Thank You Papa !!!
Papa, you are gone now. My mind knows that you are gone. But my heart refuses to accept your going. It longs for your ever smiling face, your words of love, your praise and your satisfaction of an accomplished man. It desperately wants to talk to you. It is my heart papa that seeks to be with you all the time. It didn't know you'd leave so early. It had a story to tell you, it had a few confessions to make; it needed you for a mentor.
Papa, I was sitting by the side of the bed you were lying. Minutes before I had changed your diapers. You were so feeble, that you couldn't speak properly, couldn't eat properly. You didn't have control over your words, over your answers to nature’s call, over your own body of which you took utmost care throughout your life. I was holding your wrinkled hands and caressing them. I didn't know whether you were feeling my touches or not. But Papa, I had access to your hands, your hug, your affection which I wanted desperately when I was young. Back then, I was afraid of you. I couldn't tell you that I wanted a good hug. I just couldn't. Now I know how much you loved me. It was just that your way of showing love was different.
Papa, we took you to the hospital with a great expectation that you'd recover. Your blood group matched mine. And when doctor asked us to make arrangements for blood transfusion, I readied myself to donate blood to you. It was my 37th blood donation. My dear papa, my 37th donation made history in our lives. My blood flowed in your veins and arteries. But It couldn't save you. May be, God didn't want the things to go as per our will.
We couldn't save you papa, despite efforts. You breathed last in front of our eyes.
I imagined the smiling faces of yours and mom when you changed my diapers. How happy you’d have been then, 50 years ago. But Papa, I couldn't control my tears when I was changing your diapers. I wished I could do more for you. I wished you’d have no troubles anymore.
I have no words to thank you for whatever you did to make me what I am now.
I still vividly remember the day when I stole ‘puries’ and got your kick on my buttocks. We were in our home, Maghe. It was some kind of festival I don’t exactly remember now. When I was trying to find something to play with, I discovered a ‘dalo’full of ‘puries’ under your cot. I was hungry and I just couldn’t resist the temptation to eat them. I picked up two, came out of the room, moved to verandah, and started eating. You were right below me downstairs. When you saw me eating ‘puries’ you called me down. I descended trying to control my trembling body and trying to think of what I should speak.
Then you shouted, “Why did you steal puries?”
I mumbled, “I was hungry.”
You said,"Why didn't you ask mom for them?”
With tears rolling down my cheeks, I said, "She wasn’t there, and I was too hungry.”
“OK, this is your punishment.” You said and kicked lightly on my buttocks. Then you picked me up, kept in your lap and said,”Kumud, you are such a good boy. Just take permission before doing anythings. The ‘puries’ are for eating and we could’ve given you if you’d asked.” That was the first and the last case of theft I was ever involved in.
Thank you Papa for teaching me the first lesson of honesty.
Then a day came when I went to Darjeeling with you for study. When we went to our home in Darjeeling I found a large bookshelf filled with books. You had a variety of books and magazines. I was overwhelmed to see so many books at home. The concept of 'library' had just begun to form in my mind; and then I happened to be in your personal library. It was in your library that I saw, for the first time, the several issues of 'Reader's Digest'.
When I got admitted in grade VII in Government High School, I didn't have good English. But you saw me turn the pages of 'Reader's Digest' and taught me how to read. Those lessons were my first lessons in English. After that I kept on reading the issues of 'Reader's Digest'. You taught how to read anecdotes, and then articles, and then book sections. You were a guide on all difficulties in reading. I fell in love with the 'Reader's Digest'. I saved my 'Tiffin' money to buy old issues of Reader's Digest, Navneet, Kadambini, etc.
I became a regular subscriber of the magazine when I started earning myself. I bought books and magazines and started making my own home library. I never thought twice when it came to books.
Thank you very much papa, for inculcating reading culture in me.
When it came to study, you took all other burdens yourself. When we were two, you cooked yourself, washed the dishes yourself, swept the house cleaned and did all the shopping yourself. I wanted to help you many times but you insisted and said, "Please put all your efforts in study, You've got to excel and be very successful in future. Don't worry about all these. I can manage all the chores." You never sighed, never complained and never ordered.
Thank you papa for taking so much pain. And thank you again for showing how parents should behave.
I passed the secondary board exam in first division. And that was the record in itself. The school had no first divisioners for two whole decades. You were ecstatic and happier than I was. And you know papa; I was happier for your gifts which you gave me later. Those were spontaneous, unasked-for gifts. An hmt Kohinoor watch ( a popular and prized possession then), a Chinese Hero pen, a Chinese automatic umbrella, a green jacket and black Bata shoes. I went to St. Joseph's College, Darjeeling with a confidence of an actor. You made it all possible papa.
Thank you for knowing what your son needed and what made him happy.
Years later I moved to Kathmandu in search of better career prospects. We were expecting our first baby. I had a meagre income then and was engulfed in hardship. When I wrote you telling my condition, you readily accepted and sent me a good sum of money through mother to support me. With the sum there was a two-page long letter, every word charged with love and affection. That night I silently wept, holding thousand-rupee bills in my hand and hiding away my tears from everybody around.
Thank you a million times for being so caring and so affectionate.
Thank you for being my father. I feel I am the world's luckiest son to have a father of your kind.