My father is the eldest in his family among his six siblings. On the other hand, my mother is the younger one among the two children of her nuclear family. Though they were born in different places and brought up in opposite type of families, they succeeded in giving their children best of both the worlds.
My father has always been a caring person. When I was very young, my father used to play with me a lot. Sometimes I used to hang on his arms and swing around or he used to throw me up in the air and catch me when I used to squeal with delight. He always took me for a walk in the evenings after he came back from the office. It was our daily routine. Either we used to go to a nearby temple or to a playground. Sometimes we used to go visit his friends who lived nearby. I vaguely remember one of his friends living in a place which could be reached only after crossing railway tracks. For a child of 4 years, crossing those railway tracks looked nothing less than leaping across the walls. I used to have so much fun while going out with him.
When I joined the school, he took the responsibility of dropping me to school every morning. He used to get up early in the morning and help me and my sister in getting ready for the school. He ironed our school dresses till there was no wrinkle left, polished our school shoes till they were shiny black and then carried our school bags till we reached the school gate. This was his daily routine for many years until we became old enough to go to school by ourselves.
My mother, on the other hand, used to be in the kitchen cooking meals for our breakfast and Tiffin; then lunch for my father as he had to go to the office after leaving us to school. In the afternoons, she used to come to school to pick both of us. In between, she finished all her household chores and prepared food for us. After having lunch and taking a little nap, she used to help us complete our homework. All of her chores were properly clocked. We used to play and come back then study a little bit, have dinner and sleep at the proper time. Never ever did she miss this schedule. I remember, being so annoyed with her to be firm about the timings for everything but now I realize that it helped us to organize ourselves so well. We were never in rush and had plenty of time for everything.
Both my parents paid equal attention to our studies. If Math was my father’s responsibility then my mother used to take responsibilities for all other subjects, her favorite being Social Science and Hindi. During the examination days, my mother used to sit with us, sometimes teaching us, sometimes clearing our doubts till late night. My father used to make dry snacks for us and keep it near our study table along with beverages as we continued studying. They tried their best to keep us as comfortable as possible during our exams.
My parents used to be very considerate of our feelings. They always tried to maintain a balance in our house. If there was anything brought in the house, it was given equally to both. Even while buying clothes, they used to buy for both of us lest the other one feels bad. We had nothing to complain about as whether it was my birthday or hers; whether it was one festival or another, we always had new clothes to wear. The toys were purchased for both of us. Due to their regular intervention, we never learned to claim things as mine and yours. They used to be always ours.
Both my parents had different skills. I used to be quite impressed with their talents and wanted to imitate them as much as possible. My father has very beautiful handwriting and he is quite skilled in Origami. He used to even draw very well. It was my father who taught me the cursive handwriting and how to make my first paper plane and my first paper boat. I remember he used to make small balls out of Origami paper and at that young age I used to consider it nothing less than magic. There was this steamer which he could make by paper folding; which I just couldn’t learn. I tried umpteenth times to follow the way my father did it, but it never came out as neat as my father’s. My father also taught me how to iron clothes. He also taught me basic electric work to solve small electrical problems, which came so handy when I had my own household to take care of. He used to insist on being as self-dependent as one can be.
On the other hand, my mother was adept in sewing and knitting. She was also good at art and craft. I remember her knitting so many sweaters and cardigans for both of us. My skills in knitting were very poor but I did like art and craft and hence learned many things from her. She used to help me in every art and craft project which I had to submit to school. Her continuous instructions, while making my study projects, about, how to organize things or how to present them, are a great help to me now when I need to guide my kid for the same.
When it came to having a big social circle of friends and acquaintances, my parents were nowhere in the picture. My parents were always shy and reserved in nature from the very beginning. They were polite and friendly to everyone who knew them, but they never ever had a huge circle of friends. Our family friends used to consist of three or four families only. They were more family-oriented and that is why both of us were brought up in a sheltered environment having a close bond with each other.
As we grew up and went into colleges, my parents became more like our friends. They opened the protective cocoon built around us at the time when we were in school and allowed us to venture outside to explore our limits. The educational streams we took, the courses we studied, the jobs we chose were always our choice. They stood on the sidelines to guide us as we wrote new chapters of our lives.
Throughout our life we both sisters have received their selfless and unconditional love. Their endless care and affection made us realise that home is not built with the things one can buy but it is nurtured with the happy emotions bubbling in the hearts of every child and parent.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘P’.