Who is dada?
Dada was just an year old when I was born. Once he started going to school , I too demanded a bag and a tiffin. I wanted to goto school because dada was going. The beautiful frilled frocks and laced tops never fascinated me. I thought shorts and t-shirts were the most befitting attire for me just because they were worn by dada. I was even happy to wear the old ones that no more fitted him. Dada was a role model. Imitating him and his gestures came naturally to me without force or effort.
So while I copied most of his actions certainly we had our individual identities. We were dissimilar in many ways. Dada was quiet, gentle, serene while I was loud, impulsive and playful. Being the younger sibling I enjoyed taking liberty.
By the time we reached primary school, Dada demonstrated great capability for sports. He was a bright student, brilliant who could easily grasp concepts of science and mathematics. Never studious nor a book worm but one who was genuinely interested in understanding the principles of life.
A prolific reader and a spontaneous writer, he particularly enjoyed playing with words. I can still recall the cricket commentary that he would deliver. It was mesmerising, the match was captured in all its essence, the pitch, the ducks and wickets, the sixes and fours all floated in front of my eyes like a live Telecast. His tone bounced at every pace and fell at each dismissal. It was flawless, the language, the grip and excitement…and why not? Cricket was his favourite game.
He was equally skilled with the bat and the ball while he himself was at the crease. Football, badminton, basketball occupied most of his attention while he was also the unbeaten champion in 100 meters sprint.
For me dada was perfect in all aspects. It was he who inspired me to participate in sports and excel in studies ; for like I mentioned I wanted to be like him: intelligent, all rounder and everyones favourite.
Apart from the fact that he was thoughtful, caring and mature we shared a relationship like any other. We fought , played competed against each other , played and shared moments of immense fun and laughter. I remember how he was fond of sweets and ice _ creams. We often kept an eye on the last piece of sweet in the refrigerator. The coke was a luxury we used to enjoy only twice in a year and that was after the completion of the annual exams. Though I was not very keen on consuming the drink , yet I did not want to miss the opportunity to taste it. Dada would eagerly wait to see me leave it half finished so that he could gulp the remainder. When it came to ice_ creams they were too frozen a treat for my milky teeth and I could rarely eat them . Very politely Dada would enquire me, ” Can you finish it ?” Then would follow his moment of delight.
As we entered junior school we had created our own circle of friends and activities. We were also acquiring our new set of skills. Papa taught him to ride a scooter . When I joined judo classes he took pride in taking me on his scooter to them. Very rarely did mother leave us alone at home but when she did Dada would act like a guardian . Sometimes he used to make simple butter or jam sandwiches . The idea of doing things on our own was exciting.
Then one day , Dada was not there. He was just nowhere. I suddenly found myself alone as if I was groping my way in darkness. Everything , everyone was silent. As painful as it was to exist without his presence it was the truth that Dada would never return. Dada left us forever on his solo journey. The Lord has his own ways of communicating with us. So it was.
I felt week , miserable. It was hard to reconcile this bitter truth. It was terrible the silence, the pity the notes of sympathy. Why ? Why did this happen? Many said he was a saint.
To me he was a friend, a mentor , an inspiration. Dada was so humble, so polite, he was always himself. His friends adored him not for his skills alone, but for his humility, sincerity and loyalty. Dada was Dada!
Life without Dada was no life. But life never stops. So it moved on and we moved on too with his memories in our heart.
After all these many years I sometimes ask myself who is Dada ? Where is he? Is he a dream a reality?
No he is not pain, nor grief no sorrow. He is the hidden treasure of endless joys of childhood pleasures, he is the creator of many a dreams that we saw together, the first competitor ; who taught me the art to win with grace and the skill to accept defeat with dignity.
Truly he is the inspiration for life. Dada is always with us for he lives in our hearts.