I have not written for a long time, and hence wanted to write today. However, today's post follows a different topic and is for a different occasion altogether! It is for pa, my father-in-law, who celebrates his birthday today. Hence I combined both the things on my mind- writing and pa's birthday, and made it into one :)
It is not going to be a biographic profile (that I am planning to do some years later ;)). It will stay true to how it came into form. I wanted to write, and it is his birthday today. As simple.
I always used to have good talk with him, even before my marriage. But I shifted to Chennai after my marriage, and there three of us stayed together under one roof, and got to know each other really better.
Now looking back, I feel that he has taught me some very crucial things in that little time, and these things will stay with me for my lifetime. It has to start with cooking. He has a tremendous interest in kitchen, really looks fwd to opportunity where he could go into kitchen and let his creativity and experimentation flow. And something that is worth special mention is that he cooks everyday. Every single day. In whole of 14 month's stay in Chennai, there has not been a single time when he was home and he did not cook.
Probably all of you have idea, but I would like to say that specifically, that it puts a newly married girl in a tremendous comfort mode. It did put me as well. I have practiced my cooking basics with him. Right from how to cook perfect basic white rice, to how to make a yummy punjabi gravy, Pa has taught me most of the things. I do not know many women, who have learned their cooking from their fathers-in-law, and I consider myself and of course him to be really cool for that :)
Moreover, his making me comfortable factor does not end there. Even though I did not know how to cook typical meals initially, I could cook fancy dishes pretty alright. Be it lasagna or grilled sandwiches or variety of salads. Pa not only ate them for dinner without any complaints, but also showed eagerness to learn. It was never like "I know how to cook well,and hence I will do that, and then you may do whatever you want, I do not care". The accommodating, experimenting and eager approach was displayed throughout, and to me that is a definite sign of a mature, sensible, sensitive person.
Pa has been a great listener, as I almost always talk incessantly. But I felt like talking so much, only because he is attentive, and has genuine interest in what you talk. With close friends, it is given. But with fathers-in-law, I doubt. I doubt if many fathers talk to and listen to their daughters this much, let alone a daughter in law. Pa has listened to me, has chatted with me over multiple topics, and also, has made me into a good listener. I am not saying I was not, but I have calmed down a bit, and listen more carefully and more actively. Of course, my Husband and the age have a definite role to play in it, but I have seen Pa being a great listener, and it must have influenced me to some extent.
In course of daily life, he has made me inculcate some good habits, and has given good guidance if needed. He has always been very very approachable. (all NIE people will agree to this). Any issue, trouble, confusion, confession, he has been there. Most importantly, in spite of the advice he has given, he has maintained the individual space. He shared what he thought, but never forced us to do that. If we did not do what he suggested, I do not think he was upset or angry. And probably because of that, so many people feel comfortable seeking his opinion/advice, just like me.
It is not like we never had arguments. we did some time, but they were minor. and we were mature enough to sort them out immediately. And anyways, there is no fun to anything without arguments!
Pa has turned into a great friend of mine, and I know the bond will stay for a long time. I really miss meeting him daily, but now I am with my mother in law, and I feel that another friend is in the making :)
Have a great day Pa! Will write more and about many other things in some years :)