It was a breezy sunny evening , one of the better days of pleasant weather in Chennai. The dad and daughter combo slowly embarked on their healthy journey towards Elliotts beach , also popularly known as Bessie beach.
Preethi was not pleased with her dad, pushing her successfully to walk with him. He had won another battle , like he always did with her. She had thankfully inherited her mother's petite frame - one which would make a yoga trainer proud- yet she still gave her dad company. For among other things , he was an ideal candidate for replacing yo mama as the heavy icon and had the potential to make the yoga trainers very rich.
While she was brooding about her dad's obesity , he was wondering how to broach the subject of her marriage. He built up his courage and asked , " Can you please do me a favor , dear? "
"I know that dear. That's why I didn't ask you. But can you get married this year for me? That would cure me of all diseases!" he cheerfully proclaimed after the initial stumbling .
The reply came back in rocket speed . With such spontaneity that, you could swear without knowing that ,she had already given the topic a lot of thought , " a) that will cure none of your diseases dad .In fact it would worsen your health. b) Me running for you is more possible than my getting married for your sake"
Daddy sighed so deeply that she thought he had an asthma attack. But then , she was not going to care anymore. This was where she drew the line . Her marriage was her choice. If not the groom , the timing atleast.. She didn't want her dad to get hurt but and so she chose to not get married. Long run always topped short run.
Somehow he never understood that. Impulses ruled and controlled him to such an extent that it could potentially destroy him. He always HAD to get what he wanted. The latest longer iPhone , another sip of his favorite drink , the next series of bmw ... the list elongated to eternity and she didn't want to be a part of his checklist. No sir. But she knew he always got what he wanted. Eventually at least.
For he was a man of style, this Venugopal Iyengar. Only Dumbledore could beat him in a swag contest. And the knowledge of his own powers relaxed him. He didn't need to coerce preethi . Because she knew he wouldn't . And because she knew he loved her .
Sometimes love needs to be stated over and over again. Such relationships are at best superficial. Venu never needed to tell Preethi that he loved her. Few dads ever have to . He never bought her things to satisfy her wants and buy her love. Few dads try that. He wasn't a great believer of spending 'quality time with the kids' , true . They watched cricket matches and movies every Sunday . That was about it.
Dads have their unique ways of showing their love. The unnecessary over protectiveness while dealing with all male elements of her life , the side glances of affection when he thought she wasn't looking , the casual hand over her shoulders and the best of it all -the feeling of his soggy hands holding her hands firmly and assuredly whilst crossing the road was when it strikes her how much he loves her or at least how much she loves him. She belonged to somebody – somebody who would put himself to danger to protect her.
Thank god she had ended up in his side after her parents divorced.
What was happening?! She couldn't wake up from her reverie of affectionate thought. She couldn't go back to the great road leading to Elliotts beach where her dad was calling out to her.. whispering with his usually deep voice " pree...thee.." "pree...thee" . Sounded like he wanted her to pray for him. Pray thee! Why is dad using archaic English? Why is he whispering? Why is he sweating so much? This was all but a bad dream. But wait.. she could feel his soggy sweating hands hold her tightly. Grasping her with such desperation.
Then like a thunder hitting the tree the thought struck , but she pushed it out of her mind. The usually cool venugopal kept moaning “pree..thee” She could feel a crowd forming around them. Something was very wrong. All were senses were screeching at her . But she couldn't come back to the great grand road leading to elliots beach. She could be floating with the stars.
What was the last thing which happened before she jumped into this never ending train of thought?
Her dad was most probably having an asthma attack or worse -a cardiac arrest! She could feel his soggy strong grip and his face..tears were raining down his cheek. She had never seen Venu appa cry. Not even when their mom left them. There was a legend though that he had cried when she was 2 and had broken her head. Cute baby face full of blood was what it took to make the man cry. She was getting lost again.
She must face the problem. Drop back to reality. Do more than hold his hand and most importantly save him.
Forming words seemed like an alien task. Her parched dry mouth was forming the words and she was pretty sure that she was talking. But she couldn't hear a thing of it. Screw it! Her weak body and emotionally inept brain must have gone into shock. Her dad was probably dying and here she was dillydallying with shock.
Finally she could here it “ I am here daddy!! Someone save him please. Someone call for an ambulance!”
Yippy . The devoted daughter has finally spoken.
Thankfully some random aadmi must have already called for an ambulance. She could here the sirens. The cute paramedics were coming fast with their stretchers towards them. She held venu’s hands very tightly , “ Don’t worry daddy. I will take care of you. I will marry for you . I will run for you. Heck , I will even cook for you “
He was crying alarmingly now , bringing her hands close to his chest. He must really be in pain. His face was full of sweat and tears. Like her , he couldn't form any words . only tears .
The paramedics finally came and lifted her off the ground. “Not me you idiots! My dad is in danger. I am only suffering from shock” she said with true horror and dismay. Stupid paramedics they have these days she mused -cute but stupid. Being the lawyer she was , she vowed to sue them after this mess got cleared. “Where is my dad?” she wailed. That was when the needle pricked and reality finally hit.
“……truck out of nowhere doctor. PLEASE SAVE HER…. daughter. She is the only thing I love in life doctor” ha and you’re the only man I will ever love , dad. The drugs are reallly starting to kick in lol
“…..miracle ....... she being....... still conscious”
The siren kept shrieking . God!,Why can’t they just shut it off?
And he did shut it all off.