Dad from A Distance. . .
Dad from A Distance. . .7 mins 66 7 mins 66
Rahul tapped his index finger on the red circle of his smartphone to disconnect the Whatsapp call with his wife and son. He laid himself on the sofa in the drawing-room, with a mixed feeling of frustration and irritation punched with a mild dose of pain. Why the hell his son never talks to him !!!
This happens almost daily. He calls every evening after coming back from office and what he gets is - above feeling, which could be diluted only with few large pegs of whiskey, gulped without water. This evening also was no different.
Rahul stays away from his family. In fact, he stays far away from his family; in a different country altogether. Thanks to Corona, neither could he fly back to India since January to meet his family, nor could his wife and kid could come to see him once in the last six months.
Now, what has happened in this period is – their family life has become virtual.
Their love and emotion for each other has been replaced by ‘e–motion’.
Hugs have been replaced by Whatsapp. .
And touch is being taken care of by the touch phones.
Rahul just hates this ‘new normal’ of his life. ‘This is impossible’ he murmured to himself while taking a sip of the last peg of his drink. ‘I can’t take it anymore! Why the hell did I say ‘yes’ for this overseas assignment? Now, I am sick and tired of this situation.’
What troubles him most is - There is no end to this impasse in site.
He continued bashing God knows whom!!
‘Why the scientists all over the world cannot invent a vaccine for corona, which could easily be removed from hands by a mere twenty second washing with ordinary soaps!! This is ridiculous!!! Before he could think something more demeaning about the scientist community of the world, the phone rang. Its Nisha, her wife again. . .
‘Yes, what happened?’ Rahul asked, without making any effort to hide his anger.
Nisha: You need to be a bit patient. Ishaan is a kid after all. It would take him some time to understand how much you love him.
Rahul: What kid? He will cross fourteen next month. I have sacrificed everything for you and your son, but, he does not even have two minutes to talk to me on the phone and ask me how I am!!!
Don’t be so hard on yourself and on him. Nisha spoke softly, trying to console Rahul. ‘He might have not asked you. He asks me always. He is worried about you. He cares for you. His complaint is – you have left him and me alone and went abroad. He has told this to me many times. He thinks – ‘Baba has no time for him and this feeling turns him away from you. ‘
‘Have I come so far for myself? I have come for all of you.’ Rahul continued. . . ‘He cares for me!! Bull sheet!! He does not even talk to me. Rahul’s voice is moving upward in rage.
Nisha : Ok. Ok calm down.
Rahul: What Calm down? I will not calm down?? What you both think of me?? I am a machine?? I have come here for a picnic?? Don’t you understand how much pressure I have on me? I am running a company. Damn it. They are not paying me thousands of dollars every month seeing my face. I don’t even get proper food when I come back. And I am taking all this pain for securing future of you and your son. I am staying away from my family to earn money, so that, he won’t have to not stay away from his family. Why does not he understand this simple thing? Bloody idiot!!
Rahul stopped. His lungs badly need some oxygen; without realizing the fact the phone has got disconnected long back due to poor signal. He could understand this only when Nisha called again and said –“ Sorry. I could not listen to what you said, the phone got disconnected.’
By the time Rahul has calmed down. He told in a cooler voice – it's ok, nothing serious. It's good that Nisha could not listen to the caressing words he uttered minutes back. ‘Anyways, take care’. He told before disconnecting.
Days pass by like black and white scenes of an old monotonous movie. The same routine repeats itself daily. No.. . Hang on. . . not the same routine! One thing changed. Rahul has stopped calling Nisha and Ishaan.
He was taking his dinner, while surfing the channels from news to Netflix, to Prime to Zee5 only not to find anything worth sticking to. The cook has a special talent for making everything tasteless like a piece of water-soaked paper.
The phone rang; Who is this??’. Rahul reluctantly got himself out of the sofa and reached to the switchboard where it was connected to the charger. Its Ishaan!. his son!! Is it really him or his mother is calling from his phone!!! Rahul took the call. His hands are visibly shaking. .
‘How are you baba? Why did not you call for the last two days? ‘What happened to him’. Rahul thought. Ishaan’s voice seems to have choked with emotion. ‘Is he crying !! or is he trying hard not to cry!!! and that too because, I have not called for two days!!’.
Rahul was struggling to organize his thoughts and failed to utter a single word. He stood like a statue with the phone in his hand; quivering vehemently in an earthquake.
Ishaan is getting restless on the other side. ‘Baba – why are you not answering. . Are you ok? Is everything all right?? Is your health ok?? Please answer Baba. We are worried for you. Baba I am very very sorry for not talking to you when you call. I will never do this again. Please talk to me Baba. . I LOVE YOU Baba, I miss you very much. I wish I could go and see you right now. And I want to give you a tight hug.
Enough, enough, enough. . Rahul could not hold himself any longer. He started crying out loud. And then there was outburst emotion from both the sides. Both of them kept crying till every single complaint against each other got washed away, till every bit of misunderstanding stored in their heart and mind got flushed with the drop of tears.
The security guard of the bungalow was a bit curious to see his strong and fierce boss is crying. But, Rahul cared a damn.
And then, entered Nisha in the arena. She hugged Ishaan and took the phone from his hand. She whispered to his hubby “ Everything is fine now. You please take care. Now, would you be convinced that your son loves you the most. Let me console him. I will call you later’.
Rahul has settled down by now. His cook was getting ready with bottle, soda, water etc for the evening ritual of his master. Rahul told him – take these away. I want a cup of tea served with milk and sugar. . No, wait - served with a lot of sugar’. Cook was pleasantly surprised. Followed the instruction; trained not to ask questions.
After taking a sip of hot tea, Rahul pushed the green button of his TV remote. It’s a double bonanza!!! One – mass production of Covid vaccine will start very soon. Two – international travel is scheduled to begin shortly. Rahul felt himself like a feather, floating in idle wind of love, peace and joy.
After a gap of many month, he took out his pen and paper and felt like writing something. Corona may have shaken the world, but it has certainly not won . . .
“Battle may not be an easy one, but we will fight again
Vision may be a blurred one, but we will dream again
We will bleed in many cuts, but won’t succumb to the pain again
There could be thousands of reasons to be sad, but we will find one reason to be lough again
Folks may not be the same, but will sing again
Feelings can never be deeper one, but we will love again
Life may not remain the same one, but we will live again. . . .
Let there be love!
Let there be life!!!
Let there be lights!!!!
Asato Maa Satgamayo,
Tamoso Maa Jyotirgamayo. .
Mritor Maa Amrutam gamayo. . .
Om Shanti. . . Om Shanti. . . Om shanti. . .