Papa doesn’t speak much. But once in a while he can be very vocal. When he opens up, he can speak his heart out. So yesterday he was quite emotional all of a sudden. What triggered it was a mix of events. Yesterday mummy got some stuff from the market which he will take back to India to give to family and friends. He will be returning to India in a few more weeks L The knowledge of the fact makes me very sad. In fact this Monday I was discussing with my sister, that I have exactly 3 more weekends with Papa which I am sure will just fly by. But when all the stuff came and he had to put them in his bag, the reality hit him.
He usually spends his time writing the book he is authoring if the children are busy by themselves or we are watching over them. Yesterday even though there was spare time, he did not get on with writing. He was just sitting. He looked dull and lack luster. Finally when K was around, he said, “Today I have completed 100 days here. There are 19 more days to go.” ( As I type this, I get tears in my eyes. I can visualize, how empty the dining table will look without his books. He does not have much stuff around, his clothes etc are all neatly packed up. He is a very tidy man. Its only his books which are always by the window sill near the dining table. He keeps mentioning that he messes the look of our dining space! He will be retuning in a few days and the lack of books will haunt me). Anyways I don’t think I can help that. He said he really loved the stay and he had never been away from home for so long. But he had thoroughly enjoyed the 100 days. He said, he would dearly miss the kids and wished them all the luck. He was getting tears by this point. K tried to diffuse the situation by saying that they should make many more frequent trips while the kids are young and are enjoying the pampering of grandparents. Papa went on to say how he was tied up with commitments related to books, the community he manages and his teaching duties. But he said he would come again for sure.
As K moved away, Papa went on to speak about some old photos my sister had sent. They were picture of us four when we were kids. He said they made the whole life seem like a dream. Memories flooded him. He remembered everything, from the day he had come to see mummy as an alliance ( the day that kick started everything J ) , the day he had to leave mummy and go for his posting after marriage, and how she stood at the window waving him goodbye, the day they first fought and he left home without eating and mummy came behind him to call him back for food, the days prior to I being born when he had to travel from Calcutta to Cuttack in the midst of a cyclone and had to get some sweets from a derelict shop since all others were closed.. the list of memories went on. He said he appreciated our struggles and mummy and he were always behind us to support us whenever we needed. But during their days they did not have anyone and managed everything between them. There was no support or friends or family around – and between work and transfers and school runs and all life’s challenges we moved on. It all seemed like a dream.
It definitely made me count my blessings. Even mil had a tough time raising her children after K’s dad passed away. She did not receive any help from family. But life has a way of carving itself out.
As we face out struggles, our challenges and gain our rewards, I felt thankful to our parents for raising us the way they have raised us and for helping us to raise our future.