A baseless promise 


“I’ll see you in the evening” , I said. I closed the call and the radio came alive almost seamlessly. Perks of a Bluetooth enabled entertainment system and I did enjoy what it had to offer.



I pretty much hate doing things that are not on my list of things to do in the morning. Bespoke tasks hamper my routine and I’m not the most graceful morning person either! I was forced to juggle my schedule and pay the post office a visit this morning. This was an overhead but it was something that I had to do on my own. There wasn’t a different alternative to adopt.


Balancing this morning was a tricky affair. The gym left me tired and I couldn’t afford to rest my sore muscles for a wee bit longer. I was a total grump when I got ready for work. My dad wanted me to drop him off along the way. I obliged. I usually oblige. Today was no exception. My dad’s destination arrived and as he got off the car, he gently tapped the window. I immediately lowered it. I wasn’t particularly excited about having a conversation at that point in time. I was very much aware of my surroundings. I had parked my car by the road and the narrow road has seen it’s fair share of clogged traffic jams because of blokes like me causing a pile up.

My dad rushed his request. I shrugged it off and I said I’d give it a thought. I didn’t bother confirming anything. 

His ask was pretty simple. He wanted me to call and confirm once I had picked my passport from the post office. 

****************

The drive to the post office was not long. I sat amused at this childish request from dad. I knew I’d not call him. I never really did call him much to keep him posted on things. I always had ‘better things’ to do and I always never did have the ‘time’ . 

Things at the post office worked really smooth. Dad had advised me to slip the bloke a ‘Gandhi ji’ once the document was handed out. That didn’t interest me either. Thankfully, the bloke had no such expectation. He was a professional. He did his job. He got my signatures for a confirmation and that was it.

I glanced my watch and knew I’d comfortably make it to my desk for the morning call. I enabled Bluetooth on my phone and the radio gracefully died down. I called my dad. 


The conversation was a simple one. “I’ll see you in the evening” , I said. I closed the call and the radio came alive almost seamlessly.

****************

I don’t remember what song was on the radio. It sure was a soft melancholic one. The soft gentle keys playing in the background ushered in nostalgic thoughts in my head.



Life was flashing a beautiful montage in my mind. I remembered the time when I held on to my dad’s index finger as we both walked a distance to pick up a Gi Joe from my favourite shop. I remembered picking up a SEGA when I was in the tenth grade. I don’t remember the dates, but I sure do remember the shop keeper telling me that I was lucky because most parents wont buy their ward a gaming console especially during the crucial years. 

I remembered the incident where I witnessed this aged gentleman who was lost in this railway station. He probably was suffering from dementia and had no recollection of how he got there or were his home was.

I remembered the time when my dad patiently waited outside the exam hall this one time. He was there for all my seven exams. that’s seven exams lasting three hours each. that takes the tally to 21 hours. It’s almost a day’s worth of sitting under a burning sun and doing nothing. 

I remembered my time in London when my dad woke me up very early on a Sunday and he asked me if I was sleeping. We both shared a laugh that day.

With so many thoughts running rampant in my head, I felt both guilty and ashamed of throwing the ‘I don’t have time’ phrase at my dad. 
He’s always made the time for me and today , when I don’t even really have to work from my desk anymore, I was still pulling in a tantrum of wanting to get to desk! Yeah.. I did feel really ashamed. I’ve made time for over a million hours for so many people so far. Yet, I hesitated to take an extra minute for my dad. I guess that’s life. We take the ones who love us unconditionally for granted. 


I was left with just one lingering thought. I’d love to blame the song for this thought. ‘I’ll see you in the evening” . Isn’t that a baseless promise that we make on most days?

There will be a day when I might not live up to that promise. There might be a day when he might not keep his word of seeing me in the evening. That is the dramatic uncertainty to our life. It is a very dark and a very grim worst case what if scenario. There is still a chance though.

A simple batch of words. A simple sentence. An overrated and an underappreciated promise. A promise that would haunt us the minute it gets broken. I sat wondering about the numerous times in life where I wished I had said something more, where I wished I could have expressed myself better rather than hiding behind words or throwing in a macho man poker face. I sat lost in thoughts about the million moments that I wanted to live through rather than putting aside for what ever the reasons.

Yeah. That’s us. We all grow a little wiser when we look back. 

Karthik

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