A bright white light greeted me in this world, making me go completely blind and I was pretty startled by it. Everything seemed so scary, so new. Everything was new to me the white gloves that held me high up checking me for any faults. The queer looking equipments that kept beeping and booping in unison creating a symphony of their own. As I was taken across the room and through a door, I continued my adventure in this mystic land. I passed through the white curtains that looked like veils hiding a woman’s face, past the beeping machines and right into the arms of the happiest man alive that day. As the happiest man looked down at my pink face I felt a sudden feeling of comfort like I had known this face for quite long. I felt like I was home. I felt quite happy and in that moment of my limited abilities to express myself I wrapped my little fingers around a much bigger replica of mine and I realised that the happiest man just got happier.
Their resilient efforts to feed me the moisty gooey stuff is bearing fruits as I have started putting up less of a fight with every meal. They look happy and satisfied with every time I let the alien stuff go into me without a fuss. The man I felt at home my first day doesn’t seem to be around much but I am encouraged to call him “Bapi” by Ma. Well I don’t know but Ma came instinctively to me. I knew Ma much before I was brought into this world and I have an unspoken connection with her and it is cemented with each passing day as she continues to predict the reason of my discomfort. I think she is a clairvoyant but I seem to lean towards the special connection theory. One simply can’t differentiate cries into hungry cry and I wet myself cry. Since I am still learning to form words I usually make the same sound when I am hungry, when I am wet with my pee, when I feel ignored and when I just feel like I need Ma to be by my side and the best thing is that she can differentiate between all of them.
For quite some time I have been making these people feel more elated than usual cause I seem to have learnt a new word and was able to pronounce it when then needed me to. They encourage me to do it often and they become quite persuasive when newer people turn up to see me. Well I have been saying “Ma” a lot so I thought about trying something new today and I said with much effort “Bapi”. It was weird cause first Bapi started crying and then it was a nostalgic moment when I saw him make the same face that he made on my first day here.
The happiest man with the happiest smile.
Well I have been bored with having to call out Ma for even reaching the glittery stuff lying across the floor so that I can put it in mouth so I am going to imitate Ma and try to move myself across the room. They seem to be much stronger than me cause my legs give in every time I get beyond a squat position and I come down crashing on my bums. But I am pretty firm on my decisions and finally make it across the room at the end of the day. Ma was so impressed she called up a whole lot of people to tell them about this feat. And Bapi kept pointing a weird machine at me which make click sound every time he pressed a button. Well I was happy cause they were elated. I slept better that day.
I have gathered quite a lot of new words in my vocabulary now. I now know that Bapi is as called by my teacher is my dad and Ma my mom. Well talking about teacher today at school Rohan and me got into discussing about our favourite superhero. He thinks Superman is stronger than the Batman, well I beg to differ cause Batman has got all these cool gadgets and he got his Batmobile he can surely beat Superman. Unusually today I was picked up by Dad cause Mom had run into some work. And he couldn’t bring the car cause Mom had taken it with her. I am usually very exhausted at the end of school cause who can take those four hours of sitting at one place. I didn’t feel like walking back home, as I dawdled back to home, Bapi suddenly picked me on his shoulders and started running. I had the time of my life as I laughed through the wind lashing my face.
One thing changed that day, Batman wasn’t my favourite superhero anymore.
My parents don’t seem to understand that calling my pet name in public is quite embarrassing to me and so is their dropping me to school everyday. Why can’t they be like Rohan’s parents? He has been biking to school for the past month or so. Finally I have convinced them to let me go to school alone today and I feel already a lot of eyes off me that snigger when Ma comes to drop me off everyday. Well things didn’t go as I had planned cause when I came out after the last bell of the day I couldn’t find my cycle in the parking space. Rohan was getting late he went home. I must have forgotten to lock my cycle, so irresponsible of me. And it was getting cloudy pretty fast, I had to hurry up and come up with a solution. Tennis ball sized drops started falling as I embraced the impending doom of getting wet and then getting a scolding when I reached home. Just as I had come to peace with my fate I saw the familiar blue Alto pull up the road and a pacifying smile greeted me through the window. I just got into the car hugged Ma as tightly as I could. It seems she still hadn’t lost the magical connection she had when I used to cry all day long.
