About 18 years ago. I was in 10th class, studying in Gandhi Centenary School, Kakinada. My dad was working in Indian Potash fertilizer. His job transferred to Tirupati. We did not want to move until I completed school. So my dad moved alone.
That was the first time we lived with my dad away. That was also the first time in my memory I cried (after that I think I cried 3 more times in these 18 years) when I was in the train station to send off my dad Tirupati. I think there were moments when I was happy that my dad wasn’t around to sign (and scold) my progress report, but overall we all missed him.
We did not have a telephone in those days. So the communication was not that frequent. I remember I wrote an inland letter to my dad in english, for the first time. That year he gave me a Titan watch for my birthday. It was around Rs 1000, golden watch, black leather strap, and black dial. None of my friends had such a nice watch.
Every week on Sunday at 5 PM, time seemed to seize. My mom, sister and myself ran downstairs. We rented out the bottom floor to a govt office. So they were not there in the evenings and weekends. We had a set of keys.
We ran downstairs because my dad called to the telephone in the office at 5 PM on Sundays. The phone always rang while we were getting down the stairs. My dad always asked same questions, I always answered same; and vice versa. But those were the most important 5 minutes of the week for me. Those calls were the most important calls of my life.