Let me call him ‘K’ and not give you his name, for obvious and the not so obvious reasons. K has always been a part of my life ever since I can remember. Despite the vast age gap between us(he was so much older than me) we got on really well. The age difference between us never really bothered us. K looked so much younger than his age .He had the energy of a man half his age, and the maturity of a man twice his age! He was that rare, perfect combination. He was also amazingly fit, tall and handsome, with a very striking presence.
He was an excellent swimmer. He was the one who taught me how to swim, when I expressed a desire to learn. He would splash water really hard on me, with a swift repetitive movement of his hands and joined my delighted peals of laughter, when I got completely covered in a water jet, created by the sheer power of his hands.(exactly like the picture you see above!) We were like children when we went to the beach. K could run really fast, and I would try to catch him, running as fast as my legs could carry me .I never succeeded. When I could go on no more, sweating and panting, I would stop and call out to him. He always laughed and said “You have to try harder. Never give up!”
I loved him with all my heart. And I think he knew it too—but we never spoke about it. When I was a gawky teenager, trying to find my footing in life, K was there with gentle understanding. After all, he was a man, and here I was, dealing with only silly boys! He listened when I talked. Really listened. I could talk to him about almost anything, except boy friends.But I think he knew exactly whom I had crushes on.
K encouraged me always to reach my full potential. It is only because of his encouragement that I have several academic degrees today. He loved all my paintings and even when others thought they were just mediocre, K would always say they were brilliant. I don’t think he ever lied to me. He sincerely believed what he said because he could not even draw a straight line, let alone paint! And funnily enough, his belief helped me to become better—not only in academics, art or sports, but also as an individual.
K was already married when he came into my life. He adored his wife and I appreciated the way he took care of her. I hoped the guy I married would treat me the same way.
K was there when I got married. It was no surprise that I had chosen to marry a man like K. My husband understood my special relationship with K, and if he was jealous, he never showed it. In fact K and he became good friends and got on really well. K came and visited us when both our kids were born.
Life now took us in different directions. We were in different cities, yet most mornings, after my husband left for work, and after my kids went to school, the first thing I’d do was call K. K was such a positive individual. I’ve never heard him say one bad thing about ANYBODY the whole time that I have known him. K had an infectious laugh, and a vivacious spirit and just talking to him made me feel so much better.
When I moved to this city 5 months back, I wanted K to visit me. He agreed after a bit of persuasion and booked his plane tickets. I was so happy and imagined us having long talks, in my garden. I pictured K lying in my hammock, gazing at the stars. (I have fond memories of philosophical discussions with him, under the stars, during another time) I was counting the days left to see K, when I got a phone call saying K was dead. It left me frozen.Numb.Speechless.
You see, K was not only my special friend, he was also my dad.
Ps: My dad, Mr.K.V.J.Kamath, retired as the Chief Area Manager of IndianOil Corporation.He died, all of a sudden, unexpectedly, on 7th September 2006.He was not only a great dad, but also a wonderful human being. To know more click on
'call your parents'
A few people sent me messages after reading this, asking if it is fiction and telling me that I write well.They missed the point completely.Every word written in this post is true.The regular readers would know.This piece, kind of wrote itself. It was not intended as a suspense story. I miss my dad real badly.And writing helps me get over the grief.
Also, thank you from the heart to all those who cared enough to leave a comment.It helped a lot.