Finally I was away from them, 642 kms to be precise. 642 kms of privacy and independence. My first day at college was what I had been dreaming for the past two years. The only thing that kept me going was the hope of getting away from them and living an independent life. I could now watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. whole day long and no one would bat an eyelid. I was mocking those people who said that I would be missing my parents when I would get to hostel. I was proved wrong the minute I put the first piece of Roti in my mouth in the mess.
As I hung up my weekly call with my parents, I felt a sense of relief. I had been listening to them half heartedly as they went on blabbering about some junior doing much better than his potential and someone getting married to someone. I ticked “call parents” from my weekly TO DO, the only TO DO I had to be reminded off by the app.
How times had changed from calling everyday to being reminded to call once a week.
I stood in the long queue to the security check as I saw homemade pickles being chucked out by the security personnel of a student just like me and it made me worry about the homemade sweet that Ma had sent. I remembered she had woken up at four this morning to make those. My parents had hyped my visit to my relatives since the letter arrived. Though I had seen the sadness behind their mask of elation. Today when I saw Bapi wave me goodbye I saw tears rolling down his cheeks.
I saw the happiest man on the earth with the happiest tears rolling down.
I have spent the last few months teaching Bapi how to make a Skype call and today is the D-Day to test him. As I sat down ready to be disappointed I was surprised that they got it right the first time. As the pixelated video lit up my screen I saw two of the happiest people grinning with one of the happiest grin.
It seems that I hadn’t missed their face as much as they had missed mine.
I am the happiest man today! Never has a crisp piece of paper felt so good in my hands. As I brandished my first cheque on my webcam to my parents I soon found the happiest man alive tag slipping off me and overtaking me at a rapid pace was the man grinning across through the screen to me from thousands of miles away.
I am furious today, well more furious than the other usual days. It has been going on for the past few months. Most of our calls had been ending up with me hanging up with frustration and then not calling them back for days together. I had finally visited them after so long and the thing they thought worth mentioning was that the neighbouring guy had got a great job in an MNC. Great timing! As I lay down that night on my bed I couldn’t sleep. Sleep kept eluding with many tries so I took to thinking, as I mulled over our fight that day I realised I was in the wrong cause they were so overwhelmed with joy that they wanted to share even the tiniest detail in their life with me. I wanted to apologise to them but something kept holding me back. I thought it would be weird. It would be awkward.
That’s when it hit me, when did the people who brought me in this world drift so far that I felt awkward apologising to them.
I just got twenty thousand or so days with him. Life suddenly seemed far more cruel and unfair. These twenty thousand or so days were too short of a time to spend with the best person I had ever known. I would miss his lopsided smile, I would miss him calling my pet name in public and me giving him the fiery look, I am going to miss his ill timed burps, I am going to miss the guy that got so elated with the tiniest of my achievements. It always seemed like he was more satisfied with me than I was. I wish I had realised this sooner and not today cause realising this today is tearing my heart in to pieces. I am going to miss my superhero a lot.
It seemed like a part of me was missing. A big huge chunk of me had departed me leaving a huge hole in my world. Today I have loads of friends to console me and loads more to stand by me, but I still miss the voice that would say “ Everything is going to be alright Babu” . As she lay there with a smile I felt as though she was smiling at the reel of memories being played by god to her. She was so lucky she could skip the hurtful parts and jump to the best times we had spent together, my first day at school , my first time giving a speech, my first football game for the school team, my first time receiving the proficiency prize. All these small firsts made a huge part of her life. She had been with me in all my firsts. I wish she was with me when I first lost a part of my soul. I had lost the only person in this world who had a connection so strong that she could make out my different cries for help. Would she realise today that the tears that were rolling down had a different tinge of melancholy in them. She probably would.
Thanks for reading this tad bit long piece of my work. This particular piece is quite close to my heart and you can make out why. Do leave comments to help me improve. Don’t shy away from criticising me. I would love to read your stories about you and your parents do leave them in the comments section. And finally if you liked this then please press the recommend button as it helps people who might like this get to this article faster and share with your peers, parents and everyone you think who would enjoy this.
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