Papa…. I am Sorry”
“ I am getting married, Papa. Yes, to Sneha, my schoolmate. It is a small affair at her house tomorrow with only her parents along with a few of her relatives and a couple of my colleagues who flew in with me.”
He mechanically folded the letter and sealed it in the addressed and stamped envelope and, with ambivalence, gave it to the courier boy. While walking back home, the past years of his life flashed in his mind making the walk seemingly long and endless.
He remembered how much he missed his mother who passed away when he was just 10. After her, how Papa selflessly loved him and cared for him all through his school and college days. He recalled how badly he wanted to do his masters degree from abroad and even though he did not receive a substantial scholarship, it was Papa who sold his independent house and moved to a small apartment to send him to pursue his wish. Ashish felt the pain to recall how he could not make time to call papa or talk to him. He got so busy with his new found life there that slowly the son- dad relation transformed to a connection and then to a mere interaction. And after he got his dream job abroad, these interactions also faded away. He agnized how he unknowingly pushed his Papa away from him in isolation and solitude and today, no wonder his Papa has become an emergent and a worthy follower of “Baba Naamdev” Ashush could not meet his Papa like a son anymore. For his dad, Ashish had become just another face in the crowd.
Next morning, Ashish and his friends reached Sneha’s house and after brief rituals, the ceremony was coming to a close. The newlyweds were seeking the blessings of the elders and Ashish”s heart ached with guilt and pain. He missed his papa more so than ever today. Just then, he felt a hand stroking his head from behind. “ Papa, I knew you would cone! I am so sorry Papa!” Ashish touched his papa’s feet, put his arms around him and held him close to his heart. He did not want to let him go….. he was exuberated over his victory as a son and tears of joy rolled down his cheeks.