I wrote this article last year. As it still holds true, I am just recycling it on the occasion of Father's Day 2011.
Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June every year. While we need a father 365 days of the year, this one day has been dedicated to revere him specially. This year, Father’s day falls on June 19.
My dad is Durairajan. To put it in one sentence, "He is the backbone of my family". It is my father who has always taken all the responsibilities, even while my grandparents had been alive.
|My Dad at work at Castrol Ltd.|
My father is too straightforward for words. He or my mother has never ever refused anyone who needs a help – till this day. They have brought us all up with the help of my grandparents with a wonderful set of values that I absolutely appreciate – more as I get older.
I recall a number of incidents from my childhood. It is true that my father used to be very busy with long hours at his job. But I remember him spending a lot of quality time with us.
Even while people raised their eyebrows at the amount of crackers that Appa bought during Diwali as we were all girls, nothing would faze him. I remember the many number of Diwalis he used to light those crackers along with us. It always rains in Chennai during Diwali. The crackers tended to be damp. The determined Durairajan used to set up a stove and a huge tray (தாம்பாளம்) and warm the crackers. I remember so many times he used to hold my hand as I used to be too scared to light the ones that made noise.
|My father and Yours truly!|
There was this wonderful experience when the first World Trade Fair happened at Anna Nagar. We were seven kids at home, including my cousins. Appa wanted to take us to the fair without the pain of travelling in a crowded bus. He and Nagaraju (my grandpa’s friend’s son who used to live with us at that point in time) took two cycles and rode us all the way to Anna Nagar from Chetpet where we used to live then. Some of us had to wait by ourselves while they went home for the second trip. The experience was too exciting for words.
Eating out in Madras was very rare in those days. But Appa had a special treat planned for us every six months. The whole family used to go out and have heavy snacks such as dosas, vadais and more. Having a sweet on these occasions was a must. In fact, we used to begin the party with a sweet, in true South Indian style.
Appa’s office picnics were a different thing altogether. His company used to take the office staff along with their families during these day-outings. Some of the places we went to each year were Mahabalipuram, Pulicut Lake, Sadurangapatnam and Poondi Reservoir. I remember Appa taking us all by the hand and showing us all the monuments and explaining the history of the place and being totally patient pointing out the importance of these places.
About a couple of years ago we all (Jayu, Lak and my families) went to Vaidheeswaran Koil along with Appa. He had arranged for a mini AC bus for the trip. It was an extremely comfortable journey. We left on a morning and returned the next morning at 5.30 am travelling through the night. I am ashamed to say that I grunted, groaned and grumbled about the journey while my 75-year-old father made the trip absolutely cheerfully and enthusiastically. Appa has a totally enthusiastic and positive attitude towards life.
Having five daughters never bothered my parents. It was grandma who was kind of worried. While people believed the maxim அஞ்சு பெண்களை பெற்றால் அரசனும் ஆண்டி ஆவான் – we all believed just the opposite in our family – அஞ்சு பெண்களை பெற்ற அரசன் எங்கள் அப்பா. I remember Sujatha (my elder sister) coining this sentence.
|My dad as he is today!|
DURAIRAJAN stands for:
Raring to go
Jack of many trades
Neat (always well turned out)
Picture Courtesy (Pics 1 & 2): Lakshmi Ranganathan (Thank you so much Lak, for sending me the perfect pics)