'A' is the first and foremost letter of the English alphabet. It starts another stimulating round of ABC Wednesday.
A is for 'A remembrance' which is extremely close to my heart.
It is in the month of January I instinctively reminisce about my parents fondly. It was during this intensely cold month that they passed away though in different years. I’ve hung their pictures on one of the walls of my bedroom and when I turn right they come in full view. Hanging their pictures was a must. Who knows when I’d like to converse with them to share my moods, joys and life’s existential crises. These monologues always signify a subconscious desire, for them to intervene to encourage and to uplift. You might say how selfish I‘m. Yes, I am. Please tell me, “Is there any soul in this universe before whom I can pour my heart out ever.?”
My prompt is the thought that they are watching me wherever they are. A gratuitous reassurance! Can one buy it? Nah!
My parents' love for me was one-sided. They showered love abundantly and unconditionally. For me, it was just given. Could not be otherwise. For that matter, not for me alone. They were endearing towards my children as well.
Both my parents believed in simple living and practiced high values. They were honest to a fault. They worked hard and believed in absolute truthfulness and righteous action. I’m grateful that they instilled these virtues in their children too.
Mom and Dad were a God-fearing couple. Every morning after bathing, faithfully, Dad would recite Gurbani (hymns) from a small sacred booklet. In the evenings, he’d go through a special recitation from the same. I recall listening to him many a time when young. Mom knew the (shabads) hymns by heart and sang while being busy in kitchen chores.
Dad served in the army. He was a Second World War veteran and fought the Japanese in Burma (now Myanmar) as part of allied forces. He was tall and railroad straight. Because of his army background, he was very active and would be fully dressed up in the morning itself. He always seemed to me the most handsome man in the world.
There was a funny anecdote, which went round in our household when I’s a toddler. To tease me they’d ask me repeatedly whom I would marry when I grew up. Everybody giggled at my expected answer that I’d marry Dad, leaving me in utter confusion.
If a daughter could be friends with her father then I can say I’s so. My Dad participated in all the milestones of my life. He accompanied me to the first school of my life as a four-year-old. I recall hazily how I clung to him crying to be taken back home.
He chaperoned me for my first interview for a teaching job. After my selection, he went along with me when I’s to join posting in a city college away from home. He could manage proper arrangements for my board and lodging.
He introduced me to my future husband and allowed our occasional outings together. We shopped together for purchasing stuff for starting my new home. We selected my wedding dresses together. My mom told me later how he cried after I left for my in-law's place after the marriage ceremonies.
My mom’s role in my life was obviously maternal. I marvel at her courage, large- heartedness and ‘expecting nothing’ attitude. The backbreaking chores she went through to bring up her family were never recognized. I think that was the culture then. Mothers were expected to be like that.
Even in her absence, she remains a steadfast lighthouse and anchor, always there for me in my thoughts We had a deep bonding with each other. Whenever I think of her, I feel her presence around me.
My only regret is that I never voiced my admiration for my parents. I took all their affections for granted. I was thoughtless. I do believe though that they always knew about my loyalty towards them. They shared their concerns with me and valued my advice.
I cherish in my subconscious, countless stories of their magnanimity and pure love but that will take humongous time to unfold.
Friends, welcome here as always! Pl. share your thoughts on the topic.