I feel lonely without you. I thought the vacuum wouldn’t remain for this long, but it has for almost 19 years now.
Me missing you is a testament to what a good father you were. I didn’t realise it then, but you did your best, being a relatively young father and who lived through poverty. You stinged on yourself, wearing the same shirt for years, and indulged on us.
Christmas, your favourite holiday, never felt the same without you. Now there is a gloominess around it, because I can’t help but feel your absence. The absence of your smile and laughter at your elder Brother’s house where we were invited for Christmas with chicken briyani, fruit cake and Fanta Orange. You always helped to buy the giant metal pan of delicious dum briyani.
You always got me a present and although it was usually an activity book and not a doll, they brought so much magic to my childhood.
That one time you bought me my only and very first Barbie and I don’t think it was either my birthday or Christmas. We just happened to be walking through a book fair and there was a Barbie section. It was the most stunning Ballerina Barbie. I’ll never forget it because it was S$50 then which was extremely expensive for the early 80’s.
I was really shocked that you bought it, but even now that memory is one of the sweetest for me. Especially so because you didn’t really like the idea of dolls and believed more in the value of books. I’m definitely also glad that you instilled your love of the written word in me.