Saturday, March 13, 2010

Of love and one and a half men.

Dear Tanmay,

Just nothing was going right. Not my fault altogether. There were some sudden emergencies to be attended . After all I don’t control the municipality and they didn’t take my permission to stop water. And so arranging mineral water for drinking was an extra chore. Again while getting ready for the office, the pant wouldn’t fit. And you wouldn’t want your uncle to go to USA looking like an over stuffed duffel bag would you? so I had to rush for some emergency shopping.

I could still have managed if you wouldn’t have tried every trick in your book to try and make me miss my flight. I couldn’t imagine an eight year old rascal had that many tricks up his sleeve. You tried convincing that it was only Tuesday and I was packing a day early. When that didn’t work you started obstructing me while packing ( I was honestly worried that you would hurt yourself with the pair of scissors or the blade. Remember once I left my razor after shaving and you cut your chin trying to shave your invisible beard!) later taking me for the badminton game and prolonging the game by refusing to win! then going to the superstore and buying on and on and finally just refusing to sleep. Your father called up from his work site, choking with anxiety. The cab was already there. hurry or you will miss your flight, he was screaming.

I guess only two people would have been happy if I had really missed the flight!

As the plane taxied, my fingers touched my cheek and could feel the softness of your small palm caressing. It was easier when you were younger. You would bawl and I would take you out till you slept. But now you have learnt that annoying habit of controlling your tears and staring blankly. I am just unable to deal with that naked blank and silent look in those eyes. I wish you would cry like other kids.

But tonight as you finally slept and I bent to kiss your cheek my lips felt salty. I was torn. your blank and accusing look hurt less than this.

Your mom warned me not to call you often. She said you take time to adjust but once you receive a call you are irritable and silent again.

Why do you love me so much? I have asked myself this question many times. Remember last week when you felt sick suddenly and we had to rush you to the doctor and you just wouldn’t leave me. your mom and dad watched anxiously as you hugged me hard and tried to sleep. Your mom’s voice was all moist as she said that you missed me whenever you were ill. Your love transcends petty relations.

The other day one of your friend’s father at the bus stop asked me if he was my son and I had said yes he is the son I never had. Then he asked whether we are related. Then he went on to say that only the blood relations help when you are old. I felt sorry for your friend. He is a smart lad. But he was orphan the day he was born. He did not inherit a father but a scum bag who treated everything in terms of profit and loss. He doesn’t see his son as a son but as a fixed deposit. What can I say! People like him should breathe less so that some good person may live longer.

He doesn’t know that you have given enough happiness in these eight years that he wont be able to give in his life time. His son is that much poorer.

Maybe you can teach all of us adults a lesson in love. We are too grown up to unshackle our narrow minded manacles. Blood for us is thicker than anything else.

I feel a rustle and touch the paper in my pocket. Your tiny left foot is imprinted there. You have given me strict instructions on what kind of shoes to buy. Soon I would be going to China to source some material from there. I guess that would be easier than buying your shoes! Your quality control is far stricter than any that I have ever come across in my professional life.

The travel was uneventful. The ride was turbulent and bumpy after Frankfurt. Miami at this time is very muggy. There was a tornado warning as I arrived. No. It wasn’t about the one brewing inside me.

The immigration officer was very friendly , warm and polite. He smiled and welcomed me back in spanish. I tried a sunny smile and said Gracias. I wish I knew more Spanish and had a sunnier smile than that. Suddenly it felt good to be back in Miami. I thought everything will be alright.

While I was unpacking , I reached for the suitcase with which you were playing and as I opened it, I suddenly stared. There was a picture painted by you between my clothes. In the blue sky among the white clouds was a plane flying and a man looking out of it. A small boy was waving from the ground.

I felt a drop on the paper. No silly. I wasn’t crying. Like you I am grown up too and can handle emotions well. Its just that I am allergic to musky room freshners. I try to wipe off. But the tears keep welling. I must go and wash my eyes. Damn allergies!

You take care. Shower all your love on your friend. Perhaps he needs it more. His father will try teach him how not to live. You unteach that !

There cannot be a better teacher than you.