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April 27, 2005

After 2 hours mom went in and asked dad to come for dinner. He didn’t respond. She asked him again and again. But he didn’t talk. Now that was something strange! We knew he was sad but he always responded to a question. But not now! Not today! I peeped inside the bedroom and saw dad holding mom’s hand …probably he was scared, afraid of something! Mom couldn’t keep quiet and asked him what had happened. Dad slowly started talking and finally told that his boss was not satisfied with his work. This was pretty normal though but he somehow got so serious that I guess his mind stopped functioning.
He started sweating! His face turned black! We knew what these symptoms were of…..mental depression…. We tried our best to persuade him that everything would be alright there’s no need to worry, but he wouldn’t listen, he had passed that stage. And now only two things could help him. It’s either his friends or the “mind” clinic. Mom promised him that we would meet his friends the next morning and I think he was pleased and then he slept.

Perhaps it was at 1:00A.M when I heard the front door creaking. Someone had opened the door!!!! It was dad!!!!!!! I had the habit if sleeping in the hall and I suddenly woke up and began to run behind him and mom followed too. We finally got him only a couple of feet away from the house and asked him…
“Where are you going at this time of hour?”
“Come on let’s go inside. We will definitely meet your friends.”
“I want to go out for a walk.”
“Where will you go?”
“I don’t know, I will come home later.”
“Don’t be so stubborn, it’s cold out here. Come on let’s get in.”
Finally we somehow managed to sleep, all four of us in the hall. And mom had all the while held his hand in hers. The next morning mom got up and went to the kitchen. She searched for the knife and to her shock she found some red stains on it. What was that???

Oh my God!!! It’s blood! Pure thick red blood!!!

She suspected something really serious and followed the thinly visible blood drops which led to the bathroom and there again she found thick blotch of blood there. She ran towards dad who got up and looked at his hands…
“What the hell? Why did you do this? Why? I wouldn’t in my dreams could think that you could do something like this?”
Then I got up and to my shock, I found a 5mm deep cut on his right hand just below the palm. Blood had stopped oozing revealing the flesh inside. The knife had miraculously missed the nerves!!!!!!!!
“What’s the matter with you? What are you in short of now! Children are doing well! Manish has made it into the most prestigious college in the country! Though your salary isn’t sufficient; we are still able to manage it. Why did you do this? Why?” she was talking to the paralyzed ears of his. She knew he had to be hospitalized immediately. I remember her telling me few times that he had gone to an extent of clutching the electric wires in such condition once almost 15 years ago. And now he was here in much severe condition.
“Manish, call your uncle, look for his number.”
“Write down the doctor’s address and telephone number on a piece of paper. This is urgent, do it quickly”, she kept on telling while combing her hair.

I was so shocked that I couldn’t believe my eyes. I did what mom had told me to do and later waited for my uncle to arrive when he arrived it took almost an hour to get dad dressed to go to hospital.
“Stay in the house and if anyone calls tell them we had gone out and we will return by 5 o’clock in the evening.”
I stared at my surroundings and then at sky, “God! What are you doing? And that too to dad! You know him more than I do. Why God? Why?”
I knew I wouldn’t find an answer because it was we who knew the answer or more than that who had to find an answer.
I switched on the T.V. perhaps that would release my tension. At probably 12:00PM the door bell rang and I saw my brother come in.
“What happened?” I asked him. And then I saw dad coming in, he was smiling….smiling!!!! He smiled at me and went inside to sleep. I slowly asked my brother what happened. He said “We went and sat in a bus and after sometime I saw a beautiful lady come in. I kept looking at her and to my surprise dad was looking at me…I mean he caught me red handed dude. He smiled…smiled!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I smiled too and then he started talking about my studies, about how things are going on in our lives, how his work is going on. When we finally reached the hospital that everything is fine, just the cut needs to be stitched. And finally he gave some tranquillizers and we are here. That’s it”

I couldn’t believe my eyes now…simply couldn’t., after all that happened in a matter of 8 hours .his going out at 1:00am, cutting his hand, refusing to wear his shirt to go to hospital…it simply is not possible to come back to a normal state in a short time. Then I thought over it and realized that everything had changed b’coz dad just managed to smile and he got a response for that from his son. And then he opened his heart and let his feelings burst open till there was nothing left.

My whole idea of dealing with people changed. I began to look at my dad’s life more closely, what he had been through is unimaginable!! My salaam to one amazing human being who loves to be praised. Yes we all love to be praised, praised for even he small things which otherwise would go unnoticed. He was my hero from then on, though I have to confess that I never really found time to talk to him but then life seemed to be simpler and happier. All because he just managed to smile on the tragic day of our lives!!!! That was one fine day that lasted for only few hours but had an experience of lifetime for me. I learnt the biggest secret in making people fall in love with you is to listen to them when they talk….when they smile because there are lots of untold and emotional words in one simple and true smile.

And again as usual life was normal though there were fears that dad would again resort to some crazy stuff again.. All we wanted to see was,” Same old dad who used to crack PJ’s, laughed at everything, enjoyed his food, movies, friends and above all the family,…us”

hope u have enjoyed the story, as much as i did while writing it….

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