Come Back

I wrote to you like a dutiful child. The white of the paper covered with news about the hen peck on my leg, the new kittens and squiggles that felt like masterpieces.

 

Sealing the letter with a kiss was a weekly ritual before I would send it to you in UAE.

 

With time I graduated to love letters and forged letters to not get into trouble after bunking.

 

But Dad, you never stopped writing even though I lost my patience.

 

The “Tring” of our phone would make me run like the wind to pick up the heavy black receiver, press it against my ear just to feel like you were talking right next to me and lifting me to swing me around.

 

 

But with time, phones became common.

And if I was too lazy to answer your incessant questions on Whatsapp or your detailed advice regarding my studies through calls, I switched off my phone.

The thrill of listening to your voice didn’t feel as it did before.

 

But can you blame me? Seeing you once in three years, I didn’t feel answerable to you.

 

I saw the black gleaming Pulsar outside and something inside me snapped. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the kerosene bottle. Mom who was silently weeping against the bedroom wall grew alarmed and ran after me.

 

I poured it all over my bike, the leather covered seat, the sides and took out a matchbox. Mom ran and tried to hold me back but it was too late.

 

The bike toppled over and the black turned orange. She dragged me to the side where I fell and sobbed.

 

Can I go back in time?

You kept saying you would come and settle back home but never could. Was it because I wanted this new model bike? I could have listened to mom and brought a second hand one but I insisted. Doesn’t that make this blood money?

 

I cried for all those lost phone calls, for those letters that I barely glanced at and for all those vacations when I ignored you to hang out with my friends. I thought you would always be there.

 

As an NRI, you worked. You worked more than what you could. We missed you back home. But deep inside we wanted you to stay for the money and the better lifestyle.

 

Can you ever forgive us?

 


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