From an image on a carry bag, to a sketch in my journal… A moment well-catalogued, a trip recorded in small moments of complete joy 😊!
We were driving from Dehradun to Delhi. On the way, behind some trees lay a stagnant pool of water with the most stunning Lotus in it!
I wanted the car to be stopped, but the traffic was horrendous. It was a narrow highway and suddenly applying the brakes would be foolhardy. “On our way back…” the driver promised.
I made mental notes on landmarks closest to the pond. Which village was before it, which one after. What was the formation of the trees behind which it lay…
After some days in Delhi, we headed back. I had only one agenda… To find the pond well in time for the driver to give his indicator and for us to get off the road safely.
It’s been years since then. We never found my pond… In my minds eye, it never disappeared. It keeps coming back every once in a while. The color of the Lotus change, according to my preference, but the pond?
It’s always there.
Once a receptacle for hand written letters and postcards, creator of memories that were lovingly wrapped in satin ribbons… Or provider of ‘Dear John’ letters, lies forlorn.
A forgotten relic in a dumpyard, collecting cobwebs, dust and rust… A far cry from the past
I remembered my dad today.
He used to sing old hindi songs while taking one last walk around our home before he slept off. It was like a collective lullaby he sang for all of us. We drifted to sleep either with some Gurbani or a song. He had a mellifluous voice. Completely in tune and with a deep baritone.
Though I was very young, I can still hear him sing, “Mahlon ka Raaja Mila, Rani Beti Raaj Karegi…” It was a poignant song even then, set to a tune that was guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes.
When I was getting married, that song played in my head… I was certainly not marrying a “Mahlon ka Raaja” 😊 But I could feel my dad’s blessing surround me as I left my home for another.
I wonder sometimes about what feelings went through him when he put me to sleep with that song… Was that his way of making sure that the future he dreamed for me entered my subconscious mind too…? That I should treat myself no less than a queen, and carry myself with the dignity of one….
I will never have answers to those, but maybe some questions should just remain unanswered… Because the answer would change nothing… And his blessings could never be diluted ☺️
#memories #dad #downmemorylane
I remember chiffon in pastel shades with roses in Lavender and Mauve…strappy footwear to match, and perfume… exotic and luxurious… impeccable, coiffeured hair and a regal carriage. That was my mom going for an officers party with my dad. An effortless head-turner who wore her charm like a cape of elegance.
When age demanded that she give up her pencil heels for Doctor Scholls slippers, she fought tooth and nail with her doctor, it didn’t help that she had an Orthopedic surgeon for a son😊.
These were her vintage purses. She put a dainty, fragrant, lace handkerchief in it, maybe be a lipstick, but I cannot be sure.
On a recent visit to her, I became the proud, albeit unworthy recipient of her gorgeous purses. I have neither the charm nor her panache to carry them.
She told me to keep them safely for the one person who could do justice to them… And then I got a surprise call from my daughter asking me if ‘Naani’ had left something precious of hers with me, and I couldn’t help thinking, Yes! Her genes! 😁
It was a perfect moment in time.
My mom was visiting and I had cancelled all commitments to be with her without rushing around and stressing unnecessarily. She noticed this and conveyed her appreciation through a gentle smile.
As I booked tickets for a movie followed by a leisurely lunch and discussed our day with her, she couldn’t help beaming. I hugged her and expressed my pleasure at having her home. She hugged me back with a tightness that surprised me. It held in it so much…. Love, pride, gratitude, blessings… Suddenly, my eyes brimmed with tears… My mom had given me everything she thought I might need to manage my adult life with equipoise and now she stood within my arms, frail and delicate, straight – backed and proud.
As we headed home after our ‘date’, soft music filtered from the music system in the car that cocooned us from the outside traffic. Then that song started playing, the one my dad used to sing ever so beautifully…”Chain se hum ko kabhi..aap ne jeene na deeya…” I cast a sideways glance at my mom and saw a small tear form at the corner of her eye…. I skipped it, to the next one… But she requested me to put it back on… By this time a huge lump had formed in my throat too.
“It’s been thirty-seven years… ” Mom said, “so much was taken away from us that day… But his music? That no one can can take away… Let it play…”
We reached home, the sound of my dads singing reverberating in our individual memories… Rich, mellifluous, so him, so me, so mom, so Us….
That can never be taken away….. Ever…