Chota

Chota

Sunday, 17 June 2012

{father's day}

{my father with his pet monkey, Archie in India (yes, that's a real live monkey)}

Happy Father's Day to my dearest Dad!
I am grateful for one of the best dads in this world. I know a lot of people say that, but my Dad is a unique soul, & I'm grateful to have had the lot to have been born into a family with him as the patriarch. I'm grateful for all the things that he allowed us to do in life, and when I thank him for all these things, I'm also thanking my Mum indirectly, as they are rather inseparable (joined at the hip practically since they were 13--high school sweethearts).
So things/qualities that I'm most grateful for? below is a list that I believe have influenced me in important ways:
-my Dad's wit & humour: he's made me realise that you can be serious in life but there are also much-needed laughs along the way
-his love of books (& his undying belief in the value of eloquence): My Dad always keeps with him an incredible library--whether that's an actual library (a room full of books), or a pack of books in a suitcase, or one shelf on the boat. The fact that he read every day, and usually went through a book or two per week influenced my love for books & I wouldn't be in academia if it wasn't for him. But his emphasis on well-spoken speech, and well-written words, instilled in me the value of good language skills. (even as I'm typing I'm thinking of all the  potential errors I may be making & how many typos/errors he's going to pick up!)
{my parents, 1967}
-his love for my Mum: my parents have an amazing relationship, dating back to their high school years, and I am grateful for their example of what a loving marriage can look like. It's also obvious that such a relationship is rare and also requires work, dedication, & energy.
-his fairness and moral standards: Dad is generous, and kind, and has standards that are very high. This is intimidating but also a perfect example to set.
-his work ethic & punctuality: Dad works hard, but he also makes sure that after a hard day's work, there's time to put up your feet, read a good book and most importantly, have a quality dinner with family. The secret to running a tight ship is to keep everything on schedule and on time and this extends to his personal life too (whether it's the sound of the ship's whistle signalling dinner or his yelling "five minutes to van" to keep his 5 girls in order & on time; schedules & reminders make things run smoothly). I've benefited most from his example of efficiency & time management & most of all, I've learned not to be late!
-his love of India: my father was born and raised in India until he immigrated to Canada in his teens. His stories and fond memories recounted to us as children, and our travels there with him, have also made me so attached to India that I can never stay away very long.
-his sense of travel & adventure: By the time I was 13 I had sailed around the world three times thanks to Captain Dad & First Mate Mum. My Dad can't sit still for very long & he ingrained the travel bug in me, for which I am ever grateful. They are still extremely adventurous, & constantly travelling (check out their news & business info for Clarks Maritime).

{my parents at the Imperial Hotel, just steps from where my father grew up in New Delhi, 2005}

some of my fondest memories?
-sneaking up on deck as a little girl while doing a night-run on the Robertson II, and giving my Dad a good night kiss. The smell of fresh sea air, my Dad's cold face & rough beard against my face, and the motion of the boat, made me have the best sleeps I can remember.
-knocking on the door to my Dad's study/library, and smelling the smoke from his pipe, as he sat there reading a novel, with a sherry & nuts by his side. A truly classic image of Dad that belongs in the pages of Pride & Prejudice--no coincidence there, like Mr. Bennett he's the father of 5 girls, and I believe those quiet moments reading his book were the only peaceful ones he got!
-Dad playing the piano, whether it's in an abandoned old villa in Cuba, at home while Mum makes dinner, or in some restaurant in some remote spot on the globe. it's music to my ears to have a Dad as a piano man.
-the times when Dad's mistaken for Sean Connery...always many laughs.
-Dad reading to us before we went to bed. Nothing like the excitement of finding out the next chapter in some great book, or his made-up tales of the gumby machine
-Dad as a jadoo-wallah (a magic man). During university Dad made money putting on magic shows. He still gets his box of tricks out, and as kids, he'd perform for our b-day parties.
There are so many more, but I'll stop there...
{my parents in old-fashioned regalia as part of festivities associated with the Lynx, photo from Lynx photo gallery}
{me & my Dad relaxing at port}


{my family early 1980s}
{my family in Papeete, Tahiti (having sailed there from Victoria BC) 1988}


{on our first visit back to my Dad's former boarding school, Breeks (now Hebron) in Ooty, India, mid-1990s}

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, but especially to my bapu-ji!
xo
L

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