It started with a message. My dad messaged saying “Hello Guddu…”, and then I replied, saying “Hi, Daddy Betta” and then called him because he had woken up to the dawn. His body clock couldn’t bear being in bed for more than a minute he was intended to wake up at. That’s what he said, but I phrased it better. After all, I am my dad’s daughter, I do carry the genes of words in my blood.
We talked the usual, he asked me how I was doing, I asked him how he was doing and what he was up to today. Usually, conversations with my dad go short and brief. The same old conversation every time just with different words every day.
Today was different, it was one of those conversations I rarely have with my dad. I asked him how he found the book he finished reading, and he went into such a beautiful monologue about the book describing what he felt, the story, how the people in the story are and so much more.
The key moment I remember from this conversation is that he kept defining straightforward terms to me, which I clearly understood. He kept asking me if I knew what some of the words meant and I said “yes, dad, I did learn all these in school ” to which he said ” I don’t know, you rarely come up to me and talk about” This touched me to my very core. I was on the verge of tears, but I kept going. What he said was the truth, and it hurt.
My dad doesn’t know a lot about me, and it hurt him and myself. I don’t know a lot about my dad, either.
There was this invisible wall between my father and myself, and I didn’t know how to fix it. When my dad talks with my friends, he speaks so fondly of his memories and what he did, and that is one of the very few time I know about his life. I get jealous of my friends because they interact with a side of him that I never get to interact with much. Everything I know about his life comes from my mom or through conversations with my friends. I don’t remember having conversations with my dad about his college/school/past life much.
It upsets me because I want to know so much about my dad, but I just don’t know where or how to start. Whenever we talk, it’s usually about my degree or what I am going to do. After a while, it gets tiring having the same conversation with him about my future. I understand my father is concerned, but I want to talk about so much more, dad.
While he was telling what he loved about the novel, I told him whatever he said was very relatable as it was something I was studying now. We shared our ideas and notions about literature and the world, and it was such a pleasant conversation. When he was talking, I thought about how much of an amazing lecturer he would be. I would gladly sit in my dad’s classes and would be honoured to listen to him talk about books and the themes of it.
My dad and I have a good relationship. We joke with each other, he tells amazing poetry and puns but what I want more is to have deeper conversations other than where my future is going.
I love the moments we have shared. Our conversations and walks in Dubai and Singapore, having your first beer in a pub with me, dropping me off to Uni for the first time, cooking for me, teaching me how to cut tomatoes, dropping me everywhere I wanted, our Friday morning drives in Dubai, our scooter ride in Kerala, our bike ride in Dubai, your dune buggy accident in the dessert, having Pani Puri in the shops in Bur Dubai, us going to the DVD store to buy films to watch. I also love the songs that you listen to, you have good taste in music dad as for your movie taste in Bollywood, not so much…
I remember it all dad. I can’t wait for more moments and conversations with you.
I am growing up, and I have so little time with you. I do not want to have regrets. I want to know your side of the story, I want to know why you did certain things and why you didn’t. I want to know all about the what if’s and the but’s and the yes’s and the no’s. I might not understand why you had to do some of the things you did but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know anything about you. I want to know everything about you, Dad.
Daddy betta, I know you are reading this. I have a tough time speaking out how I feel, but through words, I can tell it all. Don’t be upset while reading this, okay.
I know it might be hard for you, I or us to start from somewhere but that does not mean we shouldn’t give it a try. I might get irritated and annoyed but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try. “I am the exact photocopy of you” as people say, so you know better how to deal with a mini you.
Some times when you pamper me a lot by speaking in a accent you usually talk with small children and babies, I do get annoyed but I do enjoy it as well. Don’t ever stop doing it despite my annoyance. I love it. Amma always says that “he does it because you are still a small child in front of him and don’t ever get annoyed at him for that”. I get it but I do also want you to see me as an adult as well.
Dad, I love you so much and thank you for working so hard for our family and me. You do so much, and I want you to know that your efforts will be rewarded and are never unnoticed. I do hope I make you proud, daddy betta. We have had our fights and arguments, but I love you no matter what dad. I do hope you know that.
I will always be your “Chunnu babba betta and how much ever nick names you want”!