Brimming Over

It’s been a while. For a variety of things.

The Mumbai skyline is grey. Odd for a March morning. But it is. Or at least, so it seems. The breakfast has been missed a few times sunk in aimless walks and sullen stares into the sky. So have dinners. The snacks haven’t been missed. In fact, they have more than compensated.

Brimming Over - Father Daughter Relationship - Emotional Father's story

I think of the last time I spoke to her. It is a long while ago. I pick up the phone and dial. The phone rings. Rings. And rings again. I hang up. A message pops on the phone, ‘We just spoke 28 minutes ago! All fine here. Let me know if urgent. Will call later’.

I sigh. Get on to do other things. For a long time, I shuffle in bed with protracted motions of a drunken caterpillar. Sleep hits me in fits.

Early in the morning, I run. The feet pound the pavement waking up irritated dogs and the odd tea seller. My thoughts are with her. Would she have woken up by now? I wonder. Maybe she is shifting in bed. Would she even think of me, I wonder.

My run isn’t going too well. It is taking me forever to complete a small distance. I don’t mind. I hurry home. Pick up the phone and send out two text messages. ‘Hope everything is ok’.

The silence that comes back as a reply reminds me that this time of day is called ‘wee hours of the morning’. I stretch. And as I lift my head my eyes catch her photograph on the side table. Those eyes. Those keen eyes reeking mischief and a boundless love speak to me. The eyes that lift my mood and warm my heart.

I look into the phone. No messages yet.

In a short while I assemble all the assorted paraphernalia a modern work day holds and head out lugging the laptop bag. It is still early for the world to hit the road. The RJs blabber in the background. I realise I am immune to any pain like their blabber when my thoughts are about the pretty little thing in my life. I reach office quickly. I park.

I look into the phone. No messages yet.

As I stow the sunglasses in the glove compartment, my fingers find something that I haven’t seen in a while: Her hairclip. A broken hairclip from the past. The hairclip that used to sit on her head and hold her hair pretty. I sigh. The hairclip nestles in my palm for a brief while. The RJ is saying something inconsequential in the background. As usual.

I sit there in the car park. The hairclip nestling in my palm. It catches the security guard’s attention. To see me park, stay inside the car and stare emptily into the sky with a hairclip in hand. “All ok sir?” he asks. I smile. And nod.

I look into the phone. No messages yet. Silence rings louder than the loudest ringtone in town.

I amble to my desk. The janitors are still at work. I open the laptop and voila, the blank dark screen has her finger prints. Eight in all. For some reason, some weeks ago, she saw me working intently on some inane mail, came over and planted eight fingers on the screen. Keeping her thumbs to herself.

I sigh. I look into the phone. No response yet.

I dial.

The missus picks up the phone. “WHAT?” She asks. I mean, it isn’t this bad, usually. But today it seems like Princess Diana shouting at the stalking Paparazzi!

“How is she?” is all I can muster.

“She is fine. She is fine. She is fine. She is fast asleep now. She was awake the whole night and she’s just slept an hour back. Don’t keep calling. Ok?”

I am silent.

She calms down. I realise am talking to a sleep deprived lady. And a wife too.

“Are you at office already? Its just 7.30” she says.

I am silent.

“Get on with work” she says. “And don’t behave like a smitten teenager ok? Your daughter is just fine. And she isn’t thinking about you”.

“Smitten teenager?” I ask. But the missus is long gone. That was an insult. I think. But I couldn’t care less.

Brimming Over

The next couple of weeks, my days go by slowly. Thinking of her. The missus and the daughter are away. With my parents. I spend my time preserving her fingerprints on the laptop monitor and nestling the broken hair clip for company.

Work helps. For there are a ton of things to finish. I have to earn the bread.

I speak to them on the phone now and then. I am often told that she is fine. That she goes around showing my picture and shouting ‘papa papa’. The heart twitches more whenever I hear that.

After what seems like the time Sachin Tendulkar has been playing cricket, finally it is time for them to head back home.

I hurry to the airport. On that day, if there was an “Eagerest beaver” award, amongst all the eager beavers awaiting people landing in the airports of the world, I would have won it. Hands down.

