Being a legend is a rare blessing which God bestows on a very few people. I smile with innocence and my eyes sparkle with pride when I tell everyone that I am a daughter of one of those blessed souls, and that Prof. Kanwaljit Singh Dhudike was my father. A mourning 28th date of September 2014 painted a big black stroke of sorrow everywhere, as far as my eyes could possibly see. How would a little birdie feel when the parent birdie just vanished away like a click of a finger and never came back? For me, the charming colors of my life, was papa. No matter wherever I went, whether an exam hall or a party at my friend’s, I always felt that he is along me and watching over, like what we feel for God. Be it the colors of rainbow or be it the shining stars; he often talked about deeper meanings of life. How else would I know about saluting the rising sun, and the importance of sunset before beginning of a new day in the beautiful blue sky.  He taught me and my brother about different shades of life, through changing seasons of the Mother Nature… the blooming season of the Spring, the freezing of the Winter, the scorching heats of the Summer and the falling leaves of the Autumn. He only talked about the bright colors of life.

The world still adores him for his unique and independent style which only he could carry. Throughout his life, he wrote thought provoking articles and poems, with pen also and camera also. Being blessed with these immense qualities, he indeed was a noted Punjabi poet, a writer, an artist, a photographer, a news broadcaster, and an Electronics Engineer professor. He travelled the whole world through his literary work, his websites, his talking photographs, his ever speaking pen, his distinct voice and his pleasing personality with that ever smiling face and untiring attitude all the way. Through these 50 years of life that he lived, I believe that he has lived equivalent to the life of a100 years old!

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The chirping of the birds and the morning sunrise often woke him up before all of us at home and by the time we all would be getting ready, papa would already be seated on his pet place for work and preparing news bulletin for radio stations abroad. His signature news columns and articles ‘mahul te mausam de jharokhe cho ikk gufat gu’ , ‘kisse titroo de’  and ‘tadke waale chaul’ were cherished by the Punjabis worldwide. His thought process and the clicked photographs, reflect his connection with the Mother Nature. Be it the foggy winter mornings or the rainy days, he would be ready with his gear on his hunt to find and click the dew laden spider webs in our garden, blooming flowers, petals laden with rain droplets and so much more that only his eye could selectively pick and capture. He was a true magic, my father!

His dreams in pipeline lie before me, inscribed on a paper, in his beautiful running handwriting. He wrote, drew, and clicked so much, but most of it still unseen to the world. The loose papers I find in his writing from different corners of my home, speak different things to me altogether. As I try to feel even closer to him through all those writings, I often wonder if he already knew that his time was short. He completed the artistic works in his limited time; however his further dreams speak about the exhibitions that he wished to display, the books to be printed, the song album of self composed songs and so much more which can be linked through loopholes.

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Like every other girl, my feelings of being my daddy’s lil girl have still not vanished and I often feel as if talking to him, when I try to feel his belongings lying in every corner of our home. One of the best compliments received by me in my life has been, “You are a carbon copy of your dad”! My face resembles his, and to feel him closer, I have started spending some more time with the mirror on the wall. I also cherish those hundreds and hundreds of pictures he clicked right from when I was just 2 hours old. In a sequence, the whole of my 25 years have been thoroughly captured by him and he gave me those memories, which I can adore for the rest of my life, but without him being by my side. Be it the new attire I wore, or the game I played with my friends, the milestones I achieved, or my cuddly memories with my mother, my lively pictures with my brother, or the festive celebrations at home, from all my birthdays to my D-day as a Bride, he captured all these memories for us. He is close, but now still so far to talk to and get guidance from. If I have seen life, have lived it or will live it now; it will be only through him and his vision.

Well, the color Black, which he never spoke about, was the only thing that I saw on his departure…the black smoke, the dark ash, the grey water, my dull soul, the prickling pain and so much darkness everywhere. Maybe his talks about the colors of life were valid, as he knew that till he was there, he wouldn’t let the gloomy black harm me or our family ever. I miss you, I miss you dear papa. You were a living legend.

By Amrit Ammu

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