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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Awesome dad

My "Anna" is the most awesome Dad ever, because right from my childhood till this day, his complete and unconditional love has inspired me time and again.

I lost my mother when I was 6 and my brother was 13; he lost his wife and the mother to his kids, but he soldiered on, loving us for the both of them. He plaited my thick long braids, gently and tenderly lest it would hurt me; he bathed me, dressed my scraped knees and soothed my fevered brow.He married again so that we could grow up in a secure environment and know a mother’s love. He supported my “stepmother” through all the turbulence of a family adjusting to changes. I learnt that Love means – being fair, responsible and committed, being there for the good and the bad, in sickness and in health, for better or worse; and that the cruel stepmother was indeed the stuff of fairytales.He hoped I would become an engineer like him, but proudly shared with his friends his joy at his “CA daughter”. Abroad for 8 years, he wrote me long letters filled with equal parts of humor and wisdom, giving me the confidence to live alone in Mumbai and then later to embark on my life as a new bride in Chennai.

He may not have agreed with many of my choices, but he always supported me in them. What a gift, to be able to nudge the chick you have brought up, out of the nest, praying that it won’t fall to the ground and watch as it falters and then soars towards the skies.

And then, when I lay in hospital for 3 months, just 26yrs old and weighing 26 kilos, critically ill with the same condition that took away my mother, he quit his job abroad not even bothering to pack. He was there, through my 3 surgeries and the 2 years it took, supporting my husband and willing me to come back to the life that many had written off. “We will fight this, Jira” he would say, shaking his fist at whoever might dare disagree.

I did fight, because every time I looked into his eyes, I saw boundless love; every time I touched his callused hands I felt the intensity of his affection and his anger at cruel Fate. How could I not fight, when I had the world’s best Cheerleader by my side?!

Here I am today, a parent myself; he supported us as we adopted our little baby girl and became the most Awesome Granddad for his “sweet angel”. History repeats itself. I love you Anna.

Sent by Raji Shankar.

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