Meekly I opened the door,
The room was quite dark and stinking. Looks like it was not cleaned for days. Things lied scattered all
over the floor, covered with dust
As I sneaked in, I noticed him sitting on his cot, by the window side.
He has grown very old and fragile
Unruly grey hair and beard,
deep wrinkles all over his face
I cleared my throat, signaling my presence.
He raised his head and looked towards me
Nodding gently, gestured me to come in.
I went closer to his cot, pulled a chair and made myself a little comfortable
There were so many things, I wanted to speak to him. But my throat was completely choked.
Never expected to see him like this.
An uncomfortable silence surrounded the room.
Few minutes passed by. I mustered some courage, cleared my throat again, wanting to say sorry.
Sorry bachche, he intervened. I am very sorry. I never realised I hurt you so much, he said with a
Amma shared all your complains with me, he continued feebly.
I realise that I never gave you enough time. I never taught you, the way I would teach all other students.
I was busy all the time being with others, guiding my students, shape their careers and to do well in
Beta, I always saw a leader in you. His voice was getting a little better. So many times, I noticed you
helping your senior students solve their problems. you were always on the fore-front, every time your
friends needed you, be in the college or at home. Even your sisters saw you as their role model. It
always made me feel proud to see you, my son, as an able leader. I could always visualise you growing
great heights, with all your skills and abilities. Unlike many of your friends and fellow students, you
always have been a natural learner, so there was no need for me or anyone else to guide you
I was dumb struck.
He paused a few seconds. His trembling hand slowly wriggled out of the shawl and held my palm, as he
looked into my eyes.Sorry again, I never knew, I was hurting you in the process, he said with moist
What a rascal I have been. For 20 years, I have been whining that he never fathered me well. And here
is the person, who only saw the best in me, I said to myself. All these years, I never spoke to him, didn’t
see him for months together, though we live in the same house. How could I be so rude? So ruthless!!I quickly got up from my chair, sat beside him, and hugged him tight.
Sorry Papa, I spoke for the first time. I could not speak further. Hugged him tight. Tears flowed down
my cheeks, wetting his shoulders. He kept consoling me, caressing my head and back.
I don’t know how long I wept. As I got up feeling very light, all my complains have evaporated. I
promised myself to always have an open communication, and never hold on to any complaint.
Love you Papa, I said smiling, at our re-invented relationship. But then, he was no more.