letter to a father

Dear Papa

You left us 18 years ago today. Since that day I have missed you every single day, sometimes days more than others, but not a single day has passed without feeling your presence, be it just the smile I give your lovely picture every morning when I sit down to work, just about the time when you and I shared a cup of tea when everyone else slept. Today I just drink it alone.

You taught me so much! From absolute surrender to a greater force to unwavering faith in the destiny of India, from the delights of life lived king size to the joy of sharing a humble meal; from erudite books of diverse cultures to the soothing lilt of the Bhojpuri lullaby your mother sang. I have carried each of the precious lessons you taught me and tried to abide by them even when it has been difficult to do so, as you where you also not the one to have taught me to always chose the road less travelled.

For the past ten years I have done just that though I must confess, it has not always been easy. But I have muddled through as best I could and never given up. But today Papa my feet are faltering and I feel like the little girl who awoke at night frightened by a dream and who called out in the dark. Only the dream this time is real and the father who always came to make things right is no more. Yet today I need him more than ever.

Project why is the gift you gave me to fill the abyss I had fallen in after you left. In the eyes of the little children that come each day I slowly found myself and the reason for which I had come into this world. For the past ten years I have nurtured and tended to it with all the care and love I could muster and protected it from one and all. But time is not on my side anymore and the moment has come to find the right way to ensure that pwhy lives on beyond me. After many false starts we have a found a way to do so. For project why to live, planet why has to happen and all seems to be pointing that way. But Papa, I am scared as it seems way beyond my capabilities and strengths. Yet when I look at the children around me, I know I cannot give up. I also cannot afford to share my angst with anyone but you and today Papa I need you more than ever before. I need you to hold my hand, just like you did when you taught me to walk, I need you to guide me just as you did each time I faced a dilemma, I need you to be my strength and show me the way. You see I cannot let down all those who have entrusted their dreams in my care. My shoulders are frail and ageing and I need your help to carry the final burden that has been laid on them.

I have often called pwhy my swansong. And it is. I need to perform the last act with brio and then maybe I too can come and rest in your arms forever.

I miss you.....