Clown’s Daughter

I love it when you glance at me pursing your lips, and when you do it time after time as I crouch on the floor giggling over your joke. I love it when you pretentiously pant while swaying the swing to which I yell ‘ten more minutes!’. How can’t I? You never failed to amaze me with your implausible knack of spreading smiles and I have seen it in the delight of the people when those amusing expressions fled through your masked face; somehow you were persuading them to shed their camouflages, weren’t you? From deep within, I long for going back to those days when I used to accompany you to the circus and back- truly the best days of our life!


Masks are inevitable to survive, you used to say. I learnt it when you refused to wipe away the colours from your face during Mom’s funeral and embraced me as I sat on your lap.”Don’t cry, Mumma would feel bad,” you told me in a soft voice and then you veiled her absence inside a chest, hidden within your smile.


Those braids that evolved into a tangled spiral, the salty disaster that we ate for dinner, and the tap dance we practised together with clown faces; Daddy, you never let me miss her!


Sometimes I used to feel an enigma within the words you spoke to me and I have an aversion to call it a lie!


I comprehended it when you told to me that chocolates would spoil my teeth, while furtively searching money inside your pockets; the pockets that, to my joy, you had filled with colourful wrappers the following day.


I saw it on the cringes above your nose, when you rebuffed my pleas to accompany me inside the school gate. You worried that we would bump with the naughty kids who call me a clown’s daughter. But I failed to realize the truth when you told me that you’re worried about my safe future, that you’re afraid to make me sleep on the streets, that you’re helpless to save my destiny you were about to tie in an orphanage.


Daddy, I can still feel your last kisses on my tear stained cheeks, and that one hug which cascaded your love and blessings while a warm bliss coursed through me. Why didn’t you come back Daddy? Where did you go?


As usual, I’m here to watch the circus which you were a part of. With every passing second I unintentionally search for you on the stage, wishing that you would wave at my little family, wriggling that red blob on your nose, and as my five year old son constantly nudges my peace, asking when his grandpa’s show will begin all I say is ‘wait’- as ethereally as always.



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