The Rugged Shortcut
It was the rainy season in Nainital, Uttarakhand. I woke up to get ready for the school and noticed that Paa wasn’t home. Usually, by the time I woke up and got ready, he was home after a round of football, hockey or basketball game which followed after his morning walk. He always made the best of time he had on his hands before leaving for work. I had never seen him sitting idle, he was always up to something productive. “Maa, where is Paa?” I asked. She said he had left early morning with a spade and hoe without saying a word.
We wondered what it could be as those were his home-gardening tools. For a minute, I thought he must have gone to dig the Dahelia tubers for transplanting them in the home garden. “Though he always shifts the tubers from one place to the other in the garden rather than hunting for them,” I thought to myself. Knowing that only Paa could tell us what he had set out for, I got back to my morning routine, packed my school bag and enjoyed the ‘cheeni ka parantha’ made by Maa (breakfast those days had a set menu but we still loved every bit of it unlike the tantrums thrown by the little ones today).
Just as I was about to leave for school, Paa arrived. His hands, hoe, and spade all covered with wet soil. Before we could ask where he had been, he said: “I went and cleaned the rugged shortcut you take to school.”
I stood there in disbelief as the realization hit me with the speed of light. I cursed myself about what I had said the previous day about that shortcut. “It is so slippery and dirty because of the fallen leaves and wet mud. It becomes very difficult to walk as one is forced to run down the slope with full chances of falling down.” What I certainly missed the other day was that Paa had heard it all!
I left home and as I approached the rugged track I felt a lump in my throat, my eyes ready to swell. Paa had removed all the fallen leaves and even tried his best to make the track as even as possible. What I did not say that day before leaving for school or after coming from school since I was so overwhelmed and not so good at expressing, I say it today, “Thank You Paa, I Love You!” (Maa, I love you too 🙂 )
Let us all begin with not taking unconditional love for granted, let us express our gratitude towards everyone who has touched our lives in their special ways. #IdoThankU
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