Dad, Life, Love

5 YEAR SALUTE


I furrow my brow a lot. Mostly as an involuntary reaction to filter out the glare of human “stupidity”, incompetence, ignorance and prejudice. And also, the sun. 😅

I’m light sensitive you see. I have every type of “chromatic” in my glasses. Even my stunnaz/shadez/goggles (80s, 90s kids 🤭) are prescription. You can also be sure for reason number one. I have used it in the mirror too. I am quite self critical.

I didn’t really ever notice it that much till my dad passed away. 5 years today. The photo chosen to be used for his obituary was one where he was doing exactly that. Sure, the sun was in his eyes. However, he could also have been doing it because someone had forced him to wear a tie that day. Probably one of my sisters or all of them. It was hard to get this man to agree to something. I wonder who else I know with the same need to see logic before agreeing to something. Cue mirror again.

The moment I saw that photo on the family group as it was being chosen for the newspaper, it finally hit me why it looked so familiar. I had seen it in my own photos before. Photos as old as when I was just a toddler. You see, my dad didn’t really take many photos of himself. With his old camera and then newer shinier black Kodak camera, he took most of our photos when a studio was not available. Getting him to pose for one was another story altogether. And the few photos I had from before had never captured this moment. Since that day I started a quest to find as many photos from the family albums where he is doing that. They are not many but I found some more.
In fact by watching all my siblings. I realized they all do it. Even the ones who don’t wear spectacles. With time I even see it in his grandkids. Especially in the boy named after him. He usually does it when he is hell-bent on not doing what the mum is saying. Coincidence? Methinks not. Sure enough most humans probably do it. But it is the uniqueness of the lines that form on their faces that makes my heart skip a beat. The lines that remind me of you.

Today I celebrate you. As you celebrated all of us and our achievements. You probably wrote our CVs out to people you met as you spoke proudly of your children. I have met people years later who only knew me all the way to the personality core, just from your words.

It is why today’s words will not be sad as that poem from years back. It’s why I can manage a fair amount of jokes as I write you this tribute. I remember the number of times you had me guffawing at the jokes about politicians, wrestlers and most frowned upon by dear mother, religion. And so, today amid the tears that we can’t dry or deny, I get to smile. I get to know that one emotion can be expressed as two. I also get to see that furrowing our brow is more than just a reaction or a way to judge. It is a way to take a stance. A way to strive forward through hardships. A way to turn up even when we might not feel like it.

A few quick updates.

Your 2 elder sons have since decided to wear caps as much you did because your warnings on baldness fell on deaf ears. 🏃🏿‍♂️🏃🏿‍♂️😂
The other one (mirror moment) won’t shave his hair because he is caught in your spirit of the 60s. He also didn’t heed your warning on early grey hair.
There’s 2 more grandkids. You would have loved to meet them.
Your family has grown so much we take the family photo in panorama.
It sure would have been a lovely excuse for you to avoid more photos. 😁😁❤️❤️

We still miss you in our midst.
We miss your toughness. We miss your kindness.
We miss your glares. We miss your cares.
I miss the furrows in your brow that said: “This is how I got you this far.”

Koma thayû baba.

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