I was in a corridor, a hospital corridor. My grandparents, sister and I were taken by my fathers colleague towards the end of the corridor. I was wondering why we were going, what happened and where is mamma. We approached the end of the corridor. I was made to sit on a chair. I looked around and saw ICU written on the door in front of me. People were going to and fro that gate. My grandfather asked the person standing there if everything was ready. The man went inside the ICU.
There was an unusual lull in the air. Then I saw my mamma at some distance. She was crying uncontrollably. Our relatives were trying to console her. I did not know then that the coming moment would remain etched in my mind forever. Then the man who had gone inside the ICU came out. He was followed by a stretcher on which a man covered head to toe by a cloth was there. Only his hair were visible. Seeing them I realized that the man on the stretcher was my father. The world around me became silent for a moment. It was the silence before a storm.
I was eight when I lost my father. The silence created a strange emptiness, a vacuum in me. We followed the stretcher to the morgue. There I was told by my mother that my father is no more. I could not believe this. The vacuum was filled, it was filled with tears. The tears came out of my eyes. That day I decided that from now whenever I would cry it will be for my father.
My papa used to call me Vaani, a Hindi word for voice. I was his voice. I could talk to him the whole day. His death snatched from me a person I could talk to. Vaani also died the day her father died. I could never get so much attached to a person as I was to him. My life used to revolve around him. From the morning brush to the bedtime ‘I love you’, he used to govern every moment of my life. A war broke out in me- me versus Vaani. I was the loser the either way. I hid my tears. I thought tears make people feel that I am weak but hiding my tears made me weak. This made me reserved. I could not talk to anybody because I felt there was nobody I could talk to.
My need to express myself was fulfilled by writing. I started writing in the 4th grade. It gave my soul a medium to vent out its feelings in words. I wrote songs for my papa. It really saved me.
The people who came to my rescue were my friends. They were the people I felt I could talk to. They made me talk, made me laugh, made me alive yet again. I have been blessed to have such a good bunch of people in my life.
It was they who helped me find a solution to my problem. My problem was the decision I made on that fateful day- to cry only for my father. I realized that wherever my father is he wants me to be happy. So I on that day added that whenever I would smile it would be for my father. I realized that we all have problems but we can choose either to be shaped by them or crushed by them.
Yes, I have not been able to let it go completely but with the sunny smiling faces of my friends and family would certainly make me achieve that too!