Sunday, June 21, 2015

AN UNION







Pic.: Shankar Ramachandran


Today is a Sunday… a school holiday. But, I saw many children in their uniform in the compound of the school where we do Tai Chi on Sunday mornings. “They have come to observe the Yoga Day," the watchman told me.
“Tai Chi’ is not Indian, dude,” I reminded my smiling heart, “it is Chinese.”
But, then, the breath that took in and let out… the attention… the awareness… the stillness of the present moment, call it meditation, if you wish… yes, frankly, it didn’t matter if I did Yoga or Tai Chi or Kung Fu…
No one wished us ‘A happy Tai Chi Day’… We had gone there to observe ‘health’, respect ‘life’… So, for that one-and-a-half hour or so, we quietly did our exercises and came home, feeling a lot healthier and happier.
When I reached home, there was a call from my son who works in Bangaluru. “Hi dad, just wanted to wish you on Father’s Day,” he said…
I could feel the warmth and honesty in my son’s words; “Thank-you son,” I reciprocated.
What is sincere, you can feel it from hundreds of miles afar… and, what is not, hearts can unmistakably sense, too.

My dad is not around, today. He died at my age – 57 – some 32 years ago. A simple man he was… Blessed with a raw and rustic talent, he loved to sing Konkani and Rafi songs… And, he drank, too, raw, like a fish… He smoked like a chimney… He was a mechanic… worked for a local boss… earned peanuts, hardly half of which reached home… for our mom to feed us, house us, clothe us. And, yes, educate us, too…
Those days, they hadn’t invented the’ Father’s Day’. So, when our dad was alive, we, his five sons, never said to him “Dad, just wanted to wish you on Father’s Day”. Today, I want to… Really, with all my warmth and honesty, just the way my own son had done today… And, I know, it will reach my dad… millions of miles afar, and decades of moons later.
I have never told my son, how much I have struggled and sacrificed for his sake. My father hadn’t told me that, either. It took many, many, many years for me to realize that such things are never shared by ‘dads’…

A few weeks ago, in one of our PD sessions, I showed the young-ones two of my favorite ads. One, the latest Google ad – ‘Help your mother to be online’. The warmth between the daughter and the mother melted our young-ones’ hearts. And, when I showed them the second one – ‘My Father Lies’, a MetLife Insurance ad, they couldn’t control their crying, anymore!







Yes, my father lied to us… that he had a great job, that he was not hungry…         

“A Happy Father’s Day, dad… It has brought us closer – you and me, my son and me…
Perhaps, that’s what ‘Yoga Day’ was supposed to bring us, today: an UNION!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Video: YouTube


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