dada – an informal term for a father

A month after dada’s demise, I just needed to write in order to process everything, this is a glimpse of my notepad. It’s all over the place, just like my mind then:

It’s been 1 month, so quickly, it still won’t sink in, and I hope it never does, because it’s more comforting this way.

A father-son relationship is usually not one of the simple one’s. Me and dada were more of the usual case I’d say, we happily coexisted in the same house, most of the time in peace, he let me do whatever I wanted to do and well I didn’t have the choice to tell him what to do.

I don’t honestly regret the kind of relationship I had with him, although when I was younger I always wished for him to not be so serious and grumpy all the time and pick up a ball and we’d actually play but after working for a few weeks I realised how draining life really is, and he was more worried about providing for us for which he worked relentlessly.

I made some shitty decisions early on in life and with a little muttering he funded those bad decisions and let me make mistakes.

Every family has its issues, ours was no different, when I was younger I was silent in these issues. As I grew older, I enjoyed arguing with him and fighting with him, and giving him a taste of his own medicine, it had a different joy. He sometimes really got to me, dam I could be so pissed of at him for the things he used to do, hated his guts at times, but at the same time I knew how hard life was for him and it wouldn’t be easy to have walked the path he’s walked.

I really want to believe there’s a heaven and he’s up there. I wonder, if that were true “What’s the first thing he went up there and did?”
Speak to his parents? Meet his siblings? but I know him enough, I’m sure the first thing dada would do is ask Sushant Singh Rajput what the hell happened to him and how did he die because of how closely he followed that case.

By the way dada, I hope the food up there is fine, I hope there’s enough salt, enough taste and hope the quantity is as much as you’d like. I hope they have your favourite whiskey and I hope someone wakes up early enough to give you your morning tea. And moreover, I hope you’ve quit taking a hundred and fifty medicines and also I hope you quit prescribing others medicines up there. I hope they have your favourite Reynolds pen which you kept buying dozens of. I hope they have a Louis Philippe and Van Heusen outlet, I have claimed all your shirts down here. I hope there are no cars up there, I’ll be at peace knowing you and people around you are safer cause driving was never your forte.

He gave us the best till the end, he wanted us to have the comfort he probably never had. Barely said no to anything, and I loved taking advantage of that. Dada bike, dada playstation, dada mobile, just say the word and it was given. I really wanted the chance to give it back someday but he probably didn’t want to take it, he was always the giver not the one who takes.

It’s tough, knowing that if i mess up he’s not there to take care of it, knowing that no matter how much I shout “dada”, no ones going to respond.

It’s tough getting in the car and seeing the gear stick on neutral now. He often left it at 1 and I’d start the car with a jerk and then lecture him on that.
It’s tough when I wake up because of an alarm now. Every morning before leaving for work he put really strong perfume and I’d wake up sneezing and irritated because of it.
It’s tough walking out of the bedroom without the fear of slipping now. He’d put so much powder everyday and a lot of that ended up on the floor which made it a task for us to walk by.
It’s tough wearing his shirts and suits in peace now. He used to get so irritated because I used to fold the sleeves of his shirts and not keep his suit properly after using it.

By the way dada I was going through your paperwork, and guess what? I found your school and college mark sheets. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

Here’s a poem I wrote for him back then along with some videos of him:

To the shittiest driver I know,
The smelliest farter, the loudest burper I know,
The man who snored like a giant, and had a sneeze that'd scare a ghost,
The man who kept names for everyone, especially the one's he loved the most,
Anger on his potatoed nose, but as jolly as can be,
Sure he loved his booze, but always made us mad for tea,
Two dots on his forehead, you'd see it from a mile,
With brands, hats and glasses, this uncle was always in style,
Had a big huge hand to give, and a genuinely soft heart,
Was scared he'd be too perfect so he sometimes acted like a grumpy ol fart,
I'm saying these mean things to you, as I long to hear what you say back,
Would it be something witty? Just this time I wouldn't even mind a whack,
Overly punctual to everything, I wish you just delayed this time,
Aadat se majboor, being late for you was no less than a crime,
Education, entertainment or food, you always gave us the best,
So proud of all you did but Dada it's finally time to lay back and rest.

2 years later, it still hasn’t sunk in, but life happened. So much has changed, I have a wife now, i’m doing decent at work, made some amazing relationships, some beautiful memories, travelled quite a lot, bought a new bike, rode thousands of miles, i’m doing so many new things, so many random things, making so many mistakes as usual, learning everyday. I wish you were here to see everything. I hope you’re happy.

Sorry about your car, I know you loved her a lot. Sorry I still butcher your branded shirts, old habits. Sorry not everything is the way you would’ve wanted at home, I know I can do much better at times but I’ll improve, I promise. Sorry I took your room for now, it’ll always be yours though don’t worry. Sorry I ignored a lot of your advice when it came to people, I can’t believe how much of it is true. Sorry I call someone else “dada” now, he’s an amazing person my father in law, I hope that’s okay.

I keep names for people just like you, I sneeze a lot like you, I roast and tease people just like you, maybe more, I try. I get grumpy like you randomly, I just understand why now. I like peace and minding my own business after coming from work, I know now why it was so necessary for you. I don’t know how you managed a one day-off in a week and still remained sane all the years. I understand your struggle and reasoning a lot more now, I know it’s a little late, but I’m happy I got here at least.

These lines from a song always get to me:

I'm not your son, you're not my father
We're just two grown men saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you're sleeping I'll try to make you proud
So, daddy, won't you just close your eyes?
Don't be afraid, it's my turn
To chase the monsters away

And this sher makes me realise how misunderstood you were:

Woh pyaar karta hai, dikhata nahi hai, 
Mohobbat ke kisse sunata nahi hai,
Woh pyaar karta hai, dikhata nahi hai, 
Mohobbat ke kisse sunata nahi hai,
Sadak par chalte huye woh bahar chalta hai,
Khayal rakhta hai jatata nahi hai.

Rest easy my guy.

2 Replies to “Underrated, Misunderstood – Dada”

  1. Miss you Simon dada
    Nicol what u have written is amazing it really touched my heart.

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