Monday, February 9, 2015

The Hand On My Shoulder




#GreatDad - The Hand On My Shoulder

It’s been a decade. Sometimes it feels like yesterday. And sometimes, a lifetime ago.
He is not present. Not physically.

There are moments when I open the main door and see him. He is fumbling to find a chocolate in his coat even before he greets me with a reassuring hug. Maa cribs, “Stop giving her chocolates. Your daughter is a mother of a son.” He shrugs, “So what, she’ll always be my little girl.” 

A dad, they say is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman, he turns her back into a baby again.

At times, I see him walking with the senior citizens in my apartment complex. He is leading the group, regaling them with amusing anecdotes, oftentimes repeating them over and over again. At times I see him engaged in an animated political discussion, or reading a book in the garden.

There are days when I see him carrying his stethoscope, rushing off to see a patient in the middle of the night. He returns in a pensive mode. I know the prognosis is bleak. It is my turn to cheer him up.
It is impossibly surreal, when, at one point I see him at the book launch of my story in an anthology. He is standing in the last row, beaming a proud smile, holding the book, sharing my sense of accomplishment.
But he is not present. Not physically.

Sometimes, I need him when someone in the family falls sick and no doctor in the vicinity picks up his phone in the middle of the night. I need him to tell me if we need to begin with the antibiotics or wait for the fever to subside. 
I need him when my son acts like a teenager insisting on a solo road trip. Dad's sane voice instills sense almost magically, transforming the sullen teen into a pliable young man. Above all, I need him to be there for my mother who now lives alone. 
But he is not present. Not physically.

Sometimes I want him to take me on a scooter ride for some fresh air and ice-cream. I want him to teach me how to play bridge, to help me buy a new car, to remind me that I can never say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ too often, and to find positives in every person and situation. 


That’s what #Great Dads are, aren’t they? They are present through our trials, tribulations and triumphs. Holding us and releasing us from time to time. Encouraging us to develop wings even while they nourish and strengthen the roots. The word “Fatherhood’ is the very definition of being the protector and purveyor of wisdom. Being a dad is like being a teacher, a coach, a friend and a role model rolled in one.
But he is not present. Not physically.

Nevertheless, the task ahead becomes easier with his hand on my shoulders. Those who live in your heart can never go away.

59 comments:

  1. I am with you in every line of this superb homage.No one can replace a father and so many things,so many moments in life remind us of him.
    You made me cry Alka

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  2. Hugs, Indu. It took ten minutes to write this one. It was from the heart.
    Thanks.

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    1. Yes Alka it is very obvious,your pain oozes from your writing.
      This is life,it helps us to grow.

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  3. We take so much for granted, especially the love of our parents. And by the time we realize it, it's too late.

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    1. True....thanks for stopping by on a day filled with political happenings.

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  4. True....Daughters mare always the little babies to their Father..
    It's universal.

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    1. Good to see you here Mr. Chowla.
      Thank you.

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    2. I have never missed any of your posts....Who would like upto miss such interesting and intelligent subjects?

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    3. Means a lot. Heartfelt thanks.

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  5. Daddies are Nature's second best equally important gift for a daughter. The only man who treats you with due respect and unconditional love all the time.

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  6. This post teared me up. A beautiful poignant tribute. Hugs Alka <3

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  7. I am sure he's watching over you, dear. I can see him in every stage and phase of your life. The people we need the most in our lives tend to leave us earlier than the rest. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you Prudhvi.
      Always good to see you here.

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  8. Superb! He is definitely proud of you.

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  9. An emotional post straight from the heart. I am sure he must have been a great dad and a proud one to have a lovely talented daughter like you. Miles to go on your success journey with his hand on your shoulder Alka!

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    1. Thank you Rahul. Being a father of a daughter, you, I am sure can identify with the feelings.

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  11. Love this line loads, Alka, Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a #GreatDad. It's so true on the role fathers' play(ed) in our lives. It touches the heart and reminds me of bonding with Dad.

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  12. Oh yes, our parents are always there watching over us showering us with love. How much we miss them when they are gone.

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  13. This is so touching. What would I do without Papa ! :-(

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  14. That's a beautiful tribute, Alka. I'm sure he's around and watching you, every step of the way.

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  15. A heartfelt and touching tribute to your Dad, Alka. I could almost see you writing all this in just a few minutes, as if the words are coming straight from that love-filled heart. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you Beloo. I wasn't sure, but glad I did.

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  16. I share a bitter sweet relation with my dad and that too on extreme ends :( But in the end, bitter prevails for me :(

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    1. Hugs Rupasi.
      Thank you for sharing. I am sure there are other sweet blessings in your life.
      Life, after all, comes full circle.

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  17. I cannot imagine a life without Dad..He makes me feel so safe you know Alka..I guess all Dads do that..Our guardian angels, right?

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    1. Bang on.
      Thanks dear. Have missed your presence.

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  18. I lost my dad in 2011. Your words resonate my own feelings ...

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    1. Warm hugs Jayashree.
      I am sure his hand is on your shoulder.
      It took more than ten years for me to write about it. I had closed some doors because opening them was painful. I lost mine to a very invasive form of cancer.

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  19. It nearly two decades, but every memory brings up another newer one, which had receded into the recesses of the cavernous mind. I am right there next to you feeling my own father's hand on my shoulders. Always love these posts from you , Alka. Hugs.

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    1. Such a joy to see you here. You walk along with my sensitivity and values. Hand in hand.
      Love.

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  20. Very touching. How we love our dads! They will always be with us- if not physically, in our thoughts...
    Well expressed, Alka :)

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  21. What a heart warming read! Even my father gives me diary milk and now I give him sugar free chocolates. And you have said it all in the last line. Do you still say 'please' and 'thank you' often?

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    1. For me it was Five Star and Frooti!
      Thank you for reading Saru.

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  22. Well said ALKA mam, true those who are in our heart can never go away far .. reminds me of a lot of things .. I wish i was a better person then when my dad was alive..

    made me cry this one .. but a good one THANK YOU

    Bikram's

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    1. Most sensitive caring souls feel the same way.
      Thank you to you too Bikram.

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  23. Beautiful post, I'll admit I got a bit teary eyed

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  24. Very heartfelt, very touching, very poignant Alka.This was a straight from the heart post Alka !

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  25. If there ever is a topic or a word or a sentiment that would make me well up, it is 'DAD'. Something about Dads I tell you. They are stern and yet you know how much they love you and how much they can give up for you. I love my Dad a little more than I love my mom. :D
    Your post made me tear up. I am not kidding.
    You are a great daughter!

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    1. Me too Red,loved dad more than anyone else. We shared a special bond.
      Thank you.
      Hugs.

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  26. Heart warming read...A Dad is always revered. Glad to be daughters :)

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    1. Good to see you after a loooong time...
      :)

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  27. He is there - all through this post, though not physically.

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  28. Alka this post made me emotional as I remembered by own dad who was a doctor, who is now not there 'physically' and yes, I still can feel the hand on my shoulder.

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