Always Daddy’s Little Princess….

Today I am missing my father. That seems to be a strange thing to say considering it has been 33 years since he passed away. Thinking back, I barely knew him, my father. To me, he was this handsome giant with gentle hands, who brought the smell of Old Spice and Capstan cigarettes when he came into the room, who wrote me lovely little notes and placed them under my pillow on days he came home too late to see me awake. He was the superman who would take me to the beach on a cycle every Sunday and get me a huge tutti frutti cone, who would scoop me up in his arms and run with me to the doctor when I was burning up with fever, who carefully shook my loose tooth and pulled it out just so that I never felt a thing. My pappa’s hands had magic, he could make a bump on the head feel less painful immediately, he could make things out of paper, he could draw wonderfully and he had the loveliest, most elegant handwriting I’ve ever seen.

I remember the strangest things about my father, the way he sat with the newspaper on Sunday mornings, with the armchair angled just that to catch the morning sunlight, the bunches of flowers he brought home every Sunday morning and how carefully he arranged them in vases through the house, his distinctive whistle, which announced to me in the building compound that it was time to come home, how he would carry me on his shoulders so for that brief moment I was the king of the world in a manner I would only realise when I saw Leonardo di Caprio do on the prow of the Titanic, in the movie, many years later. But then, I was his princess.

When they told me he had died, I didn’t realise that I would never see him again, that I would never feel as safe and protected as I had in those nine years of my childhood. I didn’t get a chance to hug him, to say goodbye. I’m still grappling with the finality of his death. That immobile body lying on the floor wasn’t my father. It couldn’t be. My father was so full of life, so larger than life that his presence filled a room when he entered. I heard about him from people who knew him as I grew up. I patched together the father I never knew. When people told me I looked like him, I was gratified in a strange way. When I look at my face in the mirror now, in my forties, I see a female version of the face I remember. I wondered how my life would have turned out had my father been around to see me grow. I wondered if he would have been proud of me. He who raised me to be a hell raising tomboy and never bought me anything but shorts and trousers in an era when girls were in ribbons and laces, he would be glad that I live in trousers today.

I dream about him coming back, and me introducing him to my husband, my son. These are the men in my life now, pappa, I would tell him. I married a sportsperson too, pappa. My son is training to be sportsperson too. They remind me of you, they make me feel as cherished and secure and loved as you did.

Time heals everything they say. What they don’t tell you is that the pappa shaped hole in one’s heart will never ever get filled.

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About Kiran Manral

40 and battling flab, wrinkles and grey hair. Fighting a losing battle with the weighing scale. Living with the two loves of my life, my husband and my son. Serial buffet offender and reformed shopaholic.
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17 Responses to Always Daddy’s Little Princess….

  1. Sue says:

    I’m sorry, K.

    I still dream of my grandfather and wonder how my life would have been with him around, and wish I could introduce him to Vicky and Rahul.

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  2. lovely post, Kiran! wish I could write something like this about my dad… i hardly knew him either, since he passed on when i was barely 5. i can hardly recall his face today, though everyone tells me i am the spitting image of him and that i talk and behave exactly like him. when samhith talks of cricket and my uncle smiles and says he talks like your dad did, it brings this huge lump to my throat, and i wish i could rememeber that…. as you so rightly say, that papa shaped hole never goes away, though its been 34 years now! treasure those memories, because thats all we have!

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  3. touching indeed. Its true that even time cannot heal certain losses….

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  4. Lavanya says:

    This was beautiful – I feel the exact same way about my grandfather who passed away when I was 7 :(

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  5. dipali says:

    I’m glad I had my father for as long as I did. I don’t think a day has gone ny over the past three years when I don’t think of him. Yours left you way too soon, KIran. Big hugs. I’m sure he’s really proud of youand your two men, wherever he is just now.

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  6. BEV says:

    Big hugs. All grown up as I am, still shudder at even the thought of losing dad…

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  7. Khan Mukhtar says:

    The father is always a protective cover and it is always reassuring when your father is around. God bless your father the eternal peace and you the courage to travel on the footprints he had left behind.

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  8. NK says:

    What a beautiful post Kiran. It brought tears to my eyes. I am sure your father is smiling down upon you from above, proud of all that you have achieved in life. Your post was a good reminder that we need to cherish the people in our life that are dear to us.

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  9. AA_Mom says:

    Touching. He must be happy with where you are in life Kiran.

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  10. Beautiful post. The fact that you cherish the memories you shared with him 33 years back, goes on to speak miles about the special bond you shared with him. Nothing beats the father daughter bond Take care.

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  11. sukanyabora says:

    I am sure he is looking down at you from wherever he is with a big, big pride filled smile. Hugs.

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  12. Taa's mom says:

    I can see tears rolling down your cheeks when you wrote this Kiran. I am sure your papa has come back to you as your son, as he would have never wanted to leave you . Take Care Princess

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  13. very touching….you are right ..some holes can never be filled…take care…

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  14. Som says:

    :-) I can soo much relate to this.i follow u on twitter and happen to come here frpm ur profile and this post simply touched my heart! I also lost my dad at a young age..i was 20 and still,studying! The loss is something which u realise more n more with each passing day! But its imp to carry all the good memories in ur heart and remember him like that :) i also kinda feel nice when ppl tell me i m female version of my dad n even speak n think like him :-)

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  15. Mandira says:

    Beautiful post, Kiran.

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  16. Oleg says:

    Hey!

    Are You Indian? Are You traveler? Have You ever been in Europe… for exemple – in Poland? :)

    (sorry for my poor English, but my native language is Polish)

    You must see my beautiful country, old castles, amazing landscapes, delicious food, great people… and other more :) if You want know more about Poland let type EPIC POLAND in search-box on Facebook :) or here is link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Epic-Poland/652932704723120?fref=ts

    And if You were ever in Poland, in Wroclaw city, I can help You :)

    Greetings from Poland!
    Oleg

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  17. theonlysup says:

    wonderfully expressed. i was so moved. what a nice father.

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