This story by Kanmani Bala was originally featured on Malaysian Indian Anthology and has been reproduced in Astro Ulagam.

As I sat in the train the other day, I reminisced about the times Appa would make us sit down together as a family for dinner, how he would encourage us all to communicate with each other about our lives, and the way he would show his affection for us so openly and expressively.

In light of his passing, I realised that it isn’t the grandiose moments that spring to mind when I think of him, instead it is those humble, seemingly insignificant moments which come to life with so much clarity.

Those moments in which he was proudly wearing his favourite shirt that my sister and I picked out for him, or in which he kissed us on the forehead while we were half asleep before he slipped away to work, or in which we slept in his arms on a troubled day – and how he would turn the world into a safe place again.

These are the moments that stand out the most to me. In reliving them, I caught myself thinking that this is how I would raise my children as well. That’s when I realised that in addition to all the other things Appa taught me, he taught me how to love too.

Photo source: Malaysian Indian Anthology