(This letter is a part of The Quint’s Father's Day series where readers write their little secrets to their dads.)
I have never confessed anything to you, daddy. And it has nothing to do with you – I mean, you are nice, warm and sensitive. True to the spirit of Punjab, in fact, there is no one as loud, boisterous, chirpy and happy-go-lucky as you are. Even so, we never bonded. And because that was the case, I have a few things I’d like to confess to you, starting with:
My First Crush
I still remember how I spent an entire summer fantasising about this tall, dark and handsome boy only to have the most remarkable volte-face in winter when I saw thick strings of yellow, gooey snot dangling from his nose. (Ew!) If I told you about it, would you have seen this coming considering the boy was all of seven and in the 3rd grade just like me?
My Attempt to Commit Suicide
How about if I told you that the first time I was introduced to swear words (read: BC, MC) at age 13 by the boys in my class, I felt so ashamed that I tried to commit suicide by overdosing on multivitamins? I spent two years laughing about it with my bestie who, just like me, had tried to overdose on painkillers (she grew up to be a doctor, by the way, and you know her very well!). Considering that you are a chemist and have been running our shop for the last 25-30 years, would you have told me that no one can possibly die by consuming strips of multivitamins?
Talked me out of it, perhaps?
How would you feel if I told you that those medicines that you gave me for de-worming during my teenage years were pretty useless as the stomach cramps I was having, accompanied by bouts of vomiting, were not caused by eating junk food, but periods. (Those bans on ice-creams and samosas were quite unnecessary, you see!).
What if I told you that the first time I asked you to give me an anti-depressant some 20 years ago was when I had been caught by the police with my boyfriend in his Maruti 800. And even though the police left us after taking Rs 400 (so much for their generosity towards a young couple, bah!), I wonder if you would have bailed me out of the mess knowing that I was up to no good with this fellow? Would you have told me that going out in cars with tinted glasses was just as dangerous as sitting in a park behind trees?
Considering how you neither smoke nor drink, how would you feel if I told you that I have experimented with both and quite successfully, too? And though I wouldn’t call drinking vodka a vice, I wonder what you would say if you came to know about my adventures?
Come to think of it, you may have been a shadowy presence for all those years I was growing up and we may never have shared much, but that was how it was probably meant to be. And whatever it was, I want to tell you one thing, you may have been old-school and less hands-on than modern dads, but I still consider you the best dad in the world – a dad like no one else.