Dated – September, 2008
For once, I can’t see humor in small things.
For once, tears seem comforting.
For once, vacations seem like a monstrosity.
For once, fear seems tangible.
For once, prayers seem credible.
We fight all the time. We have a difference of opinion about everything. Stubborn as mules, we would stand by our judgements and create an uproar till Ma would play third umpire. So many vacations went by, when I would love to be alone in the house. I used to be home alone from 10 to 6. Revel in the space and do what I felt like.While he slogged it out, got up early in the morning, helped Ma, ran a thousand errands, left for office – I slept in the comfort of my room. He would keep trying to wake me up. I know he loves it when I get up and have a cup of tea with him. He loves it when I tell him college/office stories – but i didn’t do any of those things. I slept.
He is proud of Ma. He is proud of being known as Alpana mam’s husband. So much so that, his life revolves around Ma’s routine. From the bus stop where he drops her every morning (even though it is a minute away from home) to the last triangle that has to be cut out for craft class, he does everything to make Ma’s life easier. He would stand taller when ma would be recognized at every second place they went. Yes, my daddy strongest does everything for Ma, for me, for dada – for everyone he loves obsessively. And yet, we missed the strain he had been going through. We missed the tired face when he would come back from office.
He gave up on the good things in life, so that I can splurge in college. He planned meticulously, so that we never fell short of anything. When he walks into a room full of people, he lets people know in his loud voice that dada is in TCS, in New York, that I am in IIFT, that Ma is in DPS – all nitty gritties that we always wished he would forget to mention. But we missed the pride in his voice. There is so much of him in me, and yet I have managed to find faults in him.
Life was flying by and I was indifferent, happy in my own small world. One call, Ma’s quivering voice, the deafening silence behind, the rain drops in my face and a severe heart attack. That was 17th September 2008. Dad had a heart attack. My daddy strongest. It is a gut wrenching feeling, seeing him on the hospital bed.
I go back home and crave for the meaningless fights. I don’t want to switch on the TV because it reminds of his fetish for Dharmendra movies. I move around from room to room. Everything that I have done wrong, every moment that I was rude to him, every moment that I could have used to talk to him, to be with him, to laugh with him and I missed – it keeps coming back to me now.
I believe that prayers heal. And I know dad will be fine.
Just that home doesn’t seem like home without his presence. Get well soon Baba. Your partner in crime misses you.