What? We're grown ups? How do we make it stop?
Spontaneity runs in the family. From long drives, to barbecuing by the beach side, to making a pit stop at Coimbatore. Dadiyo dearest had decided to drop by while he was on his way to Trivandrum.
I was quite excited to finally see a member of the family, since four months is a really long time to stay away from home. (It's not easy being the ONLY inmate who never goes home, because 'home' happens to be an ocean away, and staying over at a relative's place is not an option.)
You see, my father and I never really spent much time together even when we were under the same roof. There was a time when my pudgy little self would cling on to her father and yell out in her shriek voice, 'Make me fly!'
Thanks to puberty, friends and busy schedules, somehow all that changed and my pudgy little fingers were no longer wrapped around his big hand. In fact, they decided to become slender, rough and independent.
Nevertheless, Daddy and I were mostly at loggerheads with each other. (I just don't get it- He either asks me to be a grown up and act my age or he reminds me that I'm still growing and that I've got a long way to go..sigh...parents)
This evening, my father gave me a call and asked me to take the rest of the day off. 'We're going to have an adventure!', he said, and for some reason, I was quite skeptical about his idea of an adventure.
Come lunch time, my father and I were having a conversation about how things used to be at home, over a bowl of hot soup (At least I think it was soup). It's an odd feeling when the person sitting in front of you wants you to come back home, but at the same time, wants you to prioritize your life and stay away from home, only to emerge as a better person.
After we were done with lunch, my father decided to drop me off by my hostel, and then head back towards the railway station. While I was leading the way, he caught a quick glimpse of an alley that meandered towards another alley. "Hey! A short cut!", exclaimed Dad, and almost as though he snatched the steering wheel away from me, he began to lead the way back home.
I tried to explain that it was a rather unfamiliar road to me, since I'd never taken that path before. The next twenty-five minutes made me wonder what lured papa bear towards that forsaken alley.
Dad: Look! I remember seeing that antenna on my way here. We're getting closer to your hostel now.
Me: Which antenna?
Dad: The one beside your hostel. Look there! *and my brows furrowed a little as I tried to figure out which antenna was my father talking about.*
Follow me, I'm sure this road leads to your hostel.
[A few minutes later, we reached a dead end]
Dad: That's odd. Where did this wall come from? Sigh... Okay turn around then.
[Ten minutes later]
Dad: Look! There it is!
Me: That's not my hostel, remember Dad? You pointed at that building a couple of minutes ago.
Dad: Err...right. These buildings look so similar out here!
Me: I think we ought to take this road instead, Dad.
Dad: Nonsense, its THIS road...Yeeesss... I know we're on the right track now.
[The 'right track' lead us to the truckers quarters and they seemed as non plussed as we were]
Me: Umm.. Dad, maybe we should ask for directions?
Dad: Pffft! Trust me.. I'm sure we're somewhere close by. I remember seeing this antenna somewhere .
The confusion went on until we finally made it to the main highway. From there, we walked back to the hostel and just when Daddy was about to leave, he walked along the perimeter of the accommodation and studied the alleys that branched out.
Me: Dad? It's getting late now. You should probably head back to the hotel.
Dad: I don't understand. My short cut was supposed to work. Let's walk back and find out why this road didn't connect to the other.
[I was grateful that there were no familiar faces around, at the time of the investigative study].
He eventually realized that there was a deviation along the road due to which the two lost souls remained lost until Lady Luck was no longer amused by their helplessness.
I guess growing up is hard, but witnessing it is even more difficult. He was giving me a few tips about getting around town and I wanted to tell him, 'I already know that, Dad'. But I knew those words would deprive him of the feeling of guiding his little girl, despite the fact that she's all grown up.