My Father - Poem by chandra thiagarajan
O my father, my dear darling father!
No words can depict, even a part
Of the deep emotions that smother
Me, and tear my heart apart!
When thoughts-many thousands-so dear,
About him and his ways-of my dad,
Come rushing to my mind-so clear
I set my pen to quell myself-so mad.
Though lean in corporal structure,
And implied toughness on surface;
He had strength of good character
Which held surging love beneath the base.
One cannot think of him
Without dwelling on his upright stride,
With hands strong, though slim
Swaying past -fast beside.
The aura of his sharp mien glowed,
With deep thoughts of virtue;
The sparkle of his eye elaborately told
The intelligence that was barred from view.
Strong to his duty ever bound,
From twelve, after his father's demise,
He strove to bring his dependents round—
His mother, brothers and sister-as a man so wise.
All his available resources eroded,
He never could achieve his dream
Of wearing a graduate gown. Instead
He shouldered the burden with a beam!
To Ooty, from his home-town, Vellore,
He proceeded in pursuit of a job;
Then came down to Coimbatore,
In his teens, with a big heart-sob.
Then at the great city of Calcutta,
He worked for a while as a young lad;
But finally settled down at Nallagutta
In the beautiful city of Secunderabad.
With the office of the Cantonment Board,
Himself he completely identified;
From dawn to dusk o'er the files he poured,
And the gnawing troubles set aside.
He fixed his brothers and others in jobs,
And conducted his sister's marriage grandly;
Then took his life-partner with heart throbs,
And for six and thirty years sailed smoothly.
O'er this mundane life—so bitter,
My father glided ever so nobly;
Setting himself apart from the litter,
On a loftier plane -so ably.
Devoid of chicanery and guile,
He was straight-forward and simple;
He carried himself with dignity and style,
Wearing innocence all the while.
Out of the wed-lock were born-very fine
Four souls—three daughters and a son;
He raised us up in happiness' shine,
And gave us all, his hard labour won.
Our characters, he subtly did mould,
To make us citizens useful and good;
For our education-troubles untold
Were borne, more than he e'er could.
Discipline in his children, to ever instill,
And hold them under his sway;
His gushing love he did still,
And triumphantly held it at bay.
My father performed his duty,
Of settling his children four;
And took pride in the beauty,
Of their harbours on life's shore! .
He was a large-hearted man,
And ne'er knew the root of meanness,
In him magnanimity swishing ran,
Ever striving for others' happiness.
His favourite cigar—the Charminar,
Was to him a great relief and solace;
His ardent love for books would ne'er tar,
Till the end of his very last days.
A man of less words—I gasp,
He hardly ever his mind out-poured;
The pressure of his one hand-clasp,
Tendered his love beyond every word.
Oh! Those warm glorious days,
When we raced to Secunderabad,
For his love's sublime golden rays,
To be so affectionately had!
My daddy! I feel so-so very sorry,
Ah! I couldn't fulfill your wish
Of yourself coming to Madras. Guilty,
Guilty am I, to the core of anguish!
It is to break away perchance
From this daughter ungrateful,
You left this world in trance,
Leaving me mourning, my life full.
O'er my cheeks, roll down the tears,
Etching the nineteenth of July Nineteen eighty;
Sorrow stricken till the end of my years,
When you parted, at the age of nine and sixty! .
My darling father! While I pray to Heaven
To rest your good soul in peace,
I humbly crave your kind pardon,
Till the end of my release!
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