Did you Hug your Father Today?
This post is dedicated to my father F N Zaveri (18th Dec 1933 – 26th Jan 2008)
It is such a guy thing, such a formal thing for a guy to hug his father, express his emotions, whereas normal for a girl to do so. Generally guys are shy in doing so. This includes our dads too. But then the fondness is so constant and second to none, that these extreme feelings do co-exist in all of us. I am not ruling out daughters here but this one dedicated to the Father-Son Bond which exists but is never exhibited.
I love my father. I loved my father. And I will always love him. I pray that wherever he is, he is the same compassionate and charming soul. Most of his worldly wishes were unfulfilled but I trust his wish to be born in Mahavideh Shetra under the guidance of tirthankar of the next chauvisi (era) Shree Srimandar Swami, to attain Moksha is fulfilled next. And I Pray that wherever he is, his saatwik thoughts are with him always.
It was 26th Jan 08, I was suppose to reach home from my official Gujarat tour a day before but could not get tickets, somehow managed a morning ticket by train, informed him at around 8.33 am that I would reach at around 1.30 pm and I was eager to show the Calender of Dada bhagwan that I was carrying from Adalaj. But at 11.00 am I was told on the phone by my neighbors that he was unconscious and doctor was treating him, actually he had passed away, but my neighbors aware of my bonding with my dad, maintained that he has low pulse and they pretended to heed to my advise to call a cardiologist, all this so that I should not break down in train.
I saw him when I reached home past 2 PM, it was already late then. His nose and eyes was stuffed in cotton. And the whole world came crashing down for me. That site of chapples outside the house and the view of my dad’s body unperturbed with my uncontrollable cry was haunting. I started moving my hand on his scalp with love while I could not control my outburst, I kept on telling “Michchamidukkadam” and “Jai Satchitanand” to the departed soul. I just realized how weak I was on this situation which I had feared for years but was not prepared, though we did discuss that we all are like passengers in the train and will get down at our respective station on our time or rather we are in an examination hall giving exams of life and once our paper is through we leave the hall, where each one has his own set of question paper. But when it came to me, I experienced numbness in life and died a million deaths.
I simply hugged his body tightly, kissed the forehead and his right cheek and shook hands with the lifeless body, touched his feet and while I shouted "I Love You Dad, I'll miss you", I realised it was too late for me to confess and it was after too long (well yes our bond did not require all that exhibition but i am confused as I already missed him at the sight of his body). I was dragged in the other room as the eye donation people had arrived with me in the elevator whom I did not notice and it was crucial to remove the eyes within 6 hrs being winter else 3 hrs. And then by 5 PM he was taken to the cremation ground.
It all happened so fast, the unconditional and constant support to me has ceased. He always told me that never give up this battle of change for justice that I have joined. Encouraged me always on "Bhramcharya by understanding and willingness". I will miss a friend forever. All my relatives told me that I should now be taking care of my mom but little did they know that they were still babysitting me.
I was trying to come to terms with the fact and was yet not able to believe, as daily I used to touch his feet and then we used to shake hands. But being on tour that dose of recharge remained pending since 4 days and then forever. Everytime I shook hands I used to tell myself that how much I loved my father and felt like hugging him. But I never did that as both of us were shy. I lost my best friend. And I hope he enjoyed my company too.
When he passed away, for those 10 minutes no one was around, I had crossed surat station in Ajmer Express, mom was in the washroom, and he was lying on the cold floor in the record breaking cold winter with his eyes open, it must be a cardiac arrest (common in winter). I hope he was strong and had a painless departure. He was anyways more afraid of the misuse of law on his family more than his heart or kidney troubles. Somewhere he was confused that inspite of his principles he was victimised. I saluted to him when no one watched me, as I watched his body going in the fire chamber of the electric cremation, he gave a tough fight as a satyagrahi in various roles of his life.
SIFF has lost a silent soldier, who educated people around him regarding 498a, DV and its misuse and also about SIFF movement and the changes since then. He would be interested in knowing each and every case that I handled on the helpline. Closely watched the femilitant behavior on this blog. And hence I also blogged a lot about him and his opinions as he was always with me. He always wanted a SIF Senior Citizens Group.
He loved me blogging and also critically appreciated my articles. Fathers heart after all. I decided to stop blogging for a moment but then I remembered his wish, a command to me, to not stop this contribution as he believed that even if one person is benefited from this blog then the effort becomes worthwhile.
So I would urge to all you guys that tell your Father that you love him. If he is near you let him read this and hey just share a Hug with him, if you are away just call him and tell him that how much you love him, if that is difficult then just write a mail or a letter. And if your bonding is not as shy as most of us then carry on. Else you would always feel miserable like me, like they say 'its worst to live with a person that you do not love and also sad to be with a person whom you love but cannot tell that person.'
So go Hug your Father today and everyday and do let me know now…. (and ya, if you are a father go hug your kid too.)
With Arms wide open (hug me dad, take your crying baby, once again into your arms),