Monday, July 2, 2012

UBC 1 - A Precious Possession


  
As if I have nothing better to do, I joined up on the Ultimate Blog Challenge

But as I have been neglecting my blog a little, I thought a challenge might just get the inspiration going again.

So here is post 1 - A Precious Possession (Sandra's Writing Workshop Hop #3)

One of my late father's interests was collecting quotes, poems and famous prose. I love collecting these too.

Over the years he collected a myriad of these all meticulously noted by hand in simple A4 size ruled notebooks. Each quote was neatly scribed, a line left between each one and the author of the quote added as a suffix to each. Where no author could be found an "Unknown" was added instead.

His writing was neat and even, actually very pleasant to look at and easy to read. He always wrote with a blue ball-point pen. His writing was neither heavy nor very light, the pressure he exerted on the page with pen just seemed right.

We often sat together and looked through his notebooks some we could recite without looking. Some were profound and some were funny. My dad had a great sense of humour and we had a few hearty chuckles together.

Our favourite poem and one we often recited together was written by one of India's greatest poets Rabindranath Tagore on the eve of India's Independence (15 August 1947)

          Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
          Where knowledge is free
          Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
          By narrow domestic walls
          Where words come out from the depths of truth
          Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
          Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
          Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
          Where the mind is led forward by Thee
          Into ever widening thought and action
          Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

I remember the day he wrote this in his book as I recited the poem to him. We were sitting together at the dining table enjoying a mid morning cup of tea together. He had a smile on his face as he recalled personal snippets of the Quit India movement, the excitement on the day of freedom and he marvelled at the poet's ability to write such a deep and meaningful poem. My dad was a sportsman and creative writing was not one of his strengths.

When he passed away on the 29th of March 2010, each family member took an item belonging to him as a cherished reminder of a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.

I took his notebooks. These are my prized and precious possessions, a reminder of all those beautiful moments when I watched him write and when we sat together and shared a quote or two.


Warm Regards
Photobucket

24 comments:

  1. A great story, and a powerful poem. I've never learned much about the history of India, so I really appreciate the personal stories that you share.

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    1. Thanks Kat. Glad you liked it and I'm happy to share my stories.

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  2. Suzy, this is lovely! What works so well is how you establish such a strong sense of your father's character just with the description of these notebooks. And that description moves so seamlessly into that flashback to she you were both having tea and he was writing down that poem. The fact that that poem was one of his favorites all by itself say so much about character. This worked really well not just as memoir moment, but as a way of establishing a character, as well as the close relationship he seems to have had with his daughter. Thanks for linking up with y workshop and hope you link up again!

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    1. Thanks Sandra. Yes my dad and I were very close and he was a wonderful wonderful man. Every memory I have of him is a joyful one.

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  3. Oh, what a beautiful memoir! I think it's wonderful that you got to have your father's notebooks to remember him by. And, that poem? Very moving!
    Thanks for sharing this heart-felt story.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thanks Martha. I'm so glad too that I have his notebooks. The poem is so inspiring.

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  4. This is so beautiful a tear drop came from my eye. I also took something dear that came from my mother. I was going to write about it but yours faced me first. It is not always the possession worth in terms of money but for sentiments. Great work!

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    1. Thanks Sondra. Yes sentimental possessions are priceless. Do write about your mother. I would love to read your story.

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  5. Beautiful - I have many family letters. They're priceless to me.

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    1. Thanks Kelly. It's the little things that mean the most. Glad you think so too.

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  6. Hello.
    This sounds like a fun challenge, but I don't think I will be taking part...I still have over 1,500 blogs to visit from the A-Z Road Trip!

    You are very fortunate to have taken your late father's notebooks. I can well imagine the lovely written words, since I too love writing everything down. All my poetry starts on paper, until my overworked Assistant types them on to the computer. I have some that are so old, the paper is starting to curl at the edges! (smile) Lovely post. Good luck with the challenge!

    Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn...

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    1. Thanks Andy. I still love receiving hand written cards. The handwriting adds a personal touch that technology simply can't.
      I will give this challenge my best shot - day 3 and I'm already 2 posts behind!

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  7. I hope my kids will one day feel similarly about my cookery books, hand-written and bought but annotated with 'Mum's Notes' all the way through. It's like having a part of a parent which will always inspire memories and smiles.
    I really enjoyed reading this piece, very gentle and peaceful.

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    1. Thanks Mojo Writin. I'm sure your kids will feel that way too.

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  8. Lovely story! I am glad you were able to get the notebooks to treasure and keep forever.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Kathy. Glad you liked it.

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  9. This is wonderful...I so enjoyed the poem :) And I do love how you brought out that bond between you and your dad in sharing this moment!! Cheers, Jenn.

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    1. Thanks Jenn. Glad you liked the poem. My dad was a wonderful man.

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  10. One of my favorite poems too. I can understand why your Dad's notebooks would be a prized possession for you. What a beautiful way to stay connected to him. ♥

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    1. Thanks Corinne. It's a poem every Indian should be proud of. It inspires me each time I feel down and one that gives me great strength at all times. The first 2 lines of the poem always liberates me.
      I feel my dad's soul in his books and he is always in my heart.

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  11. Very well done! Your words bought such meaning to your relationship with your father. I loved the way you described how he used the blue ballpoint pen and how the pressure of the pen was just right. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Lucy. It's easy to share moments that are so precious. And it's the little moments that light up our lives. thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

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  12. Oh, how I love that your dad collected favorite quotes! I love quotations and have a file on my computer of them, but yours is so much better--notebooks in your father's own handwriting, and you even participated when he wrote some of them down. What a wonderful possession you chose to keep. This is very well told and very touching.

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    1. Thanks Elaine. This post is also very emotional for me. I smile at those moments and then my heart weeps for the loss of my dad. And even though I know he's always with me, I miss his presence.

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