Friday, September 9, 2011

That day, long time ago...

It was a regular Sunday that day, when my father left for work. He always went to check on work for a couple of hours on Sundays. Mother checking school note books- she was a teacher. My sister and I whiling away time in the garden. Me day dreaming as usual . Chicken steaming in the pot on the stove. The Hawkins cooker jumping with shrilly whistles and releasing the aroma of dal and spices. The gardener  hunched up over the weeds around the rose bushes. Crows and Mynahs out chirping each other on the giant Xilikha tree.

The clock struck one. Mother called out the maid to set  the table for lunch.  She was still checking the notebooks and pushed the pile to one corner, while Bandana put out the mats, glasses, dishes and water jug. Mother asked her to leave the food in the pantry, since Father was not yet home.

Like all wives, she started murmuring, mostly to herself , about how men spend all the time at work.
I was now reading a book, curled up on the divan next to her .

The clock kept striking. My mother put down her red ball point pen which had ticked and crossed more than fifty notebooks all morning. The first signs of worry creased her beautiful face. She asked me to call up the office.

That was it. Hundreds of calls to a room where only the walls bore witness silently to what may have happened. Pen still on desk. Umbrella leaning against the stand. Visitors, well wishes, security, police. Family, relatives, distant relatives. More calls, more visitors.

My mother getting a job. We leaving our big home and life for another place, another school, another set of neighbours and friends.Strange looks, questions. Three women walking down a completely new  road replete with challenges. And always waiting. For my father to come home.

He never did.

But he left us with something that made us believe in life.
With  Hope.
That oneday he will be back.
That oneday things would be the same again and we would be happy and smiling.
That the table could still be  set for four.
That his coats and shirts could still be left in the almirah.

With this hope we had the strength and courage to lead ten long years.
Till one fateful day, ten years later,  my father's remains were discovered.
He had passed away that day itself. September 9th.

Killing everything around us but our spirit.
And the gift of Hope.

I have written this story for the first time today.
Because I have come to terms with the fact that when all the dots are joined, the picture is always positive.
We just need to believe.

Thank you Daddy, wherever you are.


  1. poppy thank you for sharing that with us. i always wondered what happened to you after uncle 'disappeared'. i'm so sorry for your devastating loss. but now, looking at you i can only marvel at your resilience and strength of character. god bless you and yours always. mamun ba.

  2. Oh my God, what an experience to have gone through. Your story has me wondering if the closure was better or the hope...