Monday, August 17, 2015

An open letter to my parents

Dear Ammai and Appa,

Remember those times when I was little, hopping between you, my hands, secure, one each in your hands, tightly held, protecting me from stumbling? I remember. I want to hold your hands too, to protect you.

Remember those times, appa, when Saturdays would mean half days, and you would get back home with an assortment of ‘bakery’ biscuit goodies tucked in three-four brown bags? Today, when I spot ‘sugar-free’ cookies in the supermarket aisles, I pick them up for you, waiting for a Saturday to relive our cookie times.

Ammai, remember how you know everything that’s there in my wardrobe, every shade of colour that I own, buying matching accessories, collecting them inside a pretty little basket and surprise me occasionally for being a good girl? I have a little basket too, ammai, which is filled for the times when we meet once in a year. A basketful of shiny goodies, for being the best ammai. And I know, a thousand such baskets wouldn’t be enough.

Do you remember those Durga Puja preparations, appa? When you got your bonus? You transferred all the money to my account for me to buy that fancy Blackberry, when you had that polyphonic little matchbox as a phone? I remember. I’m saving money too, appa, for the day when I will be able to do the same for you.

Appa, remember the day you sobbed when you couldn’t get me the toffee, a ritual you never missed for a single day? Remember how you couldn’t get it when you didn’t have enough? I remember. I feel the same way when a shirt I pick for you falls out of my range. My heart sinks.

Ammai, appa, remember how you always wanted me to get promoted from Class 1, to Class 2, from school to college, from studies to work, from an intern to a trainee? I want you to get promoted too. From running behind a bus, to taking that auto, from that to enjoying a chauffeur-driven car -- I want to feel that bliss of seeing my parents live a life of luxury.

I’m working hard, not as much as you did for me, but hard enough, for me to be able to make that dream come true. I’m working hard for you ammai-appa, because, now, it’s my turn.

I want to buy the world for you. Oh, if only I could gift-wrap everything that’s there, everything that there could be. But, I prefer being a good person, something that you raised me up to be, something that you wanted me to be. And surprise you with everything that money can buy. And things that it can’t.

With much love,

Your only daughter.