Happy Homecoming Rashmi !!!

Readers, Be warned! These are wistful ruminations of a lonely father. At the cusp of a changing scenario, as my daughter returns to India next week. Am sharing this as I realise I am not alone in this inhuman, human situation! We all are missing our loved ones…so let me pour my heart out.

Rashmi was in London for higher studies for the past year. I have never been very expressive about my feelings… and my pain!! So I know how these past several months have been for me. To say the least, I have managed the long, long time which abysmally stretched, longer and even longer. I have missed my daughter at every moment. It was indeed the life of a blind man, groping around in a pitch black room. Because, as her name itself signifies, she is Rashmi…the ray of sunshine…the light of hope….the one bright spot in a father’s morning.

sari

Thinking about Rashmi, I realised an old favourite sung by Mohammed Rafi for Parasmani movie, actually says what I want to say, and what I feel far, far better than I can by myself. So I am structuring this blog around the lyrics of that song. It truly feels as though the lyricist Asad Bhopali is  putting my emotions and thoughts into words when he says….

रोशन तुम्ही से दुनिया  रौनक़ तुम्ही जहां की 

फूलों में पलने वाली रानी हो गुलसितां की..

सलामत रहो.. सलामत रहो…..

Rashmi has indeed been the sunlight in my dark life, and I believe wherever she goes, she spreads that sweetness and light. Yes she has had a good life…not the proverbial silver spoon in the mouth story, but she certainly walked on flowers and enjoyed a good existence.

flowers

Fortunately we could afford to give her what she wanted, when she wanted it. Many of our relatives felt we spoilt her. Sometimes even my wife was upset with me for not disciplining her enough. But my faith and trust was that like the cats, that Rashmi showered so much love on, she herself has the cat-like instinct of landing on her feet, and living life on her terms. She is not a predator, but she knows how to go behind what she sets her sights on! Like the cats, Rashmi has the same disdain for the world around her!! And walks with the same feline majesty, ready to take in her stride whatever life, and the vassals around her, want to offer. Naturally the only blessing I had for her was  सलामत रहो.. सलामत रहो…..

cat

 

Rashmi….तुम प्यार से भी प्यारे…क्या बात है तुम्हारी

क्या बात है तुम्हारी..आँखों में दो जहां हैं… मालिक हो दो जहां की

सलामत रहो…सलामत रहो हाए…सलामत रहो..

Vinita, my wife rings up and talks to Rashmi every day. Some days, more than once. Days go by when I have not talked to Rashmi. And frankly even when she calls, I only want to have a small, focussed conversation. Do you need money? Are you well? Are you eating properly? Besides these 3 topics nothing actually interests me. She is doing a course in Fashion Technology in the University of Arts, London. And I understand nothing of fashion. And cannot even grasp the nuances she tries to explain in the fabric construction, the color pallette, the fall and feel , etc. etc. I want that part of our conversations to end soonest!! And often I do directly tell her am in the midst of something, or with some people, or in a car, or whatever that can make her say….Baba we will talk later.

Does that mean I do not love her? do not miss her? Not a single day goes by where I do not regret sending her to London.

river

When she was here, I at least saw her every day, exchanged some pleasantries, some differences of opinions and angst, sat for a meal together, caught a movie (though our choices are poles apart), sat in the same room with our respective laptops,….basically sensed and felt her presence in and around me.

Now that she is heading back home, I am looking forward to the revival of those times and living together again. Welcome back Rashmi. Happy Homecoming my dearest.

rash

But even as I say this, another fear looms large! And makes me morose. I must accept that…Now she will have to find another job. Now she will have to make a new life. Now she will have to prove herself in the professional space all over again. Now she will have to find new friends. Maybe…the time has now come….when she will also have to find a life partner. In this way or that….my baby Rashmi will fly the coop and I will be left alone again. For longer. In a darker cave.

train

Do I resent this? Do I hope that such a pass does not come? Do I hope that time stands still and let us be? Naaaaah! Never!!

