Dear dad…

Daddy

It’s X’mas! The lights array the town alive. Strains of joy reach the ear from afar, but why is it that my heart feels heavy, skips a beat as you come into my thoughts? As my eyes scales the humungous X’mas father at the City Centre, grinning his toothless self, I disconnect from now and move into the ‘then,’ reliving those precious moments of ours untold. Do I miss you? Yes, I do! I miss the shades of peace, of love all along.

Daddy,

You’ve been so good to us. You’ve never told us that X’mas was not ours to celebrate! Instead, you’ve stayed up as we hung the stars, the bells, and the lights. The memories of those childish delights still wring my heart and bring a catch into my throat. Now that my kids have flown away, time hangs on still! My thoughts tread back to you a lot. Remember, how I used to land up at your doorstep each noon after college, worn out and scorched red by the blazing flame! You used to bear the extended wait quite patiently, and then would have the meal with me. The concerns, the consideration, have vanished beyond my palms outstretched.

Daddy,

I miss you dear! I miss your pats, your hugs, your lessons to me. One summer eve, when I was four, we had walked the bay hand in hand. “Can we take home a fish today?” asked I. “Why not? said he. So together we took home a greyish black beauty all safely trapped in a transparent case. Never did you preach the ‘Science’ to me. You left me on my own to learn my lessons right. It was the thrill before the kill, for the still figure that greeted me in the morning broke my heart. You suggested that maybe it’s the salt water, the sea that it needed to keep it alive. My lesson I had learnt well that day!

Daddy,

You’ve been my hero, my patch of green to hold on to for years. Be my breath again, and let me be YOU to my kids. Care to come down again…just once…as a gentle breeze, a shower to blow life into my tired limbs?

Your Darling Daughter,

Yours for ever

This Day, Forty Four Years Before

Beebz

My mummy was not to be seen, with her warm smile welcoming me back home after a tough day at school! My gaze meandered from one window to the other as the rickshaw came to a halt at my doorstep. She had been talking to me about her trip to the hospital to get my little sister out of her balloon sized tummy, but she had promised to tell me when she left! Blinded by my tears that threatened to over flow any minute, I alighted onto the pavement and raced into my home.

My heart sank at the sight of my maid dishing out my snacks and tea onto the dining table throwing a half hearted smile at me. So, she has left, I realized. None of my favorites spread before me tasted good. As I sipped the over sweetened tea, the dam broke. Silently they climbed up and slid down my cheeks dousing the crispy samosas lining my plate.

“Hey, don’t act like a baby now,” she mocked. “You have grown big; you have a little sister to take care of now,” she added. “A sister!” I beamed. I’ve been looking forward to a second sibling, all chubby and cute and girly. So my dream has turned true. I’ve got a sister more to make the third musketeer, our partner in crime! I quickly gulped down my drink and rushed to get ready for my trip to the hospice. My dad was already on his way to pick me up, she’d said.

My dad drove in and out of the traffic, as deftly as he could, towards the giant white building that housed a lot of docs and nurses and patients . All the while, an image kept popping up in my mind, a cute button faced pinky all wrapped up in wool opening her cherub eyes all wide and looking at me with awe as my mom had promised me. “Aren’t you coming in with me dear?” from my dad landed me back on plain earth. I held his hand and walked right into the ward all bustling with movement even at that time of the day.

We paused at Room no 25 in Ward 10. I could wait no longer. Pushing the door ajar, I sailed in, first to my mom and then to the cradle housed next to her bed.My eyes moved onto the fair and chubby and pretty little baby in it. Something moved in me, I looked on in awe, for the brand new sister of mine opened her biiig eyes and stared at me.

Her gaze touched my heart, and that moment, I fell in love with my little buddy for life. Her tiny palm was all stuck in her mouth and she appeared to be relishing every bit of it. I drank in the details- the mop of curly black hair that fell onto her forehead, her big eyes already naughty and curious, her Barbie nose and cute ears, her chin that disappeared down her neck. I could hardly take my eyes off her. All I wanted to do just then was to get to school next day and tell my friends about this cutie.

“Come, dear, let’s go home. We’ll come back again tomorrow,” said my dad. Well, I knew I had to, but all the way back, late into the night, and spilling into the day were thoughts of that little angel who would soon reach home and be my darling Barbie for life.

Many a sweet & bitter days later, she still adorns my heart- my beautiful little sister, my buddy for my life. But now the roles stay reversed, and I’ve turned her Barbie doll who needs all her love and care as I’m on my journey down hill.

The Yellow Shoes

I pushed open the flush door and gingerly stepped into the apartment. My favorite hideout with my buddy Emma! But today, I felt suffocated as the warm air hung palpably heavy choking the very breath of mine!

With a queasy feeling in my tummy, I moved forward with the crowd towards the beautifully inlaid ebony casket which housed my pretty little friend for her last journey from life. Fair like a Lilly she lay shrouded in white from head to toe……all pale and white, cold and still, like the moonlight!

How can she ignore me, her best buddy! Coldness gripped my heart! Never will we get to giggle at silly jokes or go on our expeditions into the thicket to air out our hearts stifled with aches and pains of the real world. The moments seemed to be stunned to a standstill too.

My gaze slid down and a splash of yellow hit my eye, a blinding pause to the otherwise deathly pallor around! Sensing my query, her mom whispered, “She wanted the pair of yellow to go with her…….she wanted the memories of the two of you to be with her as the final call gonged the hour of transformation into the particle world !”

A sob struck my throat, and then gushed out the rains — the storm before the calm descends, the silent calm that would grow over the days and nights, and recede as softly as the night would…….as yet another dawn descends to mark a new beginning………….!

“It’s easy to love people in memory; the hard thing is to have them when they are there in front of you.” John Updike

Conflicts mar the smooth flowing relationship between friends, family, and colleagues. We tend to harbor the hurt in our hearts, and keep ignoring the feeble pleas within to forgive and forget and bridge the chasms before it’s too late. Though our sensibilities mellow down over time, we stall stretching a palm across, stepping across the divide to bond again; before we know, the one in question departs for ever from our territory!

Tears, regret, and guilt wring our conscience every ticking second. However, all it takes is a day, two, three… The wheel of time rotates without a pause and you’re eased out of pain, ill feelings! All that would surface then are the good times, great moments you’ve swept aside once upon a time.

The ‘exit’ of a near or dear is a kind of shock treatment that would ease your knotted nerves and sensitize you determination! The consequences: there emerges a golden phoenix, drowning every evil shade that had painted him/her evil, moments a fore, sinking the differences eternally! 

Why do we fall in love with the memory! Why not save the heartache and love for real!