Sunday, 15 June 2014

Meet my fathers

My fathers are those who wrote me 
ten-page letters
all printed in painstaking capitals 
when I hadn't learnt 
to read grown up cursive;
those who cooked me long, 
rich-yellow dals before 
having to rush out to work.

They are all those who 
strode into my spaces
and taught me that writing 
begins with circles, 
with an  “o” not an  “a”; 
and those who stood 
with their feet planted
squarely on soft soil 
and pushed me down 
green-dappled scary pathways 
because unknown is also 
a thrill in the blood.

They are those who bought 
a rupee worth of reel 
and taught me to hold a kite, 
to ride a bike; 
to know which mountains 
to stop at and climb,
and which to let pass;
and how to wash shiny-clean 
nylon doll-hair and 
dress it up bride-style.

They are those who stood by 
with smiles on their lips 
and panic in their hearts, 
as I swung from figs 
beneath which moulted snake-skins 
had been spotted.

My fathers are those who 
told me the same fable, 
night after night, in the hope 
that one day I would find
the rice grain of truth embedded in it;
they are those who saw me home 
through fierce, desert suns
walking, walking so that 
their unobtrusive shadows 
always sheltered me.


  1. Loved the abundance of images. Loved the love that flows from them all. And absolutely love the FATHERS :)

  2. Happy Father's Day to you Nianjana

  3. Thank you! Ruby, Chandan and Nima.

    One man, many forms; one form, many men... seriously got lucky...

  4. Wow,true ode to father..
    Happy fathers day

  5. Heartwarming and true - we have so many father like figures in our lifetime all worthy of our gratitude.

    1. Thanks, Melissa. Indeed we do. I have been blessed to have several of them.