Friday, 17 May 2013
We are together in our "Wait for Papa"
In today's time, this subject will read so outdated. I am aware that these days all the kids who wait for Daddys to come home, are also used to waiting for Mommys to come home. Well, most of them at least. However, due to some bizarre and unusual twists of planetary placements a.k.a positions, my kids have been bereft of the experience of 'waiting' for their Mom. So they are still in that era where, like me and my younger brother joined our Mom, they join me in waiting for their Dad to get to them after a hard day at work.
Life does come a full circle, as this particular activity of the day has distinct memories for me- varying in nature at every stage of our growing up. My Dad always came home at 8:30pm. On Tuesdays he came at 9 pm, as he halted at a temple for that half an hour. When we were very young, and there were no phones, Mom would inherit a different pace in whatever she was doing just when it was 8:30! A glass of water was ready and she tried to wrap up her regular work. We lived in a joint family and unless he was terribly off the mark in arriving home, we as kids would mingle around with family not noticing if Mamma was worried or okay. Sometimes she used to take us to the terrace which over-looked Delhi's Ring Road and we would try and spot a Chocolate colored Maruti 800 (as there would be few on roads then, amongst Ambassadors and Fiats). For me particularly, my Dad's arrival was THE best moment of that day as he would want to see ONLY me when he entered. As we grew up, and moved out of the joint family set up, as soon as the clock neared 8:30, we would be at our best behavior. We took out our books at 8 o clock and disappeared in our rooms so Mom was less equipped to list her complaints regarding us to him. Nothing changed for Dad though as I clearly remember his voice when he entered home and asked Ma, "Parul Kahan hai?".
Cut to today now.These days we have phones. Times are way different from the times of my parents. There is no fixed time which we can freeze for my husband's appearance everyday. Saurabh sends me a whatsapp message when he leaves from work. As soon as he does that, I check google maps to see how congested his route is. I mentally calculate estimated time of his arrival and fill up that time gap with odd jobs.Then if he is stuck in bad traffic, he calls me and we finish our 'daily updates' conversation to save on time as he is bound to get late. He usually takes an hour and half to get home and even if he is late by five minutes, I have an option of calling him and finding out the reason of every minute's delay.
All this while, I have the same feelings that maybe my Mom had in her. I wish he finds less traffic. I wish he reaches back safely. I ensure he sees a smiling me so he can relax from the minute he steps in, post a tedious trek. Like Rahul and I spent our time inquiring from our Mom- "When is Papa back?"- V and N too ask me when I am expecting their Dad. But the change of times is clearly visible in how they interpret his arrival time as I mention it in hours. Some of their interesting calculations are these:
Viraj: He will come when the first innings of the IPL game tonight will begin?
Nevaan: He will come after Balika Vadhu or before it?
Both of them: He will come when you finish dinner (around 7:30 pm) or when you serve us and Dadi dinner (around 9pm)
These obviously put a sense of time in them till the countdown of seeing their Daddy home, begins. Technology has lessened the gaps created due to anticipation and ambiguities between my children and their Dad but their daily excitement of running across the room to see their Hero at the door each night- is something they share with me in exactly the same proportion!