It is 30 years today, Daddy

It was the kind of day that you don’t really think will be the kind of day to change your life forever, in such a far reaching way as you could never ever imagine it could. A perfectly pleasant, happy Sunday it was. I was dropped off by my mom to my maternal aunt’s home which was one suburb away, and my father went off on a picnic with his office colleagues. My father. It is a word I haven’t used too often in my life, because my life changed irrevocably after that day. 22nd February 1982. I was nine. My mother came to pick me up suddenly, and her eyes were swollen and red. Another aunt was with her. They looked at me with sympathy. Something had happened, I could understand. But what. My mother was dressed in her home clothes. That set off warning bells in my head. “Daddy’s gone,” she told me.Β  “Gone where?” I asked. “When is he coming back?” “He wont come back now,” she replied. “Never.” And she took me into her arms and burst into sobs. I don’t remember much of what happened after that. We were shepherded back to my paternal ancestral home. My mother sobbed nonstop. My father’s body arrived. It felt cold. Like stone. There were bruises on his body. Inexplicable bruises. They say it was a sudden heart attack, we will never know what happened. Life, as I knew it, as the overindulged, pampered, precocious favourite of the family, was over. I was now the outcast.

Anyway. That’s all done with. And that’s the mother’s strength, that she took me to adulthood with only a suitcase of clothes and no family support, and back then when my father passed away, no home and no money and no job. It was a tough year in transition. We moved from temporary home to temporary home. I became a latchkey child, travelling from Goregaon to Bandra where my school was, while my mother gave tuitions to bring in income. She then got a job on compassionate grounds at the bank my father worked in, and residential quarters. Life got better.

Growing up, a girl without a father or a brother, is tough. I need not elaborate. I grew up. I fell in love. I got married. I had a son. But the vacuum still remains. What would life had been like had my father been around to guide me, to shape my life. Would I have taken the decisions I did, would I have been a different person, would I have had the opportunities and the gumption to take more risks with my life and career instead of settling for the security of domesticity. I wonder. I wonder if my father would have approved of my husband, they’re a lot alike I realise that now, almost like I was hunting down a clone of my father. Both recklessly handsome, athletic, sporty, with overpowering personalities, a primary difference being that my father was a sunny, outgoing personality, while the spouse, god bless his Grinchness, is one hell of an introvert, the kind you find at parties, hiding in a corner nursing his drink, terrified he will be drawn out to make conversation. How would my father have loved my son? He would have laid down the moon and the stars at his feet and pampered him worse than he pampered me.

But then, life has a plan, and this must have been life’s plan for me. To give me a wonderful father for too short a time for me to appreciate him. To make me grow up and become independent, earning my living by the time I was 19. And to ensure that even 30 years later, this mother of one still feels, within her heart a 9 year old, daddy’s little girl, still waiting for daddy to come home.

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About Kiran Manral

Author of The Face At The Window, ( 2016), Karmic Kids, All Aboard (2015) , Once Upon A Crush (2014) and The Reluctant Detective (2011).
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97 Responses to It is 30 years today, Daddy

  1. Lakshmi says:

    Hugs, Kiran. Big bear hugs. I wish I could say more, but I cant. So hugs.

    Like

  2. Kiran, its really sad to read all. I have a daughter and I know what I mean to her. May his soul rest in peace. Speechless … while looking for words further …

    Like

  3. Divs says:

    Hugs Kiran! Reading this brought tears to my eyes. God bless you and your family.

    Like

  4. WSW says:

    God bless you K…that was so moving..

    Like

  5. Deepti Menon says:

    I have tears rolling down my eyes now. My grandad passed away when my dad was 9 too. I have always heard him wonder if things woul have been different if his dad was around.
    Hugs Kiran and to your mom too. The poor souls the deceased leave behind are the strongest 😦

    Like

  6. Jayashree says:

    That was a heart wrenching post.Hats off to you & your mom. moved to tears while reading this.

    Like

  7. Akshata says:

    Hi Kiran,

    I’ve been following your blog and tweets for sometime now and love them both for the wit and the wisdom. This blog hit home for me as I lost my dad just 6 yrs ago in a similar manner and I can totally relate to every word. Especially the last line about waiting for daddy to come home.

