Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014 - A dad's love 40 years ago

I missed my father and he missed me too
by Joice Malathi
My parents sent me to India after my SPM in 1975 to pursue a degree in Pharmacy. Despite my reluctance to leave home for a foreign country, I finally agreed to go. My father managed to save enough to sponsor my studies in India. Little did I realize then that it was all he could afford at that time, having to educate seven of us.
The day which I dreaded most finally came and I left home with my father to India. We reached my uncle’s house in Trichy where we stayed and made further arrangements to enroll me in the college there. When everything was done it was time for my father to leave me and return home. I was so sad that I couldn’t control and broke down. He too looked very sad but kept himself composed as he bid me farewell. As he left me I could see the pain in his face, the image of which I still remember so vividly till today. That look on his face revealed the love he had for me in his heart.
As the days passed I felt better but the sadness continue to g haunt me. The sad picture of my dad leaving kept coming back to my mind which made me very disturbed and sad. The College I enrolled was not the best and the facilities there were far below standards especially in the hostel where I stayed. They were rather poor and most of the students there came from very poor rural families.
I found the conditions unbearable and to make matters worse I was homesick missing my parents back home where they gave me the best they had, although they did not have much. They gave us the best meals, decent home to stay and drove me to wherever I needed to go. I particularly missed my father who takes me wherever he went and spent hours talking to me about politics and social happenings in and outside the country. I missed my siblings especially my brothers and their playful antics.
After about 3 months in the college, I couldn’t bear the situation anymore. I started to pester my parents to take me back home. My father seemed to understand my problem better than my mother and was more sympathetic to my ‘sufferings’ in India.
Without my mother’s knowledge he finally he sent me a return ticket with which I was so pleased. I am grateful to him for that brave move till today. At that age I thought he was just feeling sorry for me but later I realized he too missed me and was wanted me back. Yes, the agonizing look on his face when he left me in the college was real and represented how much he loved and missed me.
Today my father is sick and bedridden and all alone after the death of my mother but he continues to remind me of his love for me and my siblings. He worked very hard to give us the best he had. In fact he gave us everything he had without having to ask for them. He is a self-made man of success, rose from the poverty stricken village of Puthukottai in India to become the head of a respectable family in Ipoh. He did only not help us but everyone in need who crossed his path. As I watch him lying quietly I see the greatness in him which many may not be aware or refuse to acknowledge.
I continue to cherish the loving memories of my dad in my heart. The painful sight of him leaving me in India 40 years ago keeps reminding me of his goodness which makes me eager to keep him longer with me. I continue to pray for is health but deep in me I know, at 90 and in coma, he must go. All I ask God is to take him home peacefully and with the respect and dignity he deserves. My father will always be in my heart wherever he may be. 
Happy Father’s Day Appa.

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