Friday, April 13

For my father





It has taken me almost a month to write this. And I still dont think it captures all that I feel and want to say to the man who meant everything to me.

I lost him on 6th March'07.

When I wrote this several images flashed by.

Of a 40 year old father who peeped into my nursery school with a brown paper bag that was to be my tiffin.

Of my father who gave me some hurried points on why proliferation of arms wasnt a great idea for the school debate. and also who told me that Salt Satyagrah happened across the nation and not only in Gujarat.

Of a man who choked when he told his sister that I had started writing for newspapers.

Who made me afternoon tea when I prepared for various exams.

Of a man who withdrew from the room when I announced being a bureaucrat was too much of hard work and I wasnt game for it.

Of a father who asked whats HR all about?

Of the decaying father who urged me to get Goldflake lights if I dont find Wills Navy Cut on his maiden trip to Bombay 6 months back.

Who held me before going to the hospital and said "looks like its the end".

If you count backwards hard,
maybe you can hold your breath.
May be if you spelt with your eyes shut
And take your mind off that goddamn pain
your kidneys will work
If you persist your blood pressure will come
Outside the ICU sits a woman,
Her heart breaking into two parts
Waiting to be told: “You can now take him home”
Images of all the gods flash past her eyes
And all the chants she forgot only for a second
Find their way through her muted, scared lips
May be, if you try hard enough tonight
You can live


What is the smell of death?
Disposable syringe smelling
of freshly drawn dosages ?
Acidic smelling ICU away
from loved ones ?
or the hurriedly dissolving incense
In a 100 sq ft enclosure
where you lay shrouded
in white muslin

What is its touch?
Biting mosquitoes
outside a dimly lit ICU
or pricking syringes
through shriveled veins
or a hurried touch
To hands that tiptoed in

How does it taste?
like the last half eaten chapatti
or the sweet holy water
dripping all over the muslin
or just a strange chocolate
Just like Life.

What is a dying man’s thought?
A praying woman
sacred chants eluding her
or a daughter
who refused to believe
take it at face value
or a daughter,
who peered through a slit
to watch life’s last spectacle
or the son
forced to be father
Always without a buy-in
did you carelessly shrug
To all who mattered ?

In a dark night
You lay there, indifferent
As we sat in turns
when finality struck us
Unawares, Unprepared
A cold night
That taught us
Life’s hardest lesson
Of living
Without a part of us.

They say time,
Give it time
All will heal.
I wonder how
Who will I say
Those thousands
Unsaid things to ?
Who will I read
The editorial
of TOI to ?
Who will I
Think of
When I cook red meat
And how will I smile
Indulgently
when I see
Someone smoking
How will you know
Last time I got angry
It was not for real.
And that
Every time I said
Bye, I meant to talk more.

13 comments:

shikha said...

Shuchika...take care honey!!!

Shantanu said...

So sorry to read about your loss. Hope you find the strength to get through this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your terrible loss. hope you have the strength to live with it. And may your dear ones help you to move on.

lash said...

i was just randomly reading through blogs and came here through darksunshine's blog.. felt srry abt this loss.. i hope you are getting out of it.

all the best

Anonymous said...

Dear Shuchika,

Very sorry to read about your personal loss. Time is the best healer and leveller. I am sure your father's life would be a guiding light in all your endeavours.

Subbaraman, Dubai

Shivam Vij said...

Very moving post

Anonymous said...

wish you strength in this moment of grief.

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear about the loss ...... acepting death is not easy ... i can feel the pain when i lost my loved one 4 years a go ... felt like a broken bird ; bruised tiger.... and we all are tied all the hands of death .. death my friend is the only truth ; only mystery of life we homosapiens has not conquered... see life in its process and pain lessen .. i know u may recat as i had done when my friend told me... i wish ur family lot of stregthen

love

sanjay jha said...

नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः ।
न चैनं क्लेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः ॥२- २३॥

अच्छेद्योऽयमदाह्योऽयमक्लेद्योऽशोष्य एव च ।
नित्यः सर्वगतः स्थाणुरचलोऽयं सनातनः ॥२- २४॥

अव्यक्तोऽयमचिन्त्योऽयमविकार्योऽयमुच्यते ।
तस्मादेवं विदित्वैनं नानुशोचितुमर्हसि ॥२- २५॥

अथ चैनं नित्यजातं नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम् ।
तथापि त्वं महाबाहो नैवं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥२- २६॥

yehi jeevan hai...
jhaji.

Ajit Chouhan said...

Hi Suchika,

I was expecting this post.This was really poignant and moving.Somtimes its difficult to give words to personal loss,but you have put it very aptly.

Take care and do keep posting.

Anonymous said...

Not related to him, but i cried.
Coz I am a daughter as well.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shuchika,

NOthing anybody says can make up for the loss. But yes parents are the unsung heros who toil with love and affection for our happiness, success and peace. WE are today what we are because of them.
The fortunate ones are the ones who realise what they have done for us and celebrate their life and learn that you dont have to be a celebrity to be a hero.

take care
vinod

divyanshu said...

I share your feeling, pain deep inside as if a part of soul has left.... forever.
I lost papa on 30th may 2005 and still searching for reasons why i lost him when he was so happy to travel to Delhi, and when I was going to buy train tickets for him, the same afternoon when he went in coma.... and never returned.

Still searching the reasons, every night when I am alone I answer many "I could haves..."!
-Divyanshu