    Much love,
    A kindred spirit.

    Like

  8. Shan says:

    Wonderfully evocative, Kiran. I can almost feel the void you described, one that can never really be filled.

    Like

  9. deepti says:

    Speechless!!…big hugs to daddy’s little daughter…

    Like

  10. annonymous says:

    It is very sad to read this post and sadder at times when I see one more girl who is 6 years and lost her father 5 months back.

    I saw her after reading your blog and she was innocently smiling at me.

    I don’t know how much she misses her father deep down in her heart but she has not yet told anything about it.

    The day when her father passed away we told her that he has gone to god’s home and he will never come back, we guess she believed it.

    That girl is my niece.

    Like

  11. chintan says:

    feel like calling my mum and dad after reading this..thanks for sharing this..

    Like

  12. Pervin Sanghvi says:

    “There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.” -John Gregory Brow
    A poignant dedication, dear K. One which makes us value our loved ones each day and thank the universe for their gift. God bless.
    This song is for you and your Dad who would have been so proud of you today. Our son had dedicated it to me, prior to Valentine’s Day. πŸ™‚

    You Raised Me Up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rS-bFYScJQ

    Like

  13. Ruchira says:

    oh kiran what a touching post ! hugs to you

    Like

  14. madhulika says:

    😦 *Reaches out to give you a big hug*.

    Like

  15. Preethi says:

    Hugs to you Kiran. I am at loss of words to say anything beyond this.

    Like

  16. Sunita says:

    A loss of a loved one is something beyond words can express. Deep down, the emptiness remains for eternity yet they continue to live every moment we remember them.
    I truly believe that he surely is gazing down from the heavens, interceding for his loved ones.

    Like

  17. R's Mom says:

    Hugs Kiran..your mom is an extraordinary person and so are you for having achieved what you have..am sure your dad would have been extremely proud of you..

    Like

  18. sscribbles says:

    Quite a touching post, K. Your mom and you both are extraordinary. Hugs, dear.

    Like

  19. dipali says:

    God bless, Kiran.

    Like

  20. Writerzblock says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that, Kiran. You come across as such a lovely vivacious person, I’d have never guessed so much sadness in that heart. This line made me cry :’How would my father have loved my son? He would have laid down the moon and the stars at his feet and pampered him worse than he pampered me’. True, grandparents are like that. Like I tell all my friends, its a LUXURY these days, to have grandparents around to pamper us/our kids.

    Like

    • Kiran Manral says:

      Writerzblock: Absolutely, having grandparents around to watch over our kids and pamper them is the greatest blessing a child could have…

      Like

  21. blinkandmiss says:

    Just wish him lots of peace to him wherever he is and to you and your family. Hugs!

    Like

  22. Simran says:

    Hugs to you Kiran!! And hats off to your spirit and love. Give lots of love to your son and feel good about the fact that your dad must be watching from up there and must be so proud of you!! πŸ™‚

    Like

  23. I’m crying and it just won’t stop.

    Yesterday, I dreamt of mine. This afternoon, I heard one of his favourite songs on the radio, the last one I played for him before he died.

    We’re all daddy’s girl, Kiran. And no matter how we grow or where we go, that’s one of the first things that ever define us.

    Huge, big hugs, Kiran. His spirit lives on in you, you know.

    Like

  24. Trish says:

    Awww Kiran,hugs! too choked up for words..hugs!

    Like

  25. anna says:

    that was heart-wrenching kiran. your mother is an amazing woman. as are you.

    Like

  26. manisha says:

    that was so beautifully written. hugs to you. wherever your dad is now, i’m sure he’s looking down at you with pride. for surviving and thriving.

    Like

  27. I am an ardent fan of your blog.
    But this is by far the most moving post ever.
    Please accept a Hug.=)
    Much love.

    http://www.anounceofeternity.wordpress.com

    Like

  28. Sands says:

    Hugs Kiran. I am sure he is watching out for you and your family from up there!

