Some of my fondest memories revolve around my father. A man of 75 years, he is quite a life learner even now. Needless to say he was my first liberal influence. However, Politically I don't agree with him on most issues. Well over the years I have realised my politics is different from my family's. But my father truly 'loves' me...of whatever I understand of that word...he stretches himself to accomodate me...and he tries to understand me. I am indebted to him for that.
We have been fellow travellers. He has taught me to appreciate life, love and my work. He has taught me to do away with guilt of all sorts.
Last night baba, suvojit and I decided to drink some feni with guava juice. Suvo and baba have diabetes and I have perennial plans of losing weight... but we were together and that called for a celebration.
Feni hits fast. So I asked my father what did he think of me?? Little daughter seeking baba's approval:)
Baba said "Besh Mei"..."quite a girl"
"...but sometimes you harm yourself with quick decisions"
I was curious. So I prodded.
" I would have had a grand daughter"
I held Suvojit's hand and whispered- "he is drunk"
"She would have been...how old mammu??"
He calls me Mammu.
I was drunk but I could still sense a lump in my throat.
"She would have been 9...aa aa ten"
For next few minutes I could see my father trying to figure out how old his grand daughter would have been now had she lived. Whether she would have been older than some of my nieces and nephews or younger to all of them. And then he talked about how beautiful this little angel was.
"Khoob sundor chilo. Eito shundor. Eito haalka...kintu koto bhaari"
So light but so heavy.
And for the first time I realised he had a name for his grand daughter.Yasmin. He didn't think of a hindu name. Clearly out of his love for Parvez. I couldn't tell him Parvez had named his daughter Nova.
I stayed awake late thinking my daughter who breathed only for 15 minutes outside my womb... and nine months inside me...has a story...and two names...