I waited days for it. And still couldn't believe it was coming. Dad kept sending messages - docket number so-and-so, dated so-and-so, weight so-and-so - and a litany of instructions on connections and the mysteries of electronic equipment.
Yet, on the 28th, I went to the ATM and withdrew some money. And waited on the edge of my seat on the 29th, subbing stories mechanically till the call from security came in. Three parcels, 21 kgs in all. I couldn't wait to rip them open and set it up. And when Vikas, Namitha and I carried them home, thoughts ran through - 'If anything's wrong with it, I'll never forgive myself for letting it lie with security for so long'.
Smooth, black and shiny. Amp, speaker, speaker. Wires. I'm challenged here with no idea what goes where. I've carried dad's little instruction sheet with me. Despite the funny names and elaborate explanation, I still had to call him at least 5 times before anything looked remotely connected. I had to wait hours before I could hear anything. We went shopping for the missing cable, Vikas and I.
In the auto, I cried a little. For dad to send a custom-built XX grand music system just so I could listen to good music, something had to be wrong somewhere. Or right. Maybe the fact that it cost more than I earn made it look so sanctified. How was I going to repay him, not in cash, but in a way he felt what he did was amazing? Yes, I would listen to music everyday; I did that at home and I love doing it. I will keep it clean and safe; and I am, if not completely, but just a little possessive about it. That doesn't seem enough. How do I do enough to mean "Thanks. I love you"?
I came home after dance class that day, plugged in my player and listened. It doesn't matter what I listened to, but I do remember Metallica, Elton John, and Eric Clapton (not in that order). I sat on the floor near the shoes, in the heat because our hall has no fan, hugged my knees because I missed my home. And then I closed my eyes and heard the same sounds I hear at home, the same timbre and volume, depth and quality I live with at home. I realized I wasn't too far away.
My family sent me something that can bring me home in a flick of a switch. I couldn't ask for anything more. Not now, not ever. Thank you, daddy!!