One day my younger daughter called me and started describing the things she got from me. She said, “I got your nose and hair ( when you had some)”.She then went on to describe how she inherited things from her mother’s side. So today as I thought about penning some lines about Dad I started thinking what were some of the gifts he passed on to me.
Every year, in the month of June (Dad’s death anniversary) is when I go down memory lane for sure. Last week when I saw the picture (below) of Kapil and Amarnath, I remembered how much we celebrated on that night when we had that moment of glory (’83 world cup) and which today we know changed the course of Indian cricket. I am thankful to Dad on behalf of my family for installing that Dyanora color TV when the whole world in our locality was having black and white TV sets. People thronged our house later to see the final funeral of Indira Gandhi, the Los Angeles Olympics, and a Malayalam movie, I think the first one was “Thorakatha Vadil” ( Closed Door). In the last 39 years, the world has changed. My kids have never seen a typewriter, dial phone, or cassette which was part of the 80s. Recently when I was traveling with them I took a photograph and explained those vintage pieces of stuff. I still remember that camera you got from your friend in Dubai which I believe was from Yashika. Another thing which I must tell you about is cricket. I remember you playing a couple of times in the straight strip of land adjacent to our house. I am sure you would have enjoyed the new format of T20 which is quite fast-paced and sums up the state of affairs of our current world. People flock to gain that experience for 3 hours and enjoy those moments to the hilt. It was intended to deliver fast-paced, exciting cricket accessible to thousands of fans who were put off by the longer versions of the game. If you were a hero of Kapil and Amarnath my heroes continue to be Sachin and Dhoni. Sachin is renowned for his focus and preparation. Dhoni makes decisions by his gut feelings and in my opinion he is the better observer of the game. We experienced it last Sunday as well when his team won IPL for the 5th time.
I read an article in the Readers Digest section titled ” Words of lasting interest – The Night the stars fell”. I got hooked on that story and it made me reflect and go into a reverie. In the Readers Digest article, I liked this line, “My father had, to a marvelous degree, the gift of opening doors for his children, of leading them into areas of splendid newness”. I sensed how much my father had instilled in my mind “Photography, Cricket, and music” from a young age. Today we have smartphones which take the best pictures play music and you can see cricket as well. I was amazed at the picture quality of the latest phones. Thanks to what you have done in that brief period of 11 years for me. The National Panasonic cassette recorder you bought and the cassettes you got from Jordan were a gift. I remember the Lahore night cassette of Rafi and Kishore Live which made me love them till now and it is part of my YouTube and Spotify playlist.
My latest fascination is a Mukesh song which I believe I have been humming every day for the last month ” राहों में, राहों में, जीवन की राहों में ,जो खिले हैं फूल फूल मुस्कुराके, कौन सा फूल चुराके, रख लूं मन में सजाके कई बार यूं भी देखा है .Another thing that I am sure my wife keeps highlighting is my spur-of-the-moment change of plans. I think I inherited this from you as well. I recollect how you decided to buy that TV in a day and also give a cycle as a surprise gift. Surely, the most valuable legacy you have passed on is a capacity for wonder and a sense of aliveness and joy in everyday life.
I watched the “Pursuit of Happyness” movie a couple of times with my daughter and every time I see this little clip I remember you and I get goosebumps and my eyes well up. In your short life term of 42 years, I felt that this short video was a reminder of that short life which you well lived. Despite all the quotas of setbacks from your early part of life, I wonder which part of your life you will define as “Happyness”…