Appa and I share a strange relationship, perhaps because we are too alike. Both of us had vicious tempers, well, what am I saying, we still do and there were years when we would hardly talk to each other. Ma always had to intervene to stop our fights. We still fight, but there is a lazy quality to it these days, almost an indulgence in arguing.
Appa and I talk a lot these days. I'm so glad. Over the years, he never ceases to surprise the hell out of me when I least expect it.
During graduation, when I knew I wanted to be a journalist, it took him a while to accept that, both my parents did. The first almost-shock was when I moved to big bad Bangalore and there arose a situation where I was to live alone. Almost four years ago, I remember I had found this lovely little house and just got to know that I wouldn’t be getting a room mate after all. Crazy that I am usually, even I was apprehensive about living there. It was Appa who categorically said that I would live alone. I think both ma and I were too surprised to react.
I remember him convincing ma that living by myself would make me independent and responsible and that I had to learn what it was like “out there”. Those initial days of being so 'out there' are amongst the best days of my life.
Over the years, in the tumultuous twists of life, he has continued to amaze me with his support, even for some of my impulsive, mad projects. His support is absolute, no questions asked, if that is what I thought, it was what I would do. The underlying brief though has always been that I would have to be responsible for all that I do.
Today, I stand at another very important stage in life. There are many changes, many things, ideas and projects. Like always, I am nervous and a tad apprehensive. But I was talking to Appa the other day and discussing these things with him and all he told me was to go ahead, even when it sounds illogical and quite impractical at the moment. “Go and see what’s out there. You must do it. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. But either ways you will learn life. Go out there,” were his almost exact words. And yet again, he had taken the wind out of my apprehension. J
I call ma one of my best friends, one of the few who will understand why I do the things I do. I hadn’t quite realized that Appa was even more of a support.
This was something I had acknowledged in my dissertation back at university. To Ma, for being there for fights and hour long talks, recipes, travels, stories, fights and laughter. To Appa, for always making sure I learn my lessons and make my mistakes, my way.
To my parents, for loving me enough to let me go. Love you.