Saturday, July 05, 2014

memories with my dad

Today I suddenly remembered how one Sunday, more than 2 decades ago, my dad and I drove down to Nirula's for sweet lime soda with ice cream. 

It was a hot summer evening, I was hanging out in the house, not doing anything particular. I think Dad was craving this particular ice cream soda. Because he just came up to me out of the blue and said - "Oof do you want to go out for sweet lime soda with ice cream?"  

I was very young at that time, young enough to NOT know what an ice cream SODA is but young enough to know exactly what ice cream is, hear its name and feel excited. So I said to my Dad, "Yes."

And then he said, "Get ready, let's go."

So I did, and we sat in the car and off we went.

The drive was long. Super long. Because when I was small, Nirula's always seemed like the farthest away place on Earth.

When we reached, it was packed. Sunday crowd. Dad got his own soda, and got me a separate one.


My sharpest memories of this evening are that of sticky green goo. I didn't finish my soda. I loved the ice cream but the soda kind of ruined the fun for me.  I remember Dad teaching me how to just scoop out the ice cream from the glass and eat that alone.

Dad had his soda and I think he finished mine as well. I can't remember. What I do remember is that I have been skeptical of lime ice cream sodas ever since that day.

***

Now that I have written about that evening, I find all my memories of Dad are coming rushing back to me.

How everytime he wanted to fill petrol in his car, he would ask me if I wanted to come along for the drive. I would go, roll down the window at the pump and just smell in the petrol. Bliss.


How we used to always go for night walks together. So many night walks. Silent walks, we never used to say a word to each other. Long, long walks.

How when I slipped down the stairs one morning while carrying a bucket of water, Dad insisted on driving me to college instead of having me take the auto rickshaw.


How when I injured my arm with a golf elbow, Dad used to diligently drive me to the physiotherapist every single day and wait until my session was over and then drive me back home.


Sigh.

****

I don't allow myself to get emotional when I think about my Dad. But today seems to be one of those rare days. My cheeks feel wet now, and I'm too scared to examine my emotions too closely.

So many things have changed between those days and how my life is right now. And so many things have changed for Dad.

I think he's lonely now. I don't know if he's given up on life, may be he has.

I just felt like writing this all down because I wanted to remember the Dad I used to know.