Three months have gone by. It is as if I have lived three decades looking at lovely images of a tall and handsome man smiling at me from nooks and corners…..the man who was around me for a good 40 years as my father.
Life moves on. There are moments when whilst laughing my lungs out with friends, I slow down. Getting over the gulp in my throat I try to feel and focus on an image that teasingly crosses my eyes. That image is of YOU – your once radiant and bemused face, your eyes that used to brim over with laughs and your hands that used to break into a clap.. once upon a time. When you were a free bird ,the emperor of your dreams, and followed every passion and obsession with heart and soul- to live life king size.
On a rainy day, as I picked up an old soggy book – memories dragged me 25 years back into your library. At a tender 15 or perhaps 16 years ,I stealthily used to pick up some from your priced collection. Vaguely remember some –TRAIN TO PAKISTAN , RAPE OF THE LOCK and a few others. As I struggled through them trying to make out what they were about , I tried to understand you through some lovely sayings and poetry scribbled by you on the margins of their pages in a handwriting that was so typical of you.
It has been a hide and seek game with memories these three months…..at times choking me and at times bringing along a broad smile .One of the most hilarious ones for you then and for me now is our being hijacked for a yearly preventive vaccine to your favorite doctor . Every year with a straight face you would smartly lay the trap with an ice-cream treat which used to come but only after that painful prick . I would howl and over-react and vow not to get trapped the next time. And you would just flash your winning and naughty smiles. Ironically , those smiles so typical of you became long distant dreams for some years to come.
These three months, images of you have whizzed past my eyes….at times sitting on a regal couch dressed immaculately in white with a black coat by your side, as if ready for work ,sifting last minute through the pages of one of your law books.
The sheepish smiles, the roaring laughs that we so longed for – have all been visiting in hoards over and over again. You accompany them like a guest. Each time you get up smiling to leave with them ,I feel like reaching out and urging you to stay back. But then somewhere inside I know, you are in a happy space for you have always come and left smiling.
Memories do keep visiting, Papa do keep visiting along .