(A tribute to my father on Father’s Day)
You did not start your day,
as I clearly remember on this day,
without offering your morning prayer.
Our small temple in the northeast corner of our home
you kept spick and span.
Mother carefully arranged on a plate
your puja material: flowers from our garden,
a coconut from our tree, a lamp,
incense sticks, a few basil leaves, some sweets
and a jar of fresh water from our well.
I tagged behind you,
to confess now I shall not hesitate,
sweets and pieces of coconut to share and taste…
But one thing I recall;
You sat eyes closed
and the deity too in the same posture.
Did you converse with your god, father?
I could not hear your silent dialogue then,
but today I can - it is louder and clear.
Between the deity and you
I see more of god in you –
Your eyes exuded kindness,
your voice was full of affection
and your touch was soft and tender…
The words of wisdom of the ancient seer
ring in my ear:
Pitah Dharmah, pitah swargah,
Pitari param tapah –
Father is the way of life,
Father is the Heaven
And in him lies the highest penance.