Being with dad was a moving experience. We travelled together and I was moved from within. This was a role reversal for me. Not so long ago, he held me up with his strong hands over his head when I was a baby in '67. Now, in his 80th year, he was the one who had to be cared for. I looked after him, I looked out for him, sometimes beyond his impenetrable silences - I hung out with him.
Here in Delhi for the week he was here dad became a child once more. Like a little boy out to explore the marshes - with his customary hands behind his back - he took Delhi in his stride. Tucking heartily into his beloved breakfast at the YMCA, he made short shrift of the itinerary I had laid out for him. Yes we did Agra and Chandigarh in that short span of time, but we took care to build in thickets of sleep and rest at wayside sarais - like that of the gracious house of Mrs Ahuja in South Delhi which gave me succour since I came to Delhi in 1998.
As time rolled by and time and space melted into serenity I took refuge in the beautiful commentary under a picture of Lord Krishna playing the flute, which hung in the elegant and peaceful Vats residence in Chandigarh:
Lord Krishna's flute establishes him as the upholder of life. When played, it is symbolic of the supreme Lord filling up the human body with a breath of life. The eight holes of a flute represent the mind, the ego, the intellect, and the five senses. The reed represents the perishable human body.