9th February, 1992: One of most memorable day of my life. My family was complete on this day, with my Achan (we address father as Achan in Kerala), Amma and Chettan (Brother). My Achan and Amma had to go back to his work place that evening and me and Chettan had to return to our respective hostels. Achan declared in the morning- “Today I am on a date with Bindu and I am taking her out”. My amma laughingly said –“Go, and have a nice time, I am going to spend time with Babu (brother’s nick name).”
Wow! What a wonderful date with Achan. Both of us being great movie buffs, our date started with watching a Malayalam movie followed by having Masala Dosha - my favourite. Then both of us just walked around the market hand-in-hand. Our agenda was just to walk and talk. He was a voracious reader, and he narrated me a complete novel which he had read. The novel was based on the importance of valuing, preserving and nurturing the relationships in our lives. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful walk which we had.
After spending the whole day together – ‘our date’, we came back home. But by then, all four of us had heavy heart, since it was the time to bid adieu. Amma had packed the suitcase.
We four started for the railways station. When the train came, Amma and Achan boarded the train. My philosophy in life is never to say good bye with tears in eyes. I was having a great lump in my throat. I fought hard not to cry. Amma and Achan were standing at the door itself. None of us wanted to miss a single moment of togetherness. The train was about to start, and to my surprise, Achan just got out of the train, hugged Chettan and me. He planted a beautiful kiss on our forehead. He murmured: “Take care of yourselves, my kids”. I could see tears in Achan’s eyes.
I wanted to say a lot of things, but could not utter a word. He boarded the train. The train moved, Chettan and me also moved in the platform along with the train for some distance. Both Amma and Achan waived hands at us. We both stood at the platform, till the train was out of sight. We had tears in our eyes.
I still cherish Achan’s kiss on my forehead. I feel the warmth of his kiss every moment. I did not know that his kiss on that day was the last one for me. It turned out to be ‘The Good Bye Kiss’.
But the beautiful thing is that even though 23 years have passed by, I just have to close my eyes to feel that good bye kiss of my Achan, and I get tremendous energy from the same. The most memorable day of my life. God bless Achan’s soul. Love you Acha…
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