Unchoked

Brontosaurus from Jack Dunphy on Vimeo.

I see the reflection of the city of my face. In that face, I see the 6 year old with dried up tears getting his shirt changed by his aunt, as the Madras Mail chugs off the Howrah station. I know I have just seen my father, I am not sure when will I see him again. All I knew was he was running and crying and telling me that it's going to be okay. It certainly turned out to be okay, baba. Your son became an outstanding individual of the society, who didn't take any punch to his face or an insult to his gut. He didn't run his life while blaming "them", or her or life and did what he was expected to do. Instead, he fumbled, faultered and kept finding more ground to cover as he lunged ahead. 

I've commited so many mistakes that I could literally write a book about those. There are plenty of witnesses and corroborators who will correct me, I am sure. However, I'd not hide them. I am not proud of them, but they are there, for the world to see, if that is, they really want to see. However, soon I am sure while they while carefully scrutinizing the flaws that I have, realize that the flaws reside within them as well. These flaws they hide, are way worse than mine and that there would be great many problems that'd happen if the world's problems really had some light thrown at them. 

I remember I was okay the last time baba. It was the quiet night with the fog beating down the road that I ran on. No, wait. It was the newly paved road which got its first rain as I rushed towards my school, sweating underneath the cheap raincoat you bought me. I hated the colour, the odd smell of petroleum.  I didn't mind that it was technically flawed. I mean, who in the right mind buys a raincoat which can't hold the bag underneath it? I knew you bought it with your hard earned money, balancing work life and home like the best single dad on the planet and I was mighty proud of it. I didn't need anything else.

I still don't need anything. Perhaps, there will be a day when I get to tell you how grateful I am to have a dad like you, who let me commit mistakes and learn from them. Who let me out to the dangerous seas without quite throwing me overboard. I know that since I could be okay back when I was a goofy teenager obsessed with Samurai Jack and the simpler things in life, I know I will be okay tomorrow too. I know these hands that are choking me aren't the first and certainly aren't the last, but I know these hands will open up in front of me, when they need help. I will remember you and I will help, just like you've always taught me.

Happy Father's Day.

Postcard from Prashar Lake, Himachal Pradesh


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