Monday, June 30, 2014

Thanks pa, and wish you a Happy Retired Life!

Appa retired today, after nearly three and half decades of work in the banking sector (and a few years before that in assorted roles like being a shorthand teacher and what not). And I couldn't help but get a little senti about the whole thing last night, as I typed out an email to him. 

All those years all alone in obscure places across the country, cooking for himself, staying without even a TV or any source of entertainment, so that we could get the best of the world, learn from the best teachers. Saving up every penny, so that we could get something for ourselves, rather than him spending it on a bottle of cool-drinks or a meal outside. His emphasis on studies and discipline, that I found restricting back then, but something I don't really regret right now, given it was that discipline that made me who I am today - meticulous, hardworking and super-organised (or so I think). 

Nearly four decades of impeccable service where he gave it all to both Syndicate Bank and us at home. His late nights during those storms that flooded his branch - manually emptying out the water, with his colleagues. His experiences with rural villagers in Pedappampatti - a village in TN I had never heard of, till he got transferred there. The adventure without knowing even a word of Hindi, without even a telephone or Internet, in Raniganj in the early 1990s. And to think a few weeks or months in Aruppukottai and Thiruvarur felt so arduous to me - like I was achieving something so huge.

Those tears and sad moments when he got a transfer and moved away from us remain etched in my memory! I still remember searching on the atlas for Raichur when he figured out that was where he was going next, one fine night. The joy of seeing him back home for a festival - right in the morning. The amount I used to pester him to come back home in the weekends without realising the trouble that he had to go through for that - something I realised only when I travelled back to Chennai every week, during my stint in Thiruvarur. Growing up, with him and at times without him, with the value system that he set for us has surely held me in good stead in life till date, if not all of us. 

A lot of times, when I look back,  I wonder why do I even need to look anywhere else for inspiration. Even at this age, his discipline of waking up at 4 in the morning everyday, and not missing work unless it was next to impossible to go to office is inspirational for someone like me who struggles to get motivated to muster enough to go for a walk at even 6 in the morning. 

I thought and thought a lot, but in the end decided, there can't be a better gift for the person who introduced me to the wonderful world of books and taught me the value of reading, than a set of books. Here's wishing him a happy and a very peaceful retired life and finally a chance to live life to the fullest, because if there's one person who deserves to have fun, it is himeasier and better
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