Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there.
My father has taught me many things, possibly every thing, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to share a little bit about who he was when he was my age.
Before my sister and I were born, my father was an artist. Theatre is where he belonged. He was an angry king one week and a mad cop the next. He was a shy woman one evening and Lord Shiva the next. He painted his face, put on a costume and became a different person every week when the lights hit his face.
Before my sister and I were born, my father was an artist. Carnatic Classical music took the chaos away from his everyday life. He ‘was’ a flutist. Back in the day, he carried a flute everywhere around because that’s how much he loved it, sheathing himself in the melody every so often so much so that he even named me after his favorite raaga. He’d close his eyes and play the flute for hours every morning. He’d even carved my mother’s name on his favorite flute before they got married. It did get him in trouble though.
Before my sister and I were born, my father was an artist. He enjoyed writing small poems. Incidents that touched his heart transformed into rhyming verses. He’d say that was his way of expressing his love for Kannada, a language that spoke to him. He’d thump his chest and call it ‘MY language’ with pride. A few poems even got published decades ago.
Before my sister and I were born, my father was an artist. Painting was one of the many ways through which he chose to communicate with the world. We couldn’t afford canvases and expensive paint at that time so he resorted to old calendars and pens. The backside of every page of every calendar was a work of art. Although he wasn’t very vocal about his love for my mother, his portraits were. By and large, all his paintings were that of my mother.
And then, life happened I guess. A huge realization dawned on him. Art for art’s sake wasn’t enough. Art failed to pay his bills, failed to put food on the table, failed to pay for his children’s education. Money wise, art failed him. So, he gave up on a career driven by passion & never complained about his choices, but I know he was meant to be an artist. But, I hope that someday artists don’t (have to) buckle under the pressure of being called successful and compete with others to make an honest living. Someday art for art’s sake will be enough.
Here’s celebrating my father and a million others like mine. I am 27 years OLD but, my father’s still my hero. In my head, he hangs the moon.
A few poems that he wrote back in the day.