In some time, I spot her. She sees me. Doesn’t say a word. I extend my hand. She still clings on to the missus. I extend my hands again.

She keeps looking at me. Tears well up in her eyes. Not a sound escapes her lips. Her sixteen month old cheeks witness a torrential downpour of tears. No crying. Not a sound escapes. No wailing. Just tears. I don’t know how to handle this.

In some time, she clings to me.

I look at the missus. Who smiles. I want to tell her, that the ‘smitten teenager’ comment was inappropriate. ‘Lost lover’ would work with me. I think.

But today, nothing matters. The missus hands me her handkerchief. It catches the first tear that overflows my eye that has been filled to the brim.

Kavi dabbles in writing, reading, traveling, photography, long distance running amongst other things. He and Shanti have their hands full with their adorable toddler, Kayal. In-between all of this, he gives an arm, leg and everything else to earn a living. Usually accomplished by punching keys, attending meetings and trying to sound profound. He blogs at http://kavismusings.blogspot.com & tweets @kavismusings. Just in case you are intrigued enough to know more about him please head to http://about.me/kaviarasu.

  • Absolutely brilliant. Speechless.

    • 🙂 And then came the response which left me speechless! 🙂

  • Yes, brilliant it is.

    • Thank you sir! 🙂

  • Diby

    Wonderfully emotional. Connected nicely 🙂 I always remind other parents – kids grow up faster than we think. Enjoy every moment!

    • Thats such a nice thing to do Diby! I am reminding myself that often as well. That their ability to grasp is far beyond what I could think of!

      Thank you for stopping by! I am so glad that this connected. 🙂

  • He wanders
    lonely as a cloud,
    empowered along the coast;
    then heavy
    with moisture,
    as he swerves inward,
    seeking a special tree.

    Beseeches the wind,
    to rush over and check,
    begs the Sun,
    to shine and search,
    and glowers at himself
    loaded with
    unanswered questions.

    A fresh morning
    before the Sun is up,
    he rushes
    to hover
    over a special garden,
    where she blooms
    in her own special way,
    amidst
    the unbounded love
    of so many
    grandtrees,
    and younger bushes.

    Rushes to meet her,
    the little bud,
    as she welcomes
    the day,
    her pretty petals blooming
    her leaves staunchly
    attached to the upright stem.

    Those little shining
    pearls of dew
    adorning her
    petals and leaves
    at dawn,
    and he wonders,
    if he melted
    or if they were
    a little bud’s tears of joy.

    • Well..speechless, should I say!?!

      The speed and the precision with which the words flow are immense and awesome. What I take two pages is done in twenty lines. Far much more elegantly. Poetry scores. Always!

      Suranga scores. Always! 🙂

  • Kamal

    You have a winning story line, you lost lover!

    Looking at both of you, the love and the lover, am sure that there are many more winning emotional stories in the pipeline. Best wishes!

    • Thank you sir ! Thank you! 🙂

  • Vikram Singh

    Well done Kavi. Enjoyed reading this very much.

    • Thank you Vikram! It is indeed nice, when you say it. With all the books and the experience behind you! It is indeed nice!

  • Roshni

    awww!! The obsessed dad!! So very sweet, Kavi! I’m sure the missus also is so very happy about that!

    • The missus will always tell you that I can perhaps do more! 🙂 I agree. I always do! 🙂

      Thank you Roshni. Delighted that this connected with you.

  • Made me cry and miss my Papa … and I am 50 years old! Brilliant writing

    • Ah! I am touched beyond words. Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you indeed.

  • This is just AMAZING. Loved every single emotion you have portrayed.. loved it.

    • Thank you Falak! It gives me more energy to get back to more active writing!

  • Sweety

    Beautiful..wonderful..and loveful..let me cry first 🙂

    • Thank you. And i am delighted you say ‘loveful’ ! I would like to think there isnt anything but that!

