A Way Out – Every Time
Her father had a very peculiar habit. Well, at that time it appeared to be peculiar but now, when she looks back, it is much more than just a fond memory. It is priceless. She would probably give an arm to get her childhood back. There is a weird sense of comfort in the past like …wearing an old tee. You know it so well, it even it fits you well too. We love our past because, we have been through it and since we know what happened, therefore we feel that if we could be there again, we could perhaps do better.
“If I leave you right here, will you be able to go home?” This was like his standard dialogue or question that he asked, throughout her childhood. Like whenever they encountered a bend in the road or some shady trees, he would ask her the same question, every time. She always wondered what a fool he was, to ask her the same question when she knew the area like the back of her hand. Sometimes she would even tell him too, “Baba, I know my way. So I will reach home”.
This was at times downright boring too because it would be the same question every time. It was not exactly rocket science for her father to guess the same and therefore now the locations were new and difficult to remember. And each time, she kind of subconsciously programmed herself to remember the places around her. When confronted with this question, she would smartly answer. And he seemed satisfied too.
There were times when he would tell her a few landmarks which she should have observed but had very clearly missed. The whole exercise was great fun but looked a little lame to her at times. Same question over a period of time and that too with similar answers; this was kind of a boring game for a small inquisitive child like her. More than the answers it was the futility of an exercise that seemingly bore no results whatsoever. At least that is what it appeared to her at that point of time.
All this kind of stopped as she grew up and got involved in studies, friends and other interests and he took a backseat of sorts, in her life. Now, it was no longer her and her baba; the connection got buried under the sand of time, like literally. Now, he was no longer the man with whom she took walks. Instead, he was the man who she avoided because he gave some really dreadful lectures to her as all parents do to their adolescent kids.
And she was the ‘rebel’ kid. Anything and everything told to her was like poison to her ears. She would simply refuse to listen, forget about understanding. Ah! The futility of those adolescent ages when you think that you are right and the world is up against you and how wrong it is all the time.
But as she grew up, coming to think of it, perhaps it was his way of making sure that his dear daughter would pay attention to the various landmarks that were on the way and thus would never lose her way. He for sure was definitely that man in her life who would have hated to see her losing her way or track of her purpose or worth. What seemed like a stupid act on his part, made more sense especially now, when she grew up to face the battles of life, alone without him to hold her hand and guide her through.
Whenever she would get lost as in really get lost or lose track of herself, she would remember him and be calm and start remembering her surroundings, the landmarks or the milestones from wherever her life took a turn towards the worst. The confidence that he instilled in her years ago when she didn’t even know the meaning or the spelling of the word ‘life’, has been with her throughout. In all these years, of losing touch with her father, she has never felt otherwise. Yes, there have been times, she may have felt lost or realized that the sense of direction was leaving her, this little game that she played with her father reminded of all that was taught.
He taught her in his own way, never to panic and lose her mind. Instead, he trained her to collect her thoughts and be calm to find her way out. No matter how much time it took or whatever she had to face, she knew she had to come out of it.
“I will walk out a little scarred perhaps, a little bruised maybe, but I will find my way back home, all the time, every time”, is the voice that always reminds her of the inner strength that he instilled in her years ago.
**** End Of Story****