The son stood near the impatient taxi, watching the driver stow his luggage away. Evading the frames of his loved ones thronging the verandah to see him off, he looked at the slender frame of his father, leaning uncomfortably on the sofa, mouth agape and eyes blankly staring at nothing….
As the car, painfully strode over the rain filled potholes, with a tired wiper squeaking across the scratch filled windshield, the driver cursed the road and the rain for the hundredth time. The son was silent, trying to fight the tear drops that desperately wanted to reveal themselves. Pain lurched in his chest as he turned back over the shoulder at the slowly receding house…..within which wretched time had moved too quickly, unjustly pushing his hero down an un scalable incline of illness.
Living in the posh comforts of his home in Dubai, he often manages to escape the stabbing memories and the humbling pangs of guilt, the enduring companions of any middle aged expatriate. But his father comes back to haunt his consciousness every now and then…. Especially during supplications after the customary prayers. He would also come in unannounced, led along by the sight of some old book, strains of some ageing song, or the whiff of some fragrance from childhood. Next few minutes would be spent, basking in the memories of those golden days… when he has what he really was.. The Royal Bengal Tiger… as the son jokingly used to address him as…The speaker, the writer, the devotee, the guide, father, friend, Leader… all these roles had to slowly give themselves up one by one…helpless before the onslaught of that invincible neurological tyrant called Parkinsonism.
Even though he had stopped communicating long ago, shades of the tiger would surface occasionally as the son would sit next to him and engage him in a monologue about spirituality and philosophy- his pet topics. Very rarely he would reciprocate as well… gifting the son with priceless moments to cherish and treasure.
Why did time move so fast…. O my god!!!! Why him ????
Trying to break through the familiar stranglehold of pain, nostalgia, fear and guilt, the son whispered again…
At least for one day, my lord, give me back my father of yore
Make his suffering painless
Tell him about the love that I have for him and my constant endeavors to be his shadow..
Give me the strength to continue his good work
May sun set be far far away and may it light this measly candle before …….