How are you…. No… No…not like that, I actually want to ask you,
How are you? I am asking you because I didn’t ask you this… Never
Maybe because I was a bit scared of you as a child… you were very strict
You scolded me for almost everything…. Whether it be my studies or for sleeping late in night or waking up late in the morning, sometimes for wandering here and there or chit-chatting with my friends outside our home…. And my friends…let’s…let’s not even talk about them, You never liked them, all of them seemed to be loafers to you who would spoil me.
I never felt that close to you
I mean how could I… you never showed your emotions in front of me
You were always like this… the strong person… who can never be affected by anything in this world…ups and down…highs and lows….you were always the same…rigid, unmoved.
I still remember when my entrance exam results were out you were about to leave for your office. My friend called and informed me about the result, and as soon as everyone came to know that I have cleared it, maa, didi, dadi everyone was full of joy and excitement. They started informing the neighbors and distributing the sweets. Mom had tears of happiness in her eyes. But you…
You just came to me with a smiling face hugged me and said congratulations… well done and you left for work….that annoyed me a little…. I mean why do you have to be so calculated all the time… and maybe that’s why
I never felt so close to you.
I never felt like asking you… How are you?
And what should I ask you about your well being, even if you have any problem, you are not going to share it with me…. And even if you do… .how will I help you?
I mean it’s you who has solved all my problems…. who has an answer to all my questions…. who knows what is right and what is wrong and if you cannot figure it out then how could I?
But last time when I visited home something different happened… you asked me to book your tickets because the online booking portal was too complicated for you to understand.
Even when I was there, you never told me to sleep or wake up early. You asked me about the reservation of my flight a several times…because you were scared that I might miss my flight.
I was surprised.
But what shook me was the sadness and a tinge of tear in your eyes when I was leaving.
My dad… my father is afraid because I am going far from him….. this is not you, this is not my father….my father never cries…he is not emotional….he is strong, strict and tough.
I never liked these traits of yours from childhood but now I am missing them…. The fact that you are not that strong anymore is making me weak….knowing that you won’t be able to solve all my problems is making me feel insecure…
and the fact that now you might need my help for doing as simple a task as booking an online ticket makes me feel responsible.
Now I feel you were all right the way you were….probably that is how a father is supposed to be,,, that is a father’s role in a child’s life to make us strong, to make us independent, to make us tough, to prepare us for challenges of life and to keep us grounded when we overcome them, that was your role and you have done it perfectly.
Now it’s my turn to take care of you, it’s my turn to play my role….
Now its my turn to take care of all your responsibilities and solve all your problems. I know your problems will be nothing as compared to what I used to pose in front of you. I know I wouldn’t even have to work half as hard as you have done to make me what I am today. But however small my part might be, I will play it with full conviction…. that’s what I have learned from you.
That’s why I thought I should start with the question that I never asked…
How are you, Dad?
Dad..How are you?