A letter from the Vale


There’s a power cut, I lie in a dark room thinking about you. Thankfully, the bed is warm and the phone charged enough, for now. There’s a possibility the flight might get cancelled tomorrow, as there are predictions of snow fall. Normally, I would only be too happy to be here but this is the first Diwali Dad will be spending without you and I don’t want him to be alone. What will happen, let’s wait and watch.

Otherwise, how am I looking from that vantage point? Better, na? Strangely, I feel more driven and focused, in totality. Extremely melancholic, since yesterday, though. But that’s my mind…you know how it is. One day, it’s up dancing in the skies and then suddenly it’s down in the dumps. It may be because of all the lovers I saw in the park, autumn or just diwali. Who knows, what happens to me?

It’s a pity we didn’t celebrate Diwali, enough, after Dustu passed away. Sporadically, once in a while, we would make a half hearted attempt. Dad would just come up with something or the other. We didn’t realize, we would eventually loose each other, too. I wish now, we would have. Pieces of us, do drift away when our loved ones pass away.

But sometimes, we forget there are people around who are alive, who are there. Family members, who need us. You know how he gets, though. Even now, he refuses to go anywhere. I keep trying to drag him out of the house for a meal or a movie. But like he never went out with us, he still refuses to go anywhere with me. That factory building was and is still his real home.

Don’t worry about me, the Mother Hen, fusses and fumes, over the phone all the time. ‘ Jama Masjid mat jao. Ye mat karo. Woh mat karo! Davaee khao!’ He goes on. ‘ Baap ban rahaa he? ‘ doesn’t work on him. The most obnoxious things I am capable of saying, make him laugh and it drives me nuts!

Remember how you would insist that only he can handle me (like I am a piece of hot coal, the handling of which requires expertise). I think that’s because he’s upfront and easy. Once I was very upset, I was having one of those days, with GD or it was later ( I remember if was many years ago) I said to him ‘ I know I’m a very difficult woman to be around!’ and he said, ‘No, aisa nahin he. Mene dekha he aapko..,you only get angry when people lie or say no. Aap ko lagna chahiye dusra insaan koshish kar raha he, phir aap kuch bhi maaf kar deti ho!’ His opinion is biased, growing up he took care of a lot of injured animals, I’m like one of those for him, an injured animal he needs to heal.

He watches the coming and going of various men, with a quiet amusement, though. Not that there have been any in the past six years. But you know, the occasional friend, who will assume, the feelings they have for me are more than platonic. But the way, I’ve been the past couple of weeks, this boy I’ve had a crush on, that worries him, I know. ‘I’m a grown up, I know what I am doing’, I reassure him. But he happens to be the only person, who knows how easily I get swayed.