    Like

  29. Sonia says:

    Oh god Kiran!! I am crying through this post 😦 Big Hugs to you sweetie!! And your mother is just so awesome! I admire her strength, would have been so easy to go into self pity and hang out at some distant relatives home but she didnt, she stood strong to make you strong! I so wish we had a rewind button to go back and stop certain things or certain people from leaving 😦

    Like

  30. B o o. says:

    Hugs, Kiran. Such a heart breaking post.

    Like

  31. Phoenixritu says:

    Have tears in my eyes, you’ve been through a lot. Such a wistful and poignant post.

    Like

  32. Megha says:

    I am sure he’s watching you from above and thanking you for being such a good daughter, mother and wife.

    Hugs.

    Like

    • Kiran Manral says:

      Megha: LOL. I dont know about the thanking part, he would be yelling his head off that I dont do any sports training with the brat.

      Like

  33. A very touching post Kiran ….

    Like

  34. avymom says:

    Truly moving, a part of him lives in you and your son!

    Like

  35. Indu says:

    I dont know what to say but Kiran, your mother is one special lady and we all know where your strength,compassion,love and level headedness comes from! Hugs to both you and your mom!

    Like

  36. sj says:

    just want to send a hug, i identify with so many things you write it’s very uncanny. you have a gift.

    Like

  37. vaidegi j says:

    oh, that was such a shock. I can only try to comprehend the immense vacuum, but not able to offer much by way of words. You have come a long way, and wow having it done on your own, is unbelievable, for some of us who have always had a cushioned backdrop. Your dad must be real proud, and he sure is i would think. Maybe it was meant for you to grow up into someone so strong and not otherwise. And yes hugs your way…

    Like

  38. pvs says:

    such a moving post. bought tears to my eyes….A big HUG to you Kiran!

    Like

  39. Shivani says:

    I’m misty-eyed. You & your mum are both stellar women. Wish you and your family all happiness.

    Like

  40. Anonymous commentor says:

    I can feel what you say, I lost my mom when I was born. And I do sometimes think about what life could have been if she was around. Hugs.
    I am in awe of your mum πŸ™‚

    Like

  41. starsinmeyes says:

    Brought tears. Hugs. Kudos to you and your mom.

    Like

  42. Amrita says:

    wish I had words to lighten your agony
    But sometimes words are not enough. I would like you to know that I feel No person is ever truly alone. Those who live no more, Whom we loved, echo still within our thoughts, Our words, our hearts.

    Like

  43. sukanyabora says:

    30 years and the memory still so strong. the power of loss of a dear one.
    the more i read about your childhood and your young adult life, the more i respect your mom. she is one helluva strong person. you are both blessed to have each other.
    hugs…

    Like

  44. Hugs to you and to your mother too.Both of you are very strong women.

    Like

  45. Hugs Kiran…i dont know what more to say! And Hats off to your mom for making u the person u are!!

    Like

  46. Nitya says:

    Oh kiran. I think he is mighty proud of you, of the person you have turned out to be.

    Hugs.

    Like

  47. Iya says:

    hugs Kiran. He would have been extremely proud of you.

    Like

  48. march hare says:

    Even though I’m the thousandth commenter here to say this, hugs to you and your family.

    Like

  49. choxbox says:

    Hugs K.

    He’s proud of you wherever he is. That much is for sure.

    Like

  50. rupa says:

    just dont know what to say….a big hug to all of you…take care….
    its very sad…very very sad….tears rolling down….
    love,
    Rupa.

    Like

  51. dk says:

    Speechless. I remember the tribute to your Mum you posted a long time ago. This one in your Dad’s memory was equally moving . He too must have had so much to say to you when he was taken away so suddenly. I am sure he has watched over you all these years.

    Like

  52. Pepper says:

    Your writing is so powerful. The post hit me hard and made me shiver. Hugs!

    Like

  53. Kiran Manral says:

    Hey all, thanks a million for the hugs and the love.

    Like

  54. JLT says:

    Had a lump in my throat as I read.
    Hugs. Am sure he was watching over you from up above somewhere….Its what I believe my own Dad is doing ….

    Like

  55. Manish raj says:

    Hmmmmmmmm …… I am following you on twitter from last 4-5 months …. But start reading your blog from last night ….. And I have no words to say anything on this post …. So just want to say you Be Happy ……

    Like

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