  • 🙂 There was suspense at the beginning .. and then halfway through, I thought u are missing your missus and then the ending 🙂 .. It was a good read …

    • Ah..I miss the missus too. I mean, really. And I am not saying this just because She reads this stuff ok ?!? 😉

      It took some time to craft this post. And your comments makes it fulfilling. Thank you!

  • I can understand your feeling, Kavi! My husband used to come back home by 3 pm from his office, jut to play with his son, first son!

    She had tears when she saw her after a gap? God bless her! Great post!

    • Oh ! How I wish I could do that! Come home by 3 PM!! Whoah. How cool would that be!

      Indeed she had tears. I was just so unprepared for that. Completely stumped! Thank you for the wishes

  • ‘Unputdownable’ !

    • Thank you sir! Thank you!

  • How beautifully you have portrayed your love with words and your daughter’s emotions in the end. Brilliant …….brillliant….. Glad she is back with you. Stay blessed, kavi.

    • I would need all the blessings Asha. Thank you for all the good wishes. I am such a greedy chap for good wishes for her!

      I am delighted this resonated so well with you. Thank you!

  • 🙂 too good… Now I am worried as my kids get get ready to pack to go for summer vacations.. to their grandparents…

    • Ah! That IS something to worry about! 🙂 I can tell you from experience! But I guess they find their ways of having their fun. As a friend said earlier, they grow up far faster than we think!

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Reminded me of my father.

    • I have been completely stumped by the number of people who have been reminded of their dads. For that fact alone, this has been fulfilling.

      Thank you for sharing. It just makes the heart rustle a bit more loudly. Thank s

  • love you papa… and miss u

    • I am sure your dad misses you too. I can only say that much, as a father! Thank you for sharing such an intimate personal story on this post.

      Thanks

  • Fab

    Beautifully written, Kavi!! It’s not often that we get to read a father’s perspective 🙂

    • Well, I am glad this fills a void! Thank you Fab! Appreciate your stopping by and leaving the comment. Love it

  • Raj

    Loved it and it resonated…..a lot!!

    • Thank you Raj! Glad it resonated!

  • Amrita Thavrani

    Ah !!

    • 🙂 🙂

      Thank you! Conveys a whole lot!

  • Whoa ! Are you allowed to write like that !

    Enjoy these moments …kids will grow up real quick !
    … As they grow these moments will not go away, but will be different !

    • Thank you Kevin. I am doing my best to soak into the moments so that they stay. In the mind, that is. I am doing my best! yes!

      thank you for stopping by!

  • My dictionary of adjectives has run through.. no word left to praise your writing Kavi!

    I could imagine the scene happening in front of me… exactly how it must have happened!

    *lost lover* best!

    • Ah! How do I respond to such a generous comment like that! Well, thank you! Thank you! Thank you. You’ve put a spring in my step. Thank you.

  • Heart-warming. Beautiful. Emotional. A dad’s love is so under-rated and underestimated.

    • Indeed it is underrated. Perhaps because it isnt spoken of. Or maybe because it isnt put on display! Because it isnt seen, it doesnt mean it isnt there! 🙂

      Thank you Reema for sharing your views. Thanks a million. Loved it!

  • Danny

    Hey Kavi, have been going through the scenario that you have mentioned for the last 16 months, and yes, I can relate to every word you have written. The only difference is – the scenario as of now is not only with my daughter but my Son too , who is equally Loving and sometimes the pain of being away bites verry very hard…………..

  • Kavi, this is my visit to your site. I am overwhelmed!! Father and Daughter bonding is universal. Your little princess is too small to feel it now. As she grows, you will be her hero, the BEST DAD in the world.

  • Left me teary. My lil one and I are about to leave for a vacation and I could see my husband calling us in the middle of the night because it would be morning here and he would miss his lil best mate at the breakfast table.
    I’m sure my husband would love this post even more than I did.
    Thanks for sharing such beautiful personal story. God Bless the lil angel.

  • Aww! Been there! I always say I fall more for my husband when I see him as a dad. It will soon be time – your daughter will want to marry you!! and will hate you talking to other women (the better half included). We just hit the phase and needless to say I am quite upset. Daddy will always be the first hero 🙂 Hugs