Thursday, September 17, 2015

A sweet memory

It was the summer of 1993, I was 7. I used to study in class 2 B in The Air Force School. We lived 10 kms away from school, which, by New Delhi standards, was a school very far from your home, at least in the early 90s.  So we had a school bus fetch me from a stop close to my house, and a school bus would drop me back there in the afternoon. My dad, who served as an officer in United Bank of India in those days, would come home at around 6:30 PM everyday, and that is when I would see him after 7 AM in the morning, when I boarded the school bus. Most other kids in my class were children of Air Force Personnel who worked in the vicinity of the school, and therefore, came to the school to get their kids at 2 PM when the get-outta-here bells rang. Since I had a bus to fetch and drop me, my dad never came to school. It was nothing too bad, for it was the same for everyone who stayed far away. But for some reason, on this particular day in the second term of standard two, while sitting in the classroom for the last period of the day, I really really really wanted for my dad to come too. It was stupid, of course, and it was out of the blue. This day was just like every other day of the last one and a half years since I had joined this school, except for my sudden, silent, inexplicable urge to have him come pick me up. When the bells rang, and the class teacher organized all of us in a queue to show us out to the main gate of the school, my urge intesified. I remember distinctly how much at that moment I felt like I would hate, hate, hate to step into the bus, find an empty seat, keep my bag on my laps, and look out the window. I just couldn't bear to do it that day, for reasons unfathomable to me even today. The queue started moving, and approached the main gate in a couple of minutes. My dad was standing there. I don't merely use a figure-of-speech when I say that I closed my eyes and opened it again to make sure who I was looking at was my dad. There was no discernible reason that of all the days in the last one and a half years, today would be the day that he would show up randomly. To this day it ranks as one of my happiest few moments, those microseconds in which I felt ineffably infinite.

For many days that followed, I wondered to myself during quiet moments. Did I really bring him there by sheer will of urge? Some months later, I tried really hard to "re-want" him there. At around 1:30 PM I started doing "God please make Papa come fetch me today" repeatedly in my head, but it didn't quite work.


  1. This post brought tears in my eyes. My father passed away few months back and the day he died is still fresh in my mind. It was a Monday morning and I was experiencing this horrible feeling. It felt as though someone had stuffed stones in my body. I took a leave from work. I tried calling dad who was out for work but he didn't take my call. Suddenly the feeling worsened and I panicked. Finally he called and said he was on his way back from work in a DTC bus. Few minutes later I received a second call from his phone and a voice informed me that a family member was ill and that his condition was worsening. I learnt the bus had dropped him at a temple near my house. I requested the voice to take him to a doctor but the voice didn't listen. By the time I reached my father was gone. I still dread these awkward feelings. I guess such are the ways of the universe.

  2. Sorry to hear about your loss. Hope you find it in yourself to stay strong and happy.