On my desk, there’s a card I sent to my father years ago. I think the card dates back to October, 2003 . I have this bad habit of not writing the date when I write letters/cards on most occasions. I got occasional scolding from my father too for this. But I had my own logic– as feelings are timeless, why put a ‘time’ seal on it and write the date. After my father passed away in January 2011, I brought back the card which my mother had kept underneath her mattress at my home in Bhubaneswar. Today, when I see the card I feel happy that I chose my father’s birthday to give him a glimpse of memories I will always cherish. This is what I wrote to my father:
—- You cooking pulao and chicken curry in our Ravenshaw college (Now Ravenshaw college has become Ravenshaw University and my sister is an academician there) residence on Sundays
—–Teaching me to say ‘thank you’ for things done
—- Buying me a taperecorder in Delhi so that I could listen to music
—–For calling me to speak on stage in a condolence meeting organised after Indira Gandhi was assasinated
——To encourage reading habits which will aways stay with me till I live
——To have different interests in life–that’s one thing I learnt from you and it helps me in growing
—-And for showing that love for plants can actually enrich one’s own life.
I now feel happy in the midst of aching pain that I wrote this card in my own cursive handwriting and expressed my love for my father. I am sure, he must have felt very happy reading this card in that autumn. Today I wake up every morning looking at the bold letters saying ‘FOR YOU, DAD’. Five months after my father passed away, I feel a strange sense of belongingness with this Paper rose card.