A strong man

Published: February 18, 2014

A tiny thing dressed up in pink from head to toe. She had a vague resemblance to his daughter but more to his wife. PHOTO:REUTERS

He really hated elbows on the table. It made him feel as angry as when they hid his cigarettes. But he had no choice in the matter.

It was a conspiracy hatched by three women, against him, and not just any three ladies, but three headstrong, exceptionally sensitive and explosive women. So he let it go. But the matter of elbows on the table really got his goat. How difficult was it to just rest the forearms at an angle of 45 degrees with the wrists dangling gently over the cutlery? It wasn’t hard. He had done it for 28 years in the military; they could do it for as long as they were under his roof.

He didn’t consider himself a tough man but 28 years in the Army and two wars had left his habits a bit set in stone.

He tried many times to wear his cravat differently but his fingers inadvertently tied the same knot they always created. The shirts had to be ironed sleeves first and then the lower hem, up to the collar. And the shoes, the shoes were polished every day. If they didn’t shine, they didn’t deserve to be worn. Food should be eaten thrice a day and on particular times; it was better for digestion, that’s all.

He really wasn’t a difficult man, he just had some expectations.

But then she came along.

A tiny thing dressed up in pink from head to toe. She had a vague resemblance to his daughter but more to his wife. And her elbows were always on the table. Sometimes, her entire self was on it too. She never ever ate on time. She would ask for food right after lunch and right before dinner.

She insisted on making his hair, the little white strands he had left would be tied up into various little ponytails. She intrigued him.

His own children had grown up, all by themselves it seemed. The way she could sleep so comfortably on this bed and push him all the way to the corner, with half of his legs dangling off the edge, fascinated him. He was unfamiliar with such unorganised behaviour and such boisterous ways.

And yet, somehow, he was also very pleased by it.

This post originally appeared here.

Sarah B Khan

Sarah Khan

She works in advertising by day and is a writer and blogger by night. Passionate about yoga, photography and everything vintage, she tweets as @sufipanda (twitter.com/sufipanda)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Khatri

    I am just wondered, what is writer trying tell in this article? Recommend

  • http://yahoo Amina Amein

    Hahah!! Its all about having a baby girl at home,simply adorable!Recommend

  • Q

    a very nice and light read :) … enjoyed itRecommend

  • Parvez

    You have absolutely no idea as to how much I enjoyed reading that……and possibly even less of an idea as how very right you are.Recommend

  • x

    His granddaughter. Grandparents can be strict, rigid, old fashioned, overbearing, set in their ways and stubborn but along come little grandkids and not only do their hearts melt but their old habits and rigidity are subtly changed by these children of their children who are allowed to go where their own kids were never allowed to tread.Recommend

  • gp65

    Simple human interest story. How a tough father becomes as gentle as can be when they become a grandfather.Recommend

  • Javeria

    Beautifully written…. loved reading it…Recommend

  • spirzy

    This was a delight to read, Sarah! Would love to read more of your work :)Recommend

  • reader

    it was not short and sweet, it was short and awesome, loved it….Recommend