This one’s for you Dad!

It was a crowded street. Cars were rushing in from everywhere. Headlights were flashing all over and it was impossible to see, let alone cross the street. For a second my heart stopped beating when I heard the screeching of the car breaks right beside me, but the very next moment without realizing the heart rate eased as I found my father holding my hand and pointing towards the car to stop. It was a matter of 5 seconds and I was yet to cross the street, but I wasn’t afraid because daddy
had come to my aid. Crossing the street wasn’t so difficult after that; I
followed his league.

While growing up we all want to learn to do things on our own. Sometimes we feel we have become so efficient that we don’t need anyone else’s help. We can sustain ourself, we are self-sufficient to do our own work, and we can even take our own decisions.

But then such incidents happen and bring us right back to square one and we ponder over the fact— what are we without our parents. Even today after becoming a grown up crossing a busy street increases the heart rate and his presence calms it down. My dad was the first hero of my life, even after I saw Shahrukh Khan battling 10 goons single handedly; not that my father did anything of that sort! But in every other aspect, no matter how many guys I meet, no matter how many impress me, no matter who I end up with,I don’t think  anyone can match up to my father’s care for me. When I was young my dad used to be on tours mostly and I was a sick child who used to fall ill very often.

Hospital rounds were a habit and he was there to say “you will be ok sweetheart” no matter how serious the illness was. But after all these years, the one time when he wasn’t there and I was in the hospital room in spite of my condition not being serious at all, an uneasiness was there. But soon enough he came cancelling all his meetings, all the way from Kashmir smiling at me, hugging me and said “you will be ok sweetheart”. My father and I have never exchanged emotional moments or the conventional father-daughter conversations but seeing him that time made me weep like a toddler. It was indeed very bewildering because I am usually very guarded about my emotions when I am around him, trying to prove that I am his strong daughter but that moment my body was disconnected from my mind. These are few treasured moments that I wished I could record to view it over and over again. But I think it’s best the way it is.

It’s not like things are always a bed of roses. There are conflicts; there are misunderstandings,
just like any other relationship. It is frustrating when he is quite stubborn, imposes his ideas on me, when he doesn’t let me make my own mistakes, when I feel he tries to invade my personal space. But the moment he takes himself out of the picture there is no space at all. “Personal” is out of question. It is like being in an airport all by yourself for the first time and not knowing what to do first. And then I realize how much he does let me make my own mistakes, how much he trusts me to do few things on my own. And this happens when I see other overprotective fathers not letting their kids take one step on their own – no offence to them. It’s humorous as that time I feel like my father is quite carefree because who in his right mind lets his 11 year old daughter take a flight to Hyderabad from Kolkata all by her own. What sometimes he does is expose me to all the bad scenarios possible but at the same time when it becomes too much to handle, he bumps me back to the wonderland and somehow the balance has been working out pretty well.

He does let me know how tricky things can be in the future but never stops me from dreaming high, rather he dreams with me. I don’t have to read inspirational books to learn about life because
life is when I see him – When I see him coming back after a rough day and yet getting ready to attend my dance function with a lot of energy to cheer out loud. I may not be a gifted child bringing home accolades everyday but he makes me feel like a star of my own world. His temper gets pretty bad sometimes and I lock myself up in the room all day but later I get a home delivery of my favorite pizza despite the fact that he detests them.

Now that I’m heading off to college I don’t know why these thoughts are revolving few days before my examination. Although I am so excited to venture out into a new world all by myself I wonder what is going to happen when I will be in a similar crowded street, or sick in a hospital room or will be trying to fix an electrical appliance all by myself. I don’t know but I don’t have to worry much because I know he will be there, somewhere to help me figure it out. He always has.

Shweta Rath