The waves of Ganges lapped on the shore softly and rhythmically. Our feet soaked in the coolness. The touch of water was calming and comforting. Blaring music spewed by the loudspeakers just passed by and did not enter the system. There was a lull inside – an emptiness, a void. A barrage of memories stormed every now and then, flooding the mind, heart and eyes. The crowd and the chaos outside was ineffective in causing perturbation of any kind. Glow of a clay lamp sitting atop flowers in a handmade leaf bowl broke the trance. It had been released in the river in memory of some dear departed. The man looked sad and somber as he folded his hands in obeisance and watched it bobble up and down in the waves till it disappeared. The truth hit once again. Our dear dad had left…..forever.
Losing my father was my worst nightmare. I had woken up in the midst of the night many a times -sweaty and shivering by the very thought of it. And when it happened, we were cataleptic, frozen - a weird state of indescribable nature. Slowly, the truth seeped in, the reality was accepted. Through misty eyes, we looked at his serene face. This is the way he had always been - in life and now in death- calm, peaceful, tranquil and unruffled – in words, thoughts and action.
An ardent nature lover, gardener, writer, sitar player, and an avid reader, simple, non-egoistic, unpretentious, humble, compassionate, humane, down to earth, ever smiling, saintly and above all a great human being, he was loved by all those who knew him. A true follower of Gita, he led a Spartan life with few needs and fewer desires.
He was a wonderful father. Together, we had great fun making food table for birds and buying clay pots to keep water. Together, we spotted birds during the morning walks and fed strays on the way. We tended the garden together and together we grew seasonal vegetables. The swing on the mango tree and the bridge on the brook that he made for our amusement every summer are the beautiful memories to cherish. The first cake in our home was made by dad on sand in a pressure cooker. The aroma of the cake still lingers. Jam was made from every seasonal fruit growing in our orchard. Guava jelly and Guava cheese were his favourite. Every winter he made boxfuls of chikki (brittle) for us. He played sitar to unwind and we had music sittings at home very weekend. Such beautiful memories is the stuff our childhood is made of.
The wheel of time moves on …..Dad has completed the journey of life. His favourite chair is now empty. So is his bed. His Sitar is silent forever and his pen ceases to write. Wish we could have spent more time together, wish we had hugged him more told him more often how much we loved him. Wish we could have served him more………
Forgetting your loved ones is not easy. They come in your thoughts, in your dreams, you feel them around you feel them everywhere.
“For one who has taken birth, death is certain and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore you ought not to lament for an inevitable situation”, says Gita Chapter 2 verse 25.
Goodbye Dad…..till we meet in heaven.