My Appa, without doubt, is the most marvelous and exciting father any girl ever had. He cuddles, giggles and tells a lot of bed time stories. But the cutest part is he sleeps before I sleep. And I will be thinking about his stories because sometimes he brings so much of enthusiasm in the story that I will be thinking about them all night.
Today I heard my ‘Appa’ (father) arguing with my 'Aayi’ (mother).
The Sun was going down leaving a saffron color into sky, winds were carrying a pleasant odor of Champa flowers and the Birds were chirping on their way back to their nests. This was a perfect evening. Aayi was tired of her household chores and was resting her back to the wall in the verandah.
Just then Appa came back from his routine work and asked Aayi to boil water for his bathing. Aayi forgot all the tiredness and with a beautiful smile got up and quickly prepared some warm water for Appa. Aayi holding her smile on her face passed on the towel and was trying to get attention of Appa. She tried to make an eye contact with Appa and was curious to hear from Appa.
Apparently Appa was unhappy about something. I could make this with the folds between his eyebrows. Looks like there is something running in his mind and he is tensed a lot. Aayi asked Appa if he need anything to eat. Appa did not respond to that. He just took bath and came back to the reading room. There he took out the newspaper, read a few headlines, threw the newspaper with anger. Aayi heard the unpleasant noise and rushed to reading room from the kitchen. Aayi asked if it is some mistake from her side for his worry. Appa did not respond to it and kept silent with his head down seeing the floor.
Appa always wanted to say this to Aayi since many years, but could not get right moment to speak out. But today this said that finally to Aayi.
Aayi was frightened to hear that Appa wants to leave us for good. Aayi was crying continuously and requested Appa not to abandon them. Appa said once he steps out of this house, he may not return ever. Aayi took me in front of Appa and asked look into her eyes, do you still want to leave us alone.
Appa was firm on his decision. He went to bedroom, picked his favorite typewriter, a scarf and few clothes into his suitcase. And was almost ready to leave.
After few moments Aayi was able to console herself, wiped her tears. She offered prayers to our home deity Lord Ganesha. She came with 'arti ki thali’ to Appa, placed sindhur tilak on his forehead with a few grains of rice and said ‘ Koti Dasara Koti Diwali Aeyunde ! Rama Rajya Kara’
I am Jugnu and I am 5 years old village girl. I did not understand, ho Aayi agreed to Appa’s decision and given him a happy goodbye with Aarti. And that was the last time I saw Appa. He never returned home. Aayi is everything for me. Initially Aayi had to struggle a lot and later as they say, Time has power to let everything forget and forgive. But I always used to get angry whenever we get Appa’s topic, because he was never there during my childhood.
Finally the day has come where my Aayi thinks I am old enough to understand the things. Aayi made me a cup of warm milk with Haldi (turmeric) and asked me if I would like to hear about Appa. I was very eager to know about Appa and I immediately drank my glass of milk and rushed into Aayi’s lap.
Aayi smiled at my eagerness and said that Appa’s name is ‘Rajguru’. He is a great writer and his heart is filled of love and compassion. He loves both of us a lot, but more than that he loves his country ‘Bharat’. He left us to join the independence moment in 1941. Now after 13 years we are breathing free air in Republic of India. After listening to this I was very proud that my Appa is a freedom fighter and I promised myself that I will never misuse this Freedom which is a gift from my Appa.
It was my mistake that I thought my father is irresponsible that he left Aayi and me. But I was wrong, he left us because of a greater and noble cause. Today I forgive my Father.
I am sure each one of you must have a family member who had contributed to Freedom moment, lets take this pledge today that we will respect our Freedom and take care of our Bharat.
Love you Bharat..