he is..:)

OJ: good to see you here :)
Thanks so much for the hug. It helps, you know..

Reflections: Thanks so much, Nancy. Your comments always make me feel warm and happy :):)

IHM: Thanks IHM! That`s exactly what I like to think :)

Piper .. said...

Sagarika: To you too, my friend.. I had a great trip, thanks. And so sorry about the belated new year wishes!

writerzblock: Pal, you MUST! My mom recently picked up the ways of surfing the internet and we skype chat with her all the time. I regret not having done it with Dad often enough. Oh you really MUST!!

PNA said...

ur Dad will lead you on...and that's the best part, tk,


Piper .. said...

Ashes: Hey..Thanks. I personally know that to be true :)Welcome to my space! And I hope you visit again! :)

Deeps said...

Oh Mish that was so touching! You say you're going to make him proud..but I'm sure your Dad is already proud of you.

He is with you,he is in you,and he will stay within you forever.

Have a wonderful time in DC. Mailing you rightaway.

LOts of hugs :)

Piper .. said...

Deeps: Hey.. thank you so much, my friend! It`s awesome to see you back here again! Where have you been? It`s been a while`s Namnam? Hugs to you and the lil one..

Sagarika said...

Write something na please... I am missing reading your posts :(

Jira said...

Hugs...Your wonderful words are a tribute to a wonderful man... So touching...
May he rest in peace...
Hope u had a good time in DC...

Piper .. said...

Sagarika: Just been a little busy. Shall be back very soon :)

Jira: Hey, thanks my friend. Your wishes mean a lot to me :)

Trish said...

Hey Piper,
I read this podst and re-read it,thinking,if I can comment..I am new reader and didnt want to intrude..but the part about picking up the phone to call ur dad,struck a chord.My mom's been gone for almost 14 years now..and there are still times when i want to pick up the phone n call her...just wanted to reach out n say that I understand.
so touching abt the rickshaw driver...

Piper .. said...

Trish: Hey, welcome to my space! No question of intruding at all - on the contrary, it is always awesome to meet new readers :):) So I`m hoping you`ll visit again.
Thank you for sharing for thoughts. I can relate to what you`ve written - staying so far away from home, the telephone is the only lifeline, so to say. And often times, I miss talking to Dad.

Poonam J said...

Hi Piper...I am all misty eyed reading this post...A year gone by, and yes seems like yesterday when emotions take over. I looked at my dads wallet that i kept with me, his driving license and all in it, with a few currency notes.My brother took the watch..its been 10 years, and the void remains till day.With the passing of a parent, the child in you dies too for sure.But somehow life goes on.And memories are our treasure..knowing you through your posts, I know for sure he went a proud father.
A very warm hug dear.