Today's Beautiful Gem: `Musings on Father's Day'

My mind is a winding river and memories flood it to-day; I think of
another river that reached the sea of eternity. There are other
rivers too.

My father, I vaguely remember those distant days when I climbed your
knees; I distinctly remember the nights when I urged you to sing songs
for me. Only when I grew up, it dawned upon me that you were indeed
an awful singer! But in my childhood, `Dangu Dingu ramAmaNi'
mesmerised me. I still remember the day when you jumped into the pond
and swam across it to retrieve some article. You appeared to me then,
and even now, like an aquatic god.

What a trying childhood you must have had with no father figure to
look up to as your father passed way when you were just a toddler!
You never lost hope. I am still enchanted by the stories you used to
narrate about the days of your childhood and your growing up. You
taught me the value of work. I still remember your maxim: `Never
waste time, money and water!' You told us quite often that you wished
to become a doctor; but nobody was willing to support you then.
Unwittingly, you became one of the cogs of the Empire. I still
recollect the story about how you all set fire to the foreign cloth
when Mahatma Gandhi came to address your townspeople.

What you could not obtain, a university education, you made it sure
I got. But alas, you were not alive to see the ultimate fruits of it.
To me, you were always a tower of strength, resolution and
independence. You were a real man who never displayed emotions in
public. Whenever I used to open my eyes during my frequent childhood
illnesses, day or night, you were always there by my side reciting
prayers and chants.

Of course, we argued endlessly on all matters and I used to take great
pleasure in making you angry. I know there are no second chances in
life. But, if I were to have one such opportunity, I might definitely
try to understand and appreciate your points of view.

To-day, I have my own children. On one hand, on Father's Day they
would present me with a book or a tape of Bach or Vivaldi. On the
other hand, they consider me as a critical and an eccentric fogey who
could never understand their values and view points. I always tell
them as you, my father, used to tell me: `May your children return the
favour you show me!' But it's the undercurrent Love that binds us all.
Today, besides the razor you used, I am left with only fond memories
of you. Nobody is really dead as long as there are people to remember.
Therefore, my father, you are still alive and I love you still!

Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao