Unconditional Love

That was my first big win.
I was six,
The month was May, it was sweltering hot
And that left me completely distraught.
He arrived for my first sports meet
Hugged me, smoothened my wild hair, did my pleat.
Since morning, I had been on a spin,
I was tired and sleepy like I had never been.
I looked at him pleadingly
Almost imploring him to carry me back like a djinn.
Soon the loudspeaker blared…
It was the announcement for the parents’ race
He looked all over, as if assessing the stakes.
He gave it a moment,
And conjured a quick trick.
In that span, I saw his many personas,
From artist to athlete.
Suddenly he picked me up,
scooped me in his arms
And ran…
I felt secure in the grip of my Tarzan.
The warm air brushed my tiny frame
And lo and behold, there he was, ahead of all!
The whistle blew and he lifted me higher…
He had already won the race.
I looked at him in awe – ah, what a chase!
The moment sank in slowly but deeply
I was flushed, excited and shyly whispered, ‘You won.’
He gathered me in his arms, kissed me and said
‘No darling, we won.’
That was Dad
My five feet, seven inches pillar of hope and faith,
Of unalloyed, unconditional love….
He lifted me,
Carried me to the podium,
Made me feel like a winner,
And let me bask in the warmth of victory!

Sangeeta Kampani, 63, is formerly from the IRS and retired as Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi.

Featured image: Suzi Kim / Unsplash