Beginning from the cloistered, safe environs of Atul, to the big, bad gullies of wicked Mumbai, then living alone in Bangalore, choosing to do a project in Assam with Bodo weavers, then a brief but fruitful stint in Corporate India, and finally further education in London….all these steps have been progressively taking my darling daughter further and further away from home and hearth. Good? Bad?? Ugly??? Naaaah!!! Would I not support/encourage/push her to explore the world, if one had to live the life all over again? Actually I would not change anything! Except possibly say to her more openly and frankly how much I love her. How much I miss her. And how my life revolves around my little girl.

जीती रहो यूँही तुम 

मेरी भी उम्र ले लो मेरी भी उम्र ले लो..

किस दिन दुआ न मांगी हमने तुम्हारी जान की

सलामत रहो.. सलामत रहो..

You are the real sunshine in my life: Love you hamesha, vikibaba

orangutan

61 Replies to “Happy Homecoming Rashmi !!!”

  1. I love the way u express ur emotions. Rashmi is indeed lucky to have u as her father. Welcome home Rashmi. More power to her. 🙂

    Its your budday week and I want to b the first one to wish u Happiest Budday. May u spread more smiles, touch more lives and keep inspiring us to b better humans. We need more angels like u on earth.

    Like

    1. Pragati
      since I wrote another blog after this I was checking and replying to comments on the Saints & Sinners blog and so missed your comment. And more importantly your good wishes.
      Many thanks for your kind words about my style. And the good wishes for rashmi
      It is also nice that you remembered my birthday and wished me. Sad that I saw it now. Anyways your kind remembrance does not loose its shine due to my lapse. Thanks a ton. I write as I enjoy it. And I am fortunate that people like you find it good and motivating. Thanks for your encouragement

      Like

  2. Hello VS:

    what an expression of Love!! a splendid example of how love gets manifested in a variety of ways! Rashmi is indeed a very lucky person..to have a dad like u!

    my best wishes you and Vinita for a wonderful time with her when she is back. Her long absence for the past year will make her presence even more precious!

    with all this ,VS, you must mentally prepare yourself for the day she finds a partner and decides to have her own life…however tough it may be for all of you! Let her not feel your pain..that would also be your expression of love for her..

    as of now , just enjoy the present…!!

    with best wishes

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    1. Dear JL
      thanks for your kind words…of praise…and also caution
      Yes it will be great to have her back
      But yes we must prepare for the day she bids us adieu
      It is a part of nature
      and yet as you go through the phases it does not hurt any less.
      As for now, await her coming back next week and spending some quality time with her

      Like

    1. Mudit
      Thanks for your kind words
      I believe the human condition is the same all around
      and whatever we can “pre-experience” vicariously…through the lives of others around us….prepares us for our challenges even better
      Do stay in touch dear friend
      vikas

      Like

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  4. Dear Vikasji,
    You have conveyed and expressed the feelings of many fathers and their daughters. Every time we fathers have many feelings but we don’t express in front of our child.

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  5. Vikas, what you have written about Rashmi is just poetry, a spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions, in the words of Wordsworth. We wish her a please homecoming and we are sure that with such longing parents, her future will be extremely bright.

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    1. SD
      we go back many many years…in fact you have helped us at the very early stages of all documentation. So you know I am not a poet. More the world weary rascal sort. But Rashmi’s longing drove the words from me. Vinita said this piece may be my best yet. I think your comment gives me the feeling that she was right. Thanks for your friendship. Love to both you and Archana ji

      Like

  6. You articulate well – bringing your emotions through words for the reader to feel the way you did. Rashmi is lovable. She will keep shining and make you very proud. Look forward to seeing you and the wonderful family.

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    1. Dearest Rashmi,Has been very very lucky and fortunate to have such affectionate,loving,caring and understanding parents in Vinita and You.
      She in her turn has been very focused, hardworking,determined and the least demanding,but very firm and forthright in her aims.
      She is Not Only Fond of both of you but adores,loves and is very attached.
      Her further achievements and glory will make both of You very proud indeed.
      Hats off to you for expressing every father’s thoughts and feelings,Which all of us cannot do.Both Madhavi and Me anxiously look forward to the Home coming of our darling daughter Veena.

