Thank you, Dad

June 17, 2010

Both parts of this post are an entry in Blogadda’s Tribute to Dad contest, sponsored by Pringoo.

For kids who love their fathers


Father’s Day — another Hallmark creation that drives people to stores for greeting cards that try to spell out a lifetime of gratitude in 20 words.

I have never written anything for my dad; I figured he always knew how much I loved him and saying anything would only belittle the relationship.

But now, in my 30s, halfway across the world from him, I feel the need to express in words what dad means to me.

I’ve elaborated on how, growing up, I saw more of dad than ma.

His consultancy job allowed him the flexibility that mom’s government job didn’t.

He was unlike my friends’ dads … He’d go every Sunday to get groceries, he’d do the “dusting” every morning and make the beds, he’d ferry me to school and back in the early years, he’d help with my math homework; he’d know most of my classmates’ names (and ranks in class!).

He was a hands-on dad, invested in his only child’s emotional and educational nurturing.

In all the other families I knew, all of the above was what the moms did.

Not in our house.

He also did some fatherly things: he taught me how to ride my cycle and the scooter, he impatiently sought to teach me driving mom’s car, and timed my usage of the computer.

No matter what I did, the one thing that was certain during my growing up years was that dad would somehow be involved.

He was also a road junkie. And I tagged along most places he went.

daddy and me in Pune12 Thank you, DadWhile ma was more of a homebody, dad and I reveled in the outdoors.

Even when I was as young as eight, I would be his navigator.

More important, I was the trip DJ.

Whether it was an six-hour journey or a three-day trip, I would have enough cassettes to make for a musical extravaganza.

We would go off-route, stop at roadside dhabas, read out interesting quotes on the back of trucks, and make up our own.

Those were the days of no cell phones or in-car entertainment units. It was just us and our cassette player.

The one thing dad didn’t do was cook.

He’d set the table before dinner and clear the dishes after…he’d even reheat food in the microwave we owned years later, but actual preparation of food items? He wouldn’t venture there.

When ma got transferred to another city I was in my early teens.

She had never taught me how to cook…always insisting I have “the rest of my life” for that.

We had a maid for “assistance” but she would only do the prep work — chopping veggies, kneading dough, making rotis — the cooking part was going to be a challenge.

Ma enrolled me in a crash course — Gourmet Indian Cooking. For two weeks I learned how to make everything from Gobhi Musallam and Navratan Korma to Shahi Paneer and Stuffed Capsicum — everything doused in butter and cream. All calorie-rich foods that we weren’t used to eating on a regular basis.

But that is what I learned how to cook, so that is what dad was subjected to eat.

And he did.

Always praising the effort that went into making those elaborate meals.

But a week into my cooking, both of us came to the consensus that we were going down a terribly unhealthy path and something needed to be done.

Takeout food wasn’t an option and tiffin service didn’t exist in our little town…we tried making do with grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta, and fried rice for a couple of days, but eventually dad rolled up his sleeves and stepped into the kitchen.

It was my turn now to applaud his efforts.

We made do…each of us proud of little accomplishments.

But how long would we last? And would our easy-going lifestyle be permanently marred by domestic responsibilities that ma shouldered so effortlessly?

Read part 2 of this dedication here.
16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F Thank you, Dad

dp seal trans 16x16 Thank you, DadCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

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One Response to Thank you, Dad

  1. Thank you, Dad — part 2 | First Impressions on June 21, 2010 at 9:17 am

    […] This is part two of a two-part series dedicated to my father. Read part 1 here. […]


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