Do you remember that evening, daddy,
When you returned from the shop,
I was no more than eight years old,
But I was in a real horrible strop.
For some reason I was angry at you, daddy,
You knew it as soon as you walked in,
After all you’ve done for me,
Seems like I kicked you in the shin
That evening as Sawan greeted you at the door,
And I stood tense on the middle stair,
You gave Sawan a great big hug,
And glanced at me with such loving care.
Then you asked us both a question,
A phrase I’ve committed to memory forever,
“Are you my friend, or fisherman’s friend?” you asked,
To hurt you my response had to be clever.
Little brother Sawan, just six at the time,
“I’m your friend daddy”, innocently he sought to pipe,
“Forget that!” I thought just then,
The voice inside me began to snipe.
Father, you simply looked at me,
Curious about what I had to say,
“I’m not giving into him”, internally I affirmed,
“Definitely not today…”
“Fisherman’s friend!” I blasted out at you,
Demonstrating I’ll accept no defeat,
What happened next just blew me away,
In fact, it was kinda neat.
You pulled out from your pocket then,
A packet of Fisherman’s Friends,
Those extra strong mints you get,
Did I realise I was about to make amends?
“A fisherman’s friend, are you Suraj?”
Gently you handed me the mints,
You’d instantly diffused my anger, father,
And left this powerful imprint.
How was I to learn that day,
That in a battle you’d always win,
I never did like being in disagreement with you daddy,
Please don’t pick a fight with your kin.
Although I may never quite reach,
Such high standards you have set,
There’s one thing I want you to keep in mind,
This one thing you should never forget.
No matter how it may appear,
My intention will always remain true,
To utilise these wings you have given me,
Daddy, I love you.
I’m your friend daddy, I’m your friend…
Dinesh with Suraj at Dad’s 50th