Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Talking of Sudhir's relationship with his daughters took me back to their childhood.Both our girls always got top priority and loads of quality time with their father.Despite growing up into responsible adults they remained Daddy's girls--and watching Sudhir with his daughters was like looking at a couple of kids--it was difficult to differentiate between father and daughters--they were extremely childish and childlike in each other's company.
Both Lotta and Sayali would call specifically to talk to Sudhir--and every tiny detail of their day would be shared with him.Lotta's calls were less frequent than Sayali's given the Time difference but Sayali was addicted to chatting with Daddy and telling him everything--everyday!!After she shifted to London,Sayali's timings were really perfectly suited with his----he'd be home from Court by her Lunch break--and then Sayali would update him about every nuance of her day,her career---she called it her "Hour with Daddy"!!The first thing when she reached Lotta's home in L.A. after he died was to cling on for dear life to me--crying inconsolably and asking me as to with whom would she connect now that he was no more??It was a difficult time for all of us--but I had to watch our girls grow up into the responsible adults they actually were right there before my eyes.The carefree daughters we both so looked forward to connecting with on our trips to their homes had changed for ever!!
The one person he loved to spend time with was perhaps Meha.Everytime we visited Lotta,Meha would just abduct her grandfather from under her mother's nose and talk to him--incessantly!!He knew every little secret of hers--and the two of them would whisper and giggle together conspiratorially---all about stuff the rest of us were totally in the dark about.Just the day before he died Meha told him all about what she had been upto since we had left in January that year--bringing him completely up to date with everything--including her crushes!!Sudhir really was a fabulous listener--and this was one of the
most endearing facets of his nature.
This reminds me of an incident way back in August 2005.Meha had accompanied Sudhir and me to Sayali's home in Rochester during the Summer Vacation that year.Our nephew Aamod--Kunda's son as well as niece Sonal--Suhas's daughter lived in New Jersey.We decided to visit them and drove down from Rochester to spend some time with both their families.We spent the first night at Sonal's and after Brunch drove over to Aamod's for the next night.As it was Vacation we also got to spend time with our other 4 Grandkids--two boys at Sonal's and the two girls at Aamod's. As we were leaving Meha insisted on Rhea--Aamod's younger daughter--accompanying us to Rochester which after a little prodding she did.The drive back home was in rainy Weather--and took us almost 8 eight hours--thanks to the frequent Rest Room breaks and of course both Girls needed to be fed too at regular intervals!! On popular demand Sudhir was in the back seat--wedged firmly between both Meha and Rhea.Things were going quite smoothly but somehow the topic of Sudhir being their Grandpa came up.Rhea claimed him as her Grandpa too but Meha had a problem with that.She argued non stop about how Sudhir was her Grandpa and Rhea's Grand Uncle---a fact that led to a a pretty bit of pushing and scufflling!!Finally Sudhir switched seats with me and moved to the front seat while I shifted to the back.This ensured that the argument was temporarily shelved and soon both Girls were leaning against me with their heads against my well cushioned shoulders and giving gentle little snores.The heated atmosphere in the Car cleared up and we adults heaved a sigh of relief!!
The topic remained a sore spot between them during the duration of Rhea's stay--but later after she had left Sudhir gently chided Meha and said that such a debate was uncalled for.He quietly made her understand that if Rhea thought of him as her Grandpa too there was no harm in it--Love is infinite and cannot be bounded by any boundaries.Factually she was right but if it gave Rhea a sense of belonging where was the harm in it?In our family we have always shared everything and the boundaries of being divided as Cousins does not exist.That's why maybe today Meha can call all her mother's cousins her Aunts and Uncles and claim their children as her cousins--the blood tie is very strong and the bond very truly exists!!