June 11, 2021
I have so many memories. Where to begin?
I remember holding your hand and walking to the Star Ferry in Kowloon. I was only 9 when you took me to the South China Morning Post book shop and helped me exchange my award certificates for books. You taught me the value of hard work, not giving up and believing in myself. You shared the delight of cookies I baked and my love of animals. To the extent you rode the lower deck of the Star Ferry just so I could see the fish in the ocean waters.
You gave me the confidence to try harder and do better. Every time you returned from a parent-teacher meeting, you were always so very proud of me and never held back from sharing with the world your pride in us, your 3 daughters.
Renu Annu Shruti
“Why do I need a son?” You challenged others. “When I have 3 daughters I am so proud of.”
You taught me to read, write and speak in Hindi, to manage with what I have and excel in the talents I’ve been given. You taught me to appreciate others and be humble enough to learn from my superiors. You taught me to never give up. In fact, you hardly told me what you did for others.
Over the last 3 days, since you left me, I have heard comments from people about you like ‘Guruji,’, ‘Gurubhai’, ‘Teacher’, ‘Mentor’ and ‘Godfather’. I am slowly learning all that you have done for so many people. Then someone reminded me to keep alive your legacy.
But Dad, I am so small. I don’t think I can ever fill your shoes.
No one can. No one can fill the void you leave behind.
I will always look up to you as I hold your hand while we walk to the Star Ferry in Kowloon. I will always be that 9-year-old girl and ride the lower deck of the ferry. I know that you have left me. I know that you have crossed all the oceans to another world. But I will always be your daughter.
And I will never give up looking for you in the ocean waters…
Love you Dad…