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Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I can see the lines on his face clearly. He looks so tired and old now. His hand trembles as he reaches out to feel the smoothness of the leaves. His body is shriveled up. He stoops when he walks. Soon I will have to buy him a walking stick, I think.

But something is different here. I am not looking at a pathetic sight. Something is not right in this supposedly sad scene. His eyes…yes, his eyes…They are gay and twinkling with mischief.

And there is a slight smile on his face. I don’t see the bitterness of suffering or the cynicism of old age.

I remember him holding my little hand, carrying me, guiding me. I see him working hard day and night to meet life’s demands and support us financially, emotionally, physically and in any other way he could.

“Apa!” I call out and rest my hand on his shoulder. He turns around and looks at me fondly. The way he looks at me shelters me with love and makes me feel like a child once again. I feel secure, protected and complete.

We walk together slowly on the little trodden path. He is not strong and sturdy now but I can see strength in his gentleness, a gentleness which can melt bones.

“You are growing up!” He says teasingly.
“Yeah, I have to! Do you think I will remain a kid?” I reply in mock anger.
“For me you are still a kid!” He laughs.
We celebrate life together. He is always there to help me, nurture me.

“I have lived my life to the fullest. Now it’s your turn,” he says.

I let the depth of his words sink in. I see the beauty of age and maturity in him. I look at him silently but he is busy gazing at a butterfly.

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