“Duraaaaiiiiiirajannnnn...........sounds like a Christian, looks like a Brahmin”. “Well... I am a Brahmin and it is not a sin.” Most of the people who knew my dad would have heard this from him. He took pride in narrating this part of his interview in Castrol Ltd to one and all!
Appa, we miss you badly. Amma prepared us, especially me, her youngest, for her departure over the past 3 years, but Appa, I don’t think I was ready for your exit from this world! Yes, we sisters and brothers-in-law keep telling each other that you were incomplete without Amma, but still the void is huge.
I recall as a child, how I held your hand tightly in a bus, always worrying how we will move past the crowd and get down in our stop and you assuring me that we will get enough space to move.
I recall how you used to take all of us not leaving any of us behind for our outings - be it a movie or the beach or a hotel or your office picnic or even a wedding. We were perhaps the only family who were in full attendance for all the Castrol picnics right from Gingee fort to Blue lagoon resort.
I recall how you very very rarely said ‘no’ to any of our wants and tried your best to ensure that all your daughters got what they wanted.
I recall how you used to make a meticulous list for crackers during Diwali, ensuring that your daughters are happy and satisfied with it and also it is within Paati’s budget, at times hiding the real bill amount from Paati. And the joy you used to have and give us by bursting all the crackers with us!
Compared to our friends, we were well travelled to Bombay, Baroda, Bangalore, Kumbakonam, etc despite being a large family. This, Appa, is thanks only to you, ensuring that you take us all for the trips!
Appa, I was proud when you told people that I was your lucky daughter.
Appa, I recall how you took me to Jipmer to write the medical entrance exam with all hopes that I will get a seat. Though I am happy that I am not a doctor seeing the medical world today, Appa, many days I have regretted wasting precious 800 rupees on the entrance exam study material from Brilliant Tutorials! I understand today that you had to make a lot of effort to arrange for that amount that time!
Appa, I recall how you took me to mandakapidi in Nallur in 1989. I had a great time with you visiting Kumbakonam, Thiruvalanzuhi and Nallur.
Appa, I recall our last trip to Bombay together, where roles reversed, I had to assure you that it was safe to cross the road and you were the one who was scared!
Appa, I recall how during our morning walks in 1980s, you told me that you have to look for a Mahavishnu for your daughter Lakshmi and yes, you did find me a Mahavishnu for a husband, Thank you Appa!
I know that you were very keen to get one of your daughters married into my husband’s family and I am so happy that you got me married into this family and that too to the best person, Thank you again!
Appa - you taught us to share things with people by emphasizing again and again about fair share of everything be it a morsel of food or big money!
Appa, you taught us honesty which was your greatest quality, which helps each of us in our lives today!
Appa you taught us hard working for which both you and Amma are the biggest examples in this world.
The neatly dressed Appa, right from the clean shaven face, vibudhi, chandanam, kumkumam on the forehead, neck tie, tucked in shirt, trousers with matching belt to polished shoes! Appa, your neat line of fresh dhoties are waiting for you in the cupboard and you went away from this world with a week-old beard! Appa, we understand that you could never accept Amma’s sickness and were very hopeful inside that she will come back to her old cheerful self. Though in your usual meticulous style, you tried to plan the ration card, gas connection, etc after her passing away, looks like inside you did not have any purpose to live! We, your daughters, wonder and wonder if this is the reason for you to follow her in 90 days time.