Value Of Having A Good Father | Susmita Labh
“Thirty days in seconds of lifetime,
I was on the expensive list.
There were thousands of people waiting to take a look.
But what fool admires the physical decaying matter
Rather than paper, a beautiful mind has been poured into it.
There were murmurs on the street.
Of the great mind, and his body was sick.
The newspaper headlines gave up after few days.
The people tend to erase master’s monuments and replace.
Ages to come and generations to encounter.
The history has been already written and so is the future.
Maybe this is how bright days come.
In the disguise of pain, comes peace.
Heavy rain of monsoon feeding the beautiful spring.
The books that have written the stories of the time.
It wrote about the presence of gain and loss.
At the darkest hour, comes the more, goes the less.
If you think it’s war, you’re released.
There last thirty days, made me realize the facts of life.
The sound of whistling wind and hottest whispers of town.
All I could hear was my thought.
Thoughts of my journey to the graves as I’ve lived.
I have lived in every ounce of memories people gave me.
My souvenir shall belong to the earth, to the soil of which I have gained my body.
The air I’ve inhaled and exhaled to smell the sweet, bitter fragrances of life,
Shall take back all of my spirits and set it free.
In the days of cold, to the warmth, I’ve gained through fire.
I come from the fire, feeding my desire, bloodlines to sire and I shall dissolve into the fire.
My sacrifices as deep as the ocean, but I compare it to a mere droplet.
Letting go of all my greed in the reeds of greens that I’ve planted.
I let go of it like a river never returned.
Rhythmic and Blue, what else can be so beautiful?
To the free deep sky, I opened my eyes to,
I shall lose my enhancement and go on.
My elements now lies on the man rarely to exist.
Neither have I heard, spoken or seen of.
I give my all to the fire from where I was reborn.
My processing ragas echoes in the meadow of my bloodline.
My instrument plays itself in the memory of my demise.
Building up myself as a decent being,
I longed to belong in the heart of one.
Now, my existence gets praised by the ones who have nothing on hold.
No knowledge, No persistence and Unrevealed.
I was never scared of the void these thirty days had to bring.
I’ve waited for it long enough since the time started making fool out of me.
It has all come to an end.
I am glad all I can hold on to is my deathbed.”
“All I can hold on to is my deathbed”, he whispered into my ear as I helped him get up from the hospital bed. I knew my baba since the day I was born but it took me twenty long years to understand an eighty-year-old man.
He was a personality from the past elongating his every breath with every passing second of his life. A house that he built, with so much love and affection, worshipped as if it was his only religion. The wrinkled faded away when he used to tell his stories of travels with that smile on his face.
Fate never dares to wrong a man who knows his destiny, duty, and power that was within him. He once told us about how his mother threw away into the fire, seconds after he was born just because the children before him died out. He rose from the fire like a man who ceased his death himself. All the intoxications that had ever existed never took a hold of him. In all these ages and witnessing several days and nights, it wasn’t only the growth that he gained. He lost himself in the true findings of life, where the light was not the only element he was searching for. The dense white beard on his face was the witness of the miles he walked to finally find a place where he belonged.
After following all the cultures, norms, and rules of the already built-up society, he thought he could wait for the right time to come when love and affection could be received without asking for it because he knew he did things for the people he loved.
In his anesthetic state, slightly moving his lips, he whispered, “baba”. He was two months old when his father passed away. This got me thinking of how a man can long for such kind of intimacy from a person who never really existed for him.
The idea of intimacy is too sensitive for a person who was always surrounded by the ones who never really tried to get to know him. This happens to him that he shared his part of immense love in the imagination of clearing the path for his baba under the influence of substances that makes it nearly possible to happen. But does it affect the type of intimacy we can never have from the people living with us? Why is it so important to feel the warmth and make a home in someone else’s?
Why would he choose baba as his afterlife home?
I had so many questions but very little time. The doctor gave us the final call and it was all ending. Like someone is going away to the place and there is no way back. With my teary eyes, I sat beside my baba’s bed. Hearing me sobbing, he opened his eyes and smiled at me as if he knew the time had come and we can’t do anything to make it stop.
Moving my chair, a little closer, I asked him, “if the afterlife exists, what does he expect from it?”
Holding my hand in a very affectionate way, he says,
“All I have craved for is the love I didn’t get. Although I had many well-wishers, many lovers, and many relations, I craved for the one I didn’t get and I am guilty of it. I have been sad for the things that I could never get and was never grateful for the things I earned. So, if there is one thing, I could ask from my journey of an afterlife, it would be to relive the moments I regret I was not appreciating and was complaining about all my life. I want to relive the death with my ‘Babuji’. I always thought I would have been a better person under the shadow of my both birth-givers. Maybe I could have built up a better life, in a better placemaking better decisions. I want to be a better soul in my afterlife. I want to tell him about every wrong and right. I want to learn everything that I missed. I will listen to his yelling, a smile on his funny encounters, and feel the intimacy as he wraps me around his arms while I fall asleep.”
There it was, all his wishes being granted, each after he spoke. It was mystical that he was gone the moment he ended his words. I lost control of my tears and rushed to inform everyone. As I came back, I held his hand as if he would hold it back as he did earlier.
My tear rolling down my cheeks, all way through my baba’s palm. There were many things to learn from his stories and his dealing with situations mechanism. The most important part of all these events was the intimacy that I got to encounter with him. In the rush hours of this life, I was always figuring out the ways to stay away from the people who actually cared. With each passing hour, I was preparing myself to not fall apart, that death is a normal process of what tends to happen in every living being ever born. But things don’t always go as we plan.
Amid all the crisis, all the chaos I chose to perform wisely in, I will always remember that whatever is going on now will make me who I am tomorrow. In the darkest of times, I have the words of a man, who rose from the fire, walked on his journey of life, and was set free in peace.
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