Slingshot

I'm sitting here in my father's home in Chennai reading about Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, a man the late Daddykins admired for his vision and his implementation of that vision. I didn't realize until today that my father shared a birthday month and year with him.

"Great minds think alike, you know," my father might have said to me, had he outlived Yew.

"But, Daddykins, that great mind built a nation," I might have shot back. "Pray, what did your great mind do?" At that, the old man might have slunk away into his room until such time it was safe to be seen again within a one-mile radius of his nasty younger daughter.

Take Me To Jaipur

From February 16 until June 4th, I called my father’s home every day. Vinayagam would hand the phone to Daddykins who would ask me two questions. The same two questions. For 108 days.

“When are you coming here? Will you take me to Jaipur?”

My answer would always be the same: “On June 6th. Yes, Daddykins.”

By the time I landed in Chennai on June 6th, nine days before his death,Daddykins declared that he was too weak to travel to Jaipur. “You do not have to take me to Jaipur anymore. I cannot do that,” he said in a feeble voice. Then he paused, inhaled heavily and volleyed one that I will never forget. “But you do need to take me to Singapore. For two days.”