Dear Nanna (Translates to Dad),
I remember you telling me how I was born to you and amma (Translates to Mom) after 7 years of marriage and it’s been 18 years now, you haven’t stopped treating me like an infant. I very well remember amma telling me how you never let anyone kiss on my cheek because you worried I’d become red or probably catch an infection or some uncle’s mustache would irritate me. I remember you holding my hand when there was oncoming traffic on the road or you giving me death stares every time you looked at the B’s in my report card or how you’ve taken my side when I was fighting with amma and chelli (Translates to Younger Sister) and I was getting weak. I remember how you ran back home when you heard me sneezing over the phone instead of taking that meeting or how you would pretend your dhoti was a roof and play with me or how you would brush your hands and make my eyebrows look pretty. I remember how you would put on my socks and shoes before going to school. I remember how you laughed at me when I jumped around looking at some insect. I remember the smile you gave me when I first learnt how to cook and how I burnt a lot of things in process.
I remember the day you got me my first cycle and made sure it had two side wheels so I didn’t fall down and how you refused to teach how to ride a bike because you didn’t want me to scratch my knees. I remember the day you silently gave me a nod of acceptance when amma held me back from going far away to pursue further education. I remember when amma called me up and told me you miss me and you waited for me to hand you over the daily newspaper or your morning coffee and listen to your daily dose of reprimands. I remember how you came to me at 1 am and cried with me.
I remember how you would ask me to stand near the door before you left the house because you always considered me your lucky charm. You tell me I’m an incarnation of your mom and that you prefer calling me “mom”. I remember how you silently put my favourite piece of mango in my plate. You have treated me like a queen and taught me that I shall expect no less from any other person.
Amidst these memories that I relive every day, what I don’t remember is the last time you let me see your hand so you could hide the wrinkles on your palm. I don’t remember the last time you took a walk without panting and waiting for someone to massage your feet. I don’t remember the last time you brought a yourself a shirt or slept without sipping your favourite brand of whiskey or you going to work without reading out your ardent desires in the name of God. I don’t remember the last time you sat with me and spoke about random things and laughed or had dinner with all of us or had the time to show up at family events. I cannot seem to recollect when I saw your face without worries or your eyes without sorrows.
When amma told me I used to cry out your name every time I got hurt ever since childhood,I never knew why I couldn’t think of her in the depths of my despair. Why do you tell me I haven’t been much of an achiever when being your daughter was the greatest achievement I could’ve asked for. I might not be able to string these words well because after all, no combination of 26 alphabets could even explain a sliver of how proud I am to be your daughter.