Sunday, June 21, 2015

To my man, my Father

I am reposting this story today; yes, again to mark the Father’s Day. This particular post, written in 2012, means a lot for me. Here it is.  
With my Father
Today, 17 years later, I still remember that incident; in fact, with profound gratitude and a sense of homage for my Father. And what had happened that day has irrevocably bound us together.   

It happened when I was 14-year old, on a weekend afternoon. Winter? Spring? I don’t remember it precisely. My Father wanted to fell a tree next to our rice field for firewood. He wanted me to go along to help him cut it.

That noon, my Mother cooked fried rice and an omelet each for us. After having the lunch, as my Father hung his long saw over his shoulder, I received the axe in one hand and tea kettle other.

After reaching the spot, my Father scaled the tree, making a round and briskly measured its size. It’s double my size and about 30 feet tall. He, then, asked me to hang at one end of the saw as he started pulling it from other end.

The afternoon sun was heavy on our backs, and we kept moving the saw backwards and forwards. It seeped deeper and deeper into the tree trunk.

We sweated profusely. My body exhausted, my back ached. But I remained determined and continued cutting the tree.   

Suddenly, a loud hectoring sound of the tree rumbled like lightning over us, deafening too. In a flick of second, the tree fell down, right on us. All hell was breaking loose, I felt. My body turned cold with fear, my heart chilled to ice, my mind went blank.
 
I stood there, baffled, caught between turmoil and confusion. At that point, I thought both of us - father and son - were mauled to death. Oh, I was stunningly safe! Only a tiny branch of the tree hit me, slightly scratching my right hand. I wondered about such a miracle.

Meanwhile, I had realized that my Father was nowhere to be seen around. That moment, I thought I had lost my Father to the hurtling tree. Tears streamed down my cheeks, and I cried loudly.  

But to my surprise, oh thank god, my Father spectacularly rose from beneath the felled tree. He had been hurt real bad. I could see his hands and legs bruised, fresh blood oozing too. But without least bother to his wounds and pain, he darted towards me.  

He held me, instantaneously, to ensure his son was ok. I read “Are you ok, son?” expression on his face. As he checked my hands, legs, and head, he burst into tears and finally put his arms around me for a hug. He hugged me, all apologies. So he heaved a sigh of relief.

Immediately after that incident, we returned home. That afternoon, we didn’t bring home firewood. But, certainly, I took an understanding about my Father - his selfless care, unconditional love, and affection and protection for me.

Today, on this auspicious occasion of Father’s Day, I wish my Father all the lucks and good blessings. May you live long and keep protecting and inspiring me. A wonderful Father’s Day!

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