      Like

      1. Thanks Ramesh Mama and Madhavi kaki
        Your blessings and good wishes are very much required for Rashmi as well as for both Vinita and me. Thanks for always being there. Thanks for being a stable, unchanging core in the mad rush of our lives. We really take a lot of inspiration from both of you and will continue to look up for support.
        We will certainly meet soon. Rash is back on 20/21 night
        Meanwhile keep showering us with your love
        vikas

        Like

  7. Boss, really heart touching blog with full of emotion and honesty. Rashmi is very lucky to have parent like you. Priti join me to welcome Rashmi to India and Surat along with you and Vinita bhabhi too. With lots of love and
    Gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rajesh
      Rashmi is what she is because of the initial upbringing in Atul where you all were the extended family and gave so much love to rash and us that she developed into a very confident child.
      Thanks for your good wishes. Pl thank Priti ben also
      Yes we must meet soon
      you take care and stay happy

      Like

  8. Sir, very heart touching … I can very well relate it to the situation at our home. My husband & my daughter relationship. Daughters are always for their fathers, no matter how much mothers miss them.
    I remember Rashmi as a kid during our Johnson days. Nice pics in the blog & also the song chosen by you …
    My best wishes to Rashmi for her future endeavours & regards to Vinita madam.

    Like

    1. Thanks Shruti for your comments
      Yes every father daughter relationship is special and magical
      Thanks also for your best wishes for her future
      with support and blessings form you all, I am sure she will do well

      Like

  9. Wow…so beautifully written…after reading this I could actually feel what my father must have gone through when I left home for higher studies and then eventually job and marriage…he used to ask the same questions and still he asks the same questions…’Kaisa chal Raha hai? Everything ok?’ made me see the world through his eyes..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey many many thanks for your kind words
      every writer hopes s/he is able to evoke the feelings and past experiences in the reader
      finally our human condition is the same, if we will go beyond the walls and barriers we create
      Often times Fathers end up the strong silent types
      but their heart is equally malleable and soft
      Happy that you remembered your father through my blog

      Like

  10. Beautifully captured and expressed. Indeed this father -daughter relationship has something unique about it. Saying it and still not saying

    Best wishes to Rashmi May she shine bright very much like her name.

    Like

  11. Rashmi great going more to come.Your priority Rashmi,Vinita,Profession then Shirodkar.Stay Blessed 3 of You Rita joins me in wishing Rashmi a Satisfying Future.Bundle of Emotion Aptly Written Well Communicated

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sir, Throughout the post tears were rolling from my eyes, so so well written.
    Love you, Vinita bhabhi and Rashmi.
    I still rememer the Atul days when little Rashmi used to jump for Bullet rides in down colony.
    God bless her.
    Rgds,
    Amit

    Like

    1. Amit
      you were always close to the three of us…and will remain so.
      I still remember when your job took you away from BLR. And as soon as you relocated, I got a call….Boss pl put me back as the local parent for Rashmi in her college records, I am back. Tina and you have showered so much love and affection on her, I think second only to the Baraiya family.
      So tumhe rulane ka haq to banata hai. jaise R ka tumhare bullet pe haq tha..
      Stay Blessed
      and continue to shower your love on us, Today, Tomo and the Day after

      Like

  13. Beautifully expressed!
    This is the story of every father… The classic dilemma between wanting to hold on to your child and letting her fly. When I sometimes think how close I am to that stage of life with my daughters, I shudder at the thought of returning home from work and not being able to hug my little angels. But that will happen soon, and hopefully I will let them fly out of the nest with just one wish and blessing… Salaamat raho.

    Like

    1. AR
      Life is in love with itself and grows. Rumi taught us that. Gibran taught us that. We are just incidental. The joy is in still taking it seriously and play the game as though every move, every pass, every action matters. And some of us are adept at that. We are survivors….and we will move on as newer cards get dealt out to us as the Game progresses….Remember, The Moving Finger writes and….

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear sir ,
    Very heart touching ….you will never be left alone ..Rashmi will be arround you and Vinitaben …

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  15. Hello Sir !

    Wowwwwwwwwwwwww…..

    Great news…..

    Rashmi coming back to Mumbai very soon …..

    We have to meet once for sure either any of the Saturdays or Sundays for lunch once she is here.

    I remember when she was at our place for lunch last how much she had enjoyed the grilled chicken & vegetable s that I had cooked & the vodka with lots of crushed ice & lemon & mint….

