Papa started back to India today. It was only 3 weeks back that he got here. It seems like yesterday that we were worried about him travelling all by himself . He's already gone back and halfway home :(
Papa talks to me about very different things. We discuss genetically modified foods, population of countries, immigration rules- you get the flow :) Once we have discussed something we are quiet but I really enjoy having those discussions with him. I always learn a lot. Sometimes I teach him too :) I also immensely enjoy having the morning and evening coffee with him. He especially likes the brew I make. He savours the biscuits with coffee as much as I do. It is good fun sipping coffee and munching biscuits with someone who loves every bite and sip as much as you do.
He is a big fan of walking. When we were kids, I 10 years old and my sis around 5, we used to go for evening walks every day with him. I still enjoy any opportunity to just walk with papa. Evenings I used to come home , have the coffee with mummy and papa and then walk with him to get Chiyaa from the daycare. It was just like old days, walking with him, talking about something current. The days I would not be able to wrap up work early I would go directly to the daycare and papa would have already reached there with a banana or an apple or a piece of cake to give the kitten on the way back. Such simple things but it gave me immense joy!
Chiyaa also took to him very easily. He was not cautious with her at all. The moment he reached he picked her up and started jumping. From that moment he became VIP for her. He had to take her to the toilet, give her food and water, put her to sleep , play with her. Boy did they play rough- shouting at the top of their voices , running around with Chiyaa chasing him on her bicycle , putting stickers together , and a host of other activities. He loved taking her to the park, pushing her pram for giving her a stroll and doing anything related to her. He also did a lot of work around the house, getting the grocery, putting the trash away, cleaning odd bits . I used to always come back to a house that was clean and well stocked. I cannot thank my parents enough for just taking on the mantle of keeping my house in order. If I had to go anywhere, absolutely anywhere he would accompany me. If he was tired, I would ask him to get some rest since I was used to doing things alone. He would say he was aware I could do it alone and I would anyways be all my myself in sometime, but if he was around , he preferred coming with me.
It was a very nice experience having him around. He was very different from mummy when it came to being in changed circumstances. He complained about the cold but quickly appreciated the cleanliness. He missed the variety of Indian vegetables but loved the quality of potatoes and cauliflowers so much that he said he won't have them bday more back home . He relished the coffee while disliking the tea. He always kept the balance. If he expressed his lack of appreciation for something he was quick to praise something else.
There are so many things I wish I had done with him. Taken him to so many places, bought him a burrito from an eat out that makes amazing ones, got him a pair of sports shoes, had more coffee with him, taken more holidays to just hang around with him. But ...
He hid his feelings prior to his departure. He spoke about his anxiousness to travel but not about missing us. I would notice him suddenly put a hand in Chiyaa's head as she played and I knew he would miss her. Today morning she wasn't even awake when he started. We asked him to come to her room and see her. He came in and said 'sleeping' mimicking the way she says. Then he stroked her head, kissed her and walked out with a big sob. He was falling apart.
What terrible torture it is to go away after having spend such wonderful time together. It pained me to see my papa, my hero sit in the taxi and wave me goodbye without looking back at me.
Chiyaa felt something was different but she could not place her finger on it. As I saw his towel which he left since it wasn't dry, I felt a blob in my throat. The place where his shaving kit stood all the while in the bathroom stared back emptily. The house felt stark. Papa I wish you could have been here longer. :(