Written By : Namrata
It wasn’t completely morning yet, but there was some turbulence down the lane. I looked outside through my window pane, birds have started to chirp but more than that I could hear some words, some cries, some fear, some smiles, some laughter, some anger, some care as if there was a repeat telecast of a daily soap after 2 long decades.
When I couldn’t handle the sudden jerk to my heart, I just rolled to hug my husband, lying beside me, tight.
I had a dinner date tonight, with one of the most handsome man I have ever known (of course not my beloved spouse).
My husband left for his office, my kid to her classes, I took a leave and impulsively got over with all the chores. I started dressing up for the evening in my most precious outfit, although it was too old and rugged still looked the most beautiful in my wardrobe. Mirrors never lie and I still looked enthralling, especially through the eyes which my date would eye on me.
I told my family I’d be a bit late today but couldn’t gain my nerves to tell them the truth, may be couldn’t accept that I am going to meet him after 22 long years.
I reached to the restaurant and directly to the table he mentioned in his message. This was one of the toughest journeys of my life from my home to this place, and the even tougher was from the entrance towards him. Each step went heavier and heavier with the encumber of emotions, and my heartbeat rose to God knows what count.
We greeted each other, he asked me to take my seat. We didn’t speak for a while; he was continuously glancing at me that made me a little uncomfortable.
He broke the silence, “You have grown up to be very beautiful”. I didn’t know how to respond on this compliment, best was to smile.
“What would you like to have Sir/Ma’am?”
He passed me the menu, as he always used to do and I was the one who always used to order at restaurants. My eyes were gazing at the menu; I turned towards the waiter, “One half chowmein, half fried rice and one full veg Manchurian.”
I saw him smiling, and I loved it that he remembered it too.
“So, how are your sisters doing?”
“Oh, they are doing well in their lives. What about you?”
“I am with my wife now, have 2 sons who are currently studying abroad. And am pretty happy in my life.” I saw a grin on his face when he used the word ‘happy’.
“My husband and I are leading a good life with both of us working at good profile, have a daughter who is up to schooling.” We dined and conversed, with a sense of hesitation. He was the same man, a bit dominant in his words, bit over cared, but was still one of the most handsome ones in the world, His grey lines of experience on his face and those loose skin under eyes(for which he has always bothered) grew to be old and old.
It was one of my beautiful nights ever. While departing, he smiled and hugged me. My heart skipped a beat.
We bid adieu, and the last words I said while waving my hands was, “I have always loved you, Dad!
And more than that, I have missed your presence in my life.”
P.S. – 2 years later, I heard of his funeral, I didn’t feel like going but something in me just pushed me.
I couldn’t see him for the last time as his sons cremated before I reached, but they handed me a box which he left for me. I opened the box, it contained all those birthday cards we sisters gave him while we were kids, that black teddy bear which carried a heart scribbled “BEST DAD” (when I was 10 or 11 we bought this for him and the heart had I love you written on it, we painted it dark red and wrote BEST DAD, Oh I still remember this), there were pale letters that I used to write him from hostel and then there was a fresh piece of paper that said,
“My Darling daughter ,
I know I couldn’t be the best father for you, but you have always been my best child. I regret for the losses and sufferings you had to face at a stage where you needed me the most. You might not know but I have always had complete information about all you girls of mine. And I must say, your daughter is as sweet and loving as you have been, I am the ice-cream uncle who met her every Saturday. And you have chosen the right life partner for you, he has always respected me and informed me about all of you, and yes, he loves you more than I do. My princess, I was happy to see you after so long that night, even happier to see you wore the last dress I could buy for you when you were 23, although you didn’t like it much. You can’t imagine what that night meant to me, and how happy I was.
I have always tried to have mangoes and sweets in my fridge, so that whenever I opened it I was reminded that I have been gifted with a wonderful child.
My ego and that disgusting anger stopped me to talk to you girls, and when I came to know you contacted your mother, I was filled with much anger. I did marry again and had sons. But child, I missed you, I know you too would have. By the time you would be reading this, I may not be there to wipe off your tears, have not been although since 2 decades. Some of my precious belongings that have always linked me to you are here in this box. All I could sum up is, my darling daughter, I love you a lot. Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother and a perfect lady and making me proud of you always, always.
Your doomed Dad”
I screamed and wept my heart out……