Tuesday, July 12, 2005

To Pappa, With Love...

At 15, he had a police case filed against him by illegal tenants when he tried to evict them from his dad's property.
At 22, he was a College Union Chairman and inspirational leader to an entire generation of college and school going students in idukki district.
At 27, he was a first rank holder in MA sociology.
At 32, he had a Ph.D and a degree in law.
At 45, he had travelled to 30 countries and even met Pope John Paul in private.
At 50, he became a Professor of Sociology.
At 55, his peers count him among the foremost social scientists in the country and had travelled close to 50 countries.
He is my dad.

I have long thought I have written so much about me in my blogs yet so little about the man whom my subconscious mind keeps prodding to emulate whenever I am ready to pack my bags off to certain self-destruction. Ironically things could have been different...in my boyhood all I could sense was relatives making silent comparisons between us both and the unworthy, under-achieving son I was set to end up as. The inferiority complex that threatened to submerge my life in mediocrity, later relaxed its hold on me...i made peace with what my dad is and who i am. We may be as different as chalk and cheese...he is a go-getter while I am a get-n-then-goer, he is pushy where i am laidback, he is reasonable where i am steely and stubborn...but today our respect for each other is mutual...i admire all he achieved despite innumerable odds...while he is proud that the kid who nobody every gave a chance got this far.

Pops, today is your birthday and I thought i owe this one to u. You may not have been daddy-cool, you may not have ever kept your promise to play badminton with me when i wuz small, you may not play 28 with us like mom does, you may have beat the shit out of me at times(of course deservedly) but thank you so much for thrusting a newspaper into the hands of a six year old that kick-started his intellectual growth, for all the pushing and shoving that got me a seat in loyola which made all the difference in my life, it may have been hard to pin you down to trivandrum for more than a few weeks and to india for more than a few months but thanks for all the early morning rides to tuition centers and the evening ones to the public library, for the christmas eve you spent without sleep at my medical college general ward bedside(a bike hit!) as we dodged moota bites in tandem and for all the nudging, pushing, threatening, encouraging and scolding you indulged in to get me to break out of the shell of introvertion i forced myself into(hope the devil that broke out of the coccon didnt disappoint you!). Pops, sorry for all the times I rebelled, all the times I walked out on you, all the times I made you cry...I know I have been a most difficult child to raise...but you did it! What I have become is yours and mummy's victory over all the demons in me...what i may become will entirely be my ascendency or defeat over them.

And here's wht I love you most for...from the man I looked up in awe to you became the dad who wud good-naturedly shrug away our jokes abt u, from the dad to whom I cud bring myself to talk to only when mom was present...you broke the ice between us with all the man-to-man, father-to-son conversations we had, that made me realize that beyond the dream castle i had built in my mind for a good life, a life of fun, frolic, happiness and great friends, there was work to be done to sustain all that you had struggled to give us in life. Pops, I have rarely seen you turn away a person seeking help, despite the needs of our family you have always been there for your parents and siblings...as a dad, husband, son, brother, teacher and leader of men you make me proud, but with a grudge...the weight of your legacy rests heavily on my shoulders, it doesnt choke me anymore but scares me to return back to India and I decide to keep slogging away one more day on an alien soil which is slowly but steadily chipping away at my roots. Even if I have never or ever will get around to telling you this in your face... you are the best and I am the luckiest to have been born your son.

P.S: It must have been heavy-duty stuff for all the people visiting my blog......this one was just for you...I have never given you a birthday gift...so I thought I'd write you one this year! Happy Birthday, Pappa.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was real touching mate!.. Your pappa is bound to drop a tear of joy after reading this!!.. I am sure this is his greatest birthday gift he could ever get!

grrrrr...i am getting jealous of your writings...Next janmam for sure, I am gonna beat you..haha

Chillax!

Shan

Praveen said...

Truly wonderful post and a perfect birthday gift for your dad. Well Written!

Aji said...

Jiby this was good . As far as I am concerned all that you had to talk about your father , I think I literally owe it to my mother. She was the one behind me , man. Even after my dad passed away, I think it was her determination and courage in the face of life that helped my brother and myself be whatever we are today. Now, waiting for my Masters to begin in abt 2 wks I think this is the apt moment I need to take to thank Almighty for giving me a person whom I could rely on , trust upon for helping me soar high up into the sky. I love you mom---------you are simply simply great.

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Alexis Leon said...

Jilby,

I came to your blog searching for 'Ullasapoothiri' post, which is said to be one of the funniest posts. But as I was searching for that post, I found this one. This one of the most touching and wonderful birthday present an son must have given his dad. I wish you and your dad all the very best.

Good luck

Alexis