Birthday Present for Daddy

Sometime during last winter, Anirud realised that I haven’t got a woolly hat to cover my head. Since then, he was telling that he will be getting a woolly hat for my birthday. We are not sure when he dropped that from his agenda, but very often he will claim that he will get something or other as a ‘present’. Few weeks back, after returning from school one day he asked me to close my eyes saying that he will be giving a present. With all my innocence, I closed my eyes and stretched out my hand thinking that he will be handing in a drawing or artwork that he did at school. But this dirty brat, picked his nose and placed it on my palm. What a good display of picking up tricks at school.

That naughtiness apart, when he was told by his mom that my birthday is approaching, he started pestering her to get me some presents. Upon being questioned about what to buy, it was so sweet of him to have dished out various suggestions including ‘how about a toy mummy?’ Finally, he (well, its my other half) selected a nice looking pair of cufflinks with the letters ‘Dad’ embossed on it. One should see the glow on his face when I wore it on the other day. He was beaming with pride saying ‘appa, naanum mummy-um idhai vaanginom pa’ (Mummy and I bought it for you, Daddy). Oh, that was so sweet of you dear.

There was a bit of fun on that as well. My wife added a tie clip to the box and it seems that Anirud didn’t realise that. He was like ‘Mummy, why have you put a nail cutter in this box’. šŸ™‚


Living far away from our home country, we seldom have any visitors at home in the form of relatives. We can easily count with one hand the number of relatives who have visited us so far. When I told Anirud that his ‘periappa’ (paternal uncle – elder) will be visiting us and that we will be driving to a nearby town to collect him from the hotel, he didn’t show any interest. However, once ‘Balaji Periyappa’ came in and settled down, he stuck to him like a glue never refusing to leave him even for a moment. It was periyappa all day long for few days. When periyappa bid adieu, Anirud started crying and he didn’t want to leave. Weeks later, he is still under the assumption that his periyappa will be returning back after a short stint in India.

After this episode, I strongly feel that this is something that Anirud will miss very badly, as a result of growing up in a foreign land. If we were in India, however busy we were, there will be some opportunity in the form of a wedding or numerous domestic occasions to meet the near and dear. Here in UK, despite our best efforts, he may not even hear about various cousins, let alone meet, hug and play with them. Telephone calls will never quite replace the personal touch and warmth, that the extended family could bring. This, probably might lead to some soul searching.