My Papa2 mins 268 2 mins 268
Tall, dark, handsome and strong, if I remember right,
He would lay me on his outstretched legs and rock me with a tune.
A Konkani song guaranteed to put me to sleep in an instant,
And then, he would slide me gently in my soft cocoon.
He would wash my white keds clean and leave them to dry on the shoe rack
And then he would paint them like snow with a stick of Blanco.
My pinafore and white blouse would be ironed and starch clean
My lunch box with a side dish of home-made pickled mango
He would ride his Atlas bicycle a long distance to school,
Through the Mount Road traffic with me perched behind.
I would wave my hand to everyone, my tiny frame excited,
“My daddy is the fastest,” I’d scream, unrefined.
He would come to school in the evening after a long day’s work,
A cuisinier in a Five-Star Hotel, he would still find time for me.
I would run down the sandy campus, tripping on stones and gravel,
And say to him, “Papa, can I have an ice cream?”
We would drop by Aavin Milk Bar, and I would press my nose against the glass top.
Unable to decide whether I wanted a biscuit cone or a cup.
He would wait patiently for me, laughter in his eyes,
Watching the ice cream melt in my mouth as I savoured and gulped.
He would carry me on his shoulders and gallop down the corridors,
I would squeal in delight, clinging to the head of short strands.
My mother would see my uniform stains and under her breath, grate,
“Have you once again been to the Aavin Milk stand?”
Although I did not have my daddy all through my life,
For some reason, God wanted him up in Paradise.
I remember all the good times with my dearest Super Hero,
But I would gladly trade those memories if God gave him back alive.