When the heaven smiled

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It was the happiest moment of Vrushali’s life. Freedom, she thought. She was no longer a prisoner to those four walls. She was no longer a constant reminder of what a harbinger of misery that she was. She no longer had to be there.

It was a small affair. How could it be a big one? She was not surprised by it. It ached her to miss out on something grand. She didn’t have much trouble making her peace with that. It was after all the day of her wedding. She had every reason to smile. She did smile that day. It was special. It was a smile of a liberated soul.

The ceremony wrapped up real quick. They didn’t have many guests either. The time soon came for her to leave. She hugged her father. She felt nothing. She was numb to the man. I guess her dad was also numb to her existence. Things had never been cozy between the two of them. A short hug later, she gently whispered into his ears. “I’ve left you something in mom’s drawer. Please do check it out”.

And that was it. She left. The house felt the way it had always felt. Empty, loveless and void of emotions.

Raghav breathed a sign of relief. He had done his part. He knew his daughter would be happy. Her happiness still meant a little, if not a lot to him. He locked the door and hit the bed to sleep of the night.

It was a lazy Sunday. Raghav went about his routine of watering the potted plants in the garden. There was something magical about roses. He deeply cared for them. Lovely pink roses. He would treat them with supreme great care. If Vrushali loved something in that house, it was the roses.

Gardening done, he finally walked to the drawer to see what his daughter had left behind. Neatly tucked between a red saree was an envelope. It was a special saree. It was what his wife had worn on their wedding day. Raghav ripped the sealed envelope open and sat down to read a letter that it kept safe.

******************************
Dear dad

I know I’m not the child that you ever wanted. I’ve struggled all my life to even fathom why I had let you down this much. Was it because mom died at childbirth? Was it because I was a girl and you wanted a son? This is something that I could never figure out on my own. You were never around to sit and talk me through things. You never did bother spending time with me. You were a great provider. I’ve never ever have had to ask you anything twice. In fact , most days, I don’t even remember asking you for anything. Things would always be there. I’ll always be grateful and thankful about that.

Dad, I’ve always longed for your love and attention. I really do wish that we had a normal relationship like most fathers and their daughters. I guess I’m not lucky there. I really do wish mom was still alive. Maybe things would have been so very different.

I’m 25 now. I guess it’s a little too late for things to change. I’ll have to deal with that.

For what it’s worth, you’ve taught me to be a good parent. I’ll never be like you to my kids. I’ll leave things there. I guess I’m short on nice things to write to you about. I don’t want to end this on a negative note.

I forgive you dad. I hope you forgive me because I’ve been nothing but a massive disappointment to you. I’m out of your life now forever. I don’t think I’ll ever come back to that house of yours. I could never call it mine.

May you have all the happiness that I could never give you.

Yours,

Vrushali.

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

Raghav’s heart felt heavy. His tears could not find a way to hide themselves behind his brown eyes. He sat motionless.

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

Vrushali was now in a different city. She was far away from a place that she was forced to call a home. She was now in her house. A house that she hoped to build with love and care. She stepped into her new home with a heart filled with hopes and dreams. It was going to be a happy place. Karan was a nice guy. His parents had died when he was young. They had left him a considerable fortune behind. A fortune that helped him with an education and a comfortable career. She did feel a little sad that she had to marry into a household with no wider extended family. It had always been her dream to marry into a big family. He dad pressed and she didn’t bother putting up a fight. She had already given up on her life. She felt that she was never fated for happiness. Karan was sure a surprise bonus in her life.

She opened her yellow suitcase to unpack. She found a decrepit envelope resting on top of her neatly packed clothes. She didn’t remember keeping any there or seeing one there before. Her curiosity got the better of her and she ripped it open. It was from her dad.

She hesitated for a moment. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to read it. It was odd. It was not very characteristic of her dad to surprise her with a note. She decided to give it a shot. She figured that she had nothing further to lose by doing so.

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

Darling Vrushali

I write this to you with a broken and a bleeding heart. I’ve been a lousy father to you. I know that. I’ve had my reasons. I could never really tell you about it. Your mother did not die delivering you sweetheart. After you came, complications arose. The doctors kept her in the ICU. She fought bravely for a month. Then one day, she fought no more.

It was the first time my heart shattered to pieces. The hospital left a huge financial strain. I had to leave you behind to be taken care by your nanny. I had no choice. I had debts to settle. Life took its course and as fate would have it, you starting growing up to be exactly like your mother. There were so many days when all I ever wanted to do was to hug you and cry. I couldn’t . I wouldn’t.

I loved my mother the most in the world. God took her away when I was 15. Then my dad. There was this love of my life. Maybe its in my stars where it’s written that I’m not destined for happiness. A nasty accident took her away. Everybody that I’ve ever loved has died on me. Talk about the worst curse a man could ever endure. I thought your mother would change things. I loved her very much. She was the breath of freshness in my life. She was a god send. Oh I was madly in love with her.

It was her choice to name your Vrushali. We spoke about it. It was either Anush or Vrushali. Your very name reminded me of her. The way you smiled, it was exactly like how she smiled.

I promised myself to never reveal how much I loved you darling. I didn’t have the strength to lose you. I had nothing else to look forward to life without you. I guess it’s too late now to reason my way out logically. I was scared. I could never forgive myself if something were to happen to you.

I know you didn’t like me either. How could you? I was a bad father. I wanted to vent it all out to you some day. I guess that explains the letter. I’m not asking for your forgiveness. I know I don’t deserve it. I’ll make my peace with it.

I’m sorry my princess. Never ever think that your dad never loved you. I love you darling. I love you more than my life. I picked Karan for your because I know he appreciates the value of people in life. He would never run behind money and ignore you. You would be to him, what your mother was to me. An angel who came into our lives to make things better. I know Karan would see you this way.

All the best darling.

Maybe next life, I hope to be the father that you deserved.

I’m so sorry. I hope you find all the happiness that I could never give you.

Yours.. Yours forever

Dad

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

She was her dad’s daughter after all. He was her father after all.

And somewhere in heaven a mother smiled happy. It had taken her 25 years to smile. She smiled today. She knew that it was going to be a very different day tomorrow.
*****************************************************************************

45 minutes of traffic, Andare by Ludovico Einaudi doing a loop, how could I not resist bringing out the emotions in my heart.

Love has no language. Maybe it’s really not that dumb a idea to speak and express it from time to time. What are you waiting for? Have you expressed your love to anybody today? Do you really want to survive tragic moments to express what’s in your heart? Mom, dad, spouse, future spouse, your kid(s)…. don’t leave em a text. SPEAK IT OUT.

Karthik

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