June 21: International Father’s Day
Instead of sharing pics on social media, this time I thought I should spend some quality time with my father who is living all alone in his house. Bread baking has become my new passion and I decided to bake a bread and surprise him this Father’s Day.As you all know Bread baking is a huge process and requires a lot of your attention and not less than 4 hours of your time. Giving the utmost attention and care needed at all stages I baked a soft and fluffy white pullmans bread.Since it was for the special man in my life, I never wanted to take a chance or a compromise as to its shape. Pullmans bread retain it’s shape. I even brought a bread knife so that it’s shape is regained when compared to the original. Everything was perfect according to me. I was so proud, happy and excited thinking about all the attention that I would get from Achan for baking a beautiful loaf.
While driving to his house, I recalled those beautiful memories of making chappathi for Achan the first time when Amma got transferred to northern part of Kerala. The taste that he found in my Hardo chappathis was difficult for me to figure it out at that time. Later I saw a version of him in Anoop who finds a beauty in everything that our children does.As days passed by, his tastes,preferences and aptitudes changed drastically. As a symbol of getting older, he suffers from appetite loss and a very sensitive stomach. Keeping all this in mind, I didn’t try making a side dish for the bread. I just filled the slice with a thin layer of Jam of his choice.
The moment we reached his house, Siddhu was trying to connect with him saying Amma has bought a surprise for you. He was so engrossed in his social media and the debates that was happening, he didn’t bother to listen to him.In between I also prepared a tea to give along with it.
And finally I gave the cup of hot tea and my bread slice nicely cut in a triangle shape and neatly plated to him. I waited for the results as he took the first bite like a Master chef India contestant. I was so anxious as he moved forward for the next bite. He didn’t bother to comment. I couldn’t control my anxiety as I was clueless as to what went wrong with my bread. As he finished the whole slice within a few bites, I offered him one more slice which he refused.I couldn’t wait for more… I decided to break the silence. I was sure that it was definitely a qualified piece as I saw my Sivaa went on and on with more and more slices. Sivaas taste buds are so strong. He could always sensitize a stale bread. And moreover it was baked in the morning.
I left my plates in the sink and went and sat near him. He was watching news. I interfered in between and very gently asked him. Acha did you like the bread I made for you? He gave a very puzzled look and continued… what’s there to make in it. I couldn’t wait to hear more… What???.. I couldn’t believe… Was it from my same old father who used to like everything I make?? He continued…You bought a store bought bread and applied jam on it and gave to me.. I didn’t wait for more explanation and clarification. He could relate to it with a store bought bread itself made me feel so happy. He continued with his new research on Covid 19 as I moved on to my next activity.
Happy Father’s Day Acha…
I know I couldn’t cherish any of your dreams nor I could fulfill my duties as a daughter…..still I wish and I hope one day I will make you so proud of me.
With lots and lots of love..
Preetha Anoop Menon