    Can feel how much you have missed her since the time she left for London & till date…. Your love for her reflects in every word / sentence penned by you … Your missing her each & every moment that passes speaks out loud & clear.

    I am sure that once back from London Rashmi with yet one more feather in her cap will go out & create a different space for her & will yet again outshine her own self finding / achieving more & more but still remaining her old lovable self.

    Your blog reflects the bond / love / affection / care a father & a daughter share & I see that every single day between my dad & Bina …..

    I think there is no bigger / better story of all the above then the relationship shared by a father & daughter.

    Hope you see you all soon……

    Happy days are here again & all the wait is a gone by thing….

    Lots of love to you all …..

    Nikhil Tanna

    Like

    1. Nikhil
      Our families go so long back that I shudder to remember, as it makes me ancient, not old
      But it feels good also as apriori we get the love and affection of Bina and Divu and you
      and the malai on the doodh…Swati and Ryan and Saubhi and Rashmi

      Yes jayant and Bhanu were the ones who taught us how to love others, and grapple them to the soul
      They were the ones who lived the Vasudeva Kutumbakkam truth…he vishwachi maze ghara….
      everyone was equally dear and near to them always
      Their generosity and large hearted demeanour actually made us to shameful…as we could not rise to their level of giving and living life king-size
      So when Rash is back look FW to the Good Times returning
      and we all being together again as one large family
      Thanks for your love and care
      vikibaba punter
      PS Sometimes I feel you exaggerate my writing prowess and fluency skills….but baccha…it feels good
      So I have never challenged you
      keep the love flowing

      Like

    1. Neelkanth
      though you had commented so long ago, unfortunately the system put your comment is Spam folder and I chanced on it only today
      Thanks for your comments
      Yes we have shared many great moments together in Manchester as well as in Mumbai
      Look FW to spending more time with you and Shobha
      vikas

      Like

  16. What a blog! Father’s affection, love is pouring out.
    You always have facility with words but this one? Oh simply the best.
    Thanks for sharing

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    1. Suresh
      thanks
      Vinita also said this was my best so far.
      so did many others who pinged or WA me
      I think it happens because there is genuine love and feelings at the core of it all
      and that is so intense that it clouds out any embellishments that normally a writer may try to introduce
      Hi Pahilya Dharechi Ahe Ogale Saheb
      from one heart to another noble heart
      thanks for your appreciation.

      Like

  17. Very touching and tender. Reminds every father of his relationship with his daughter. We may not be expressive like women but surely we don’t love them any less. GOD BLESS

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    1. Thanks Nikhil…..that is the only way I can write…ask my younger sister and she will tell you what a fool I am.
      It is only the love of good sould around that draws the best out of me

      Like

  18. Vikas boss, this is absolutely heart touching. Being a father of a 6 year old princess, I can relate to every single word penned down by you. Father Daughter is one of the most beautiful bonds the world. As they say “A daughter may outgrow your lap but she’ll never outgrow your heart”

    Wishing Rashmi the best of life!

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  19. Very touching. She is also very lucky to have you as her parents.
    Enjoy her returning home.
    Our best wishes.

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  20. विकास, आप दोनों सलामत रहो. Can relate to you as father. Enjoy the happy times. आपके कवि मन को सलाम 🙏

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  21. Father is generally not able to express love for his daughter but it is illusion. He loves daughter to the same extent as her mother loves.
    Thanks for sharing. Photos chosen are most appropriate.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. So beautifully penned. Father is generally not able to express love for his daughter but it is illusion. He loves daughter to the same extent as her mother loves.
    Thanks for sharing. Photos chosen are most appropriate.

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    1. Thanks Nilesh ji. Yes I agree we fathers are as loving but do not get due credit. That is how life is. Fortunately I have been one father who participated fully in the feeding and changing of Rashmi since she came into our family. So I have enjoyed every part of her growing up. And now that she is a lady, I am doubly blessed. Thanks for your kind words

      Like

  23. Fully understand your excitement as I have also undergone.
    Here’s wishing Rashmi all the very best in her life.
    Wish you and your wife a life full of excitement and happiness.
    Rashmi will continue to be the motivation in your life.
    God bless.

    Like

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