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Literary Forum

FROM DAD WITH LOVE

 

Col N S Ahuja, Life Member,

Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association

Dear son,

In California it must be midnight and you would be fast asleep. But here in Chandigarh, your 37th birthday has already begun. Mom made your favourite prasad (halwa) and we did Ardaas for your long, happy and healthy life. She had tears when she took a small portion of halwa from your share. Had you been here, you would have polished off the whole plate leaving little for anyone else. You used to be so fond of it!

Time really flies! We were just remembering the day you were born. Mom had been shifted to hospital. She was nervous. I was comforting her and telling her that every thing was going to be all right. Hours later, by God's grace, everything did go off well. When I entered the room to see you for the first time, you were nicely tucked in, and, from the cozy lap of your' mother, you were surveying intriguingly the new world around you. Your roving eyes fixed momentarily on my face. And you smiled, as if in recognition. A million candles In up my heart. My chest could have exploded with pride. You were the sweetest looking baby in the whole world.

Then onwards, our life started revolving around you with a new sense of purpose. Every moment spent in your care became a fulfilling and enriching experience. In later years, your achievements in sports and academics made us feel so happy and proud.

Your school trophies are still displayed neatly and dusted regularly. Mom has kept your toy gun safely in her cupboard. Some­ times, while she is cleaning the cupboard, I see her holding it and sitting quietly, lost in thoughts too deep for tears.

The giant wheel of time rolled on. As you grew up, you formed your own wings, fluttering and testing them for a maiden flight. And then one day, taking a leap or two, you flew away arching into the blue sky, looking for new destinations. We watched you flying, happy as a lark. You looked so graceful and so contented. In your happiness we started seeking ours.

Today, by God's grace, you have your own grown up children. They too are now fluttering their own little feathers, ready to take off. Soon you will look up and feel very proud of them. Soon, you will also discover a new dimension of parental love. You will notice that this blessed virtue flows smoothly in one direction, like a perennial mountain river. Interestingly, this love is totally unconditional and flows in abundance. You will experience its manifestations, as the craving for your children grows stronger.

So, my dearest little son, this stream of love will keep flowing from us for ever, exclusively for you, no matter where you are and how you are. Use it whenever you like.

And on your part, my son, you will continue to brighten up the horizon of our 'sunset boulevard'. Your presence and your smile still light up a million candles in our feeble heart. By the way, Mom wants to know when are you bringing that basket of candles for us again? It's been ages you know? And time is fleeting!

With love,

Dad.

(First published in Hindustan Times on 24 Oct 05)

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