- Dedicated to all the Fathers in the world.
- Inspired by a true incident (Names and some changes are being made in the actual incident in order to protect the identity)
Lights, lights, lights….
Lights from the oil lamps (Deepas) everywhere. Lights from the serial sets everywhere. In front of everyone’s home, alongside rangolis, and on the compound walls everywhere. You got it right, it was Diwali night. Diwali, as you all know, the festival of light which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Everyone were happy in the house, in the neighborhood, in the streets but me? Not really.
The sound of crackers excited me about burning the Lakshmi Pataki, the Atom Bombs, and other similarly large scale crackers. For an eight year boy like me they meant a lot. And I couldn’t control my temptation of getting my hands over a box full of crackers.
Oh no, I forget to tell you about me. Myself Siddharth aka Siddu. An eight-year-old bought up by oveprotective parents. And I don’t really have any kind of freedom and always my Amma goes, don’t do this, don’t do that. I’m really fed up at this.
Suddenly, “Siddu, Siddu….” Rang out a voice, shouting at me.
“Siddu, how many times I’ve told you not to even touch the crackers without me telling you. Do you even know how dangerous it is? What if something goes wrong?” It was my mom, of course. She paused for a while but still kept staring me and continued, “Just wait for tomorrow’s newspaper. You will get to know the number of people who lost their eyes due to these stupid crackers”.
And that was a full stop to all my temptations over crackers. I was not allowed to burn big crackers but I was allowed only small crackers like sur sur bathi, flower pots and bhu chakra. What is it? Is this even my life? Why did this happen to me only and not to other kids in my neighborhood.
However, I was allowed to burn the big crackers under my Appa’s supervision. But unfortunately, on the same day my Appa had to attend business meeting and was out of town.
Therefore, on that day I went to sleep unsatisfied of anything. I was mentally cursing my father for not being present in the house even on the day of festival.
With this cracker incident haunting my dreams, I woke up in the mid sleep and found myself sweaty and full of thirst. I headed to the kitchen for a glass of water. I found my father was back home. He was sleeping in the master bedroom. Walking further, I found his Nokia touch screen phone put to charge on the sofa arm.
I picked it up and went straight to my room. Obviously, I wanted to play ‘Galaxy Battles’ which was my favorite game in his phone. By mistake, I hit ‘Gallery’ instead of the game. To my surprise I found the birthday pictures of a small boy. He looked very happy. I could sense it in his eyes. I was in full of question marks on seeing these pictures. How random it seemed! A small boy, a birthday, phone pictures and my father. Confused, I decided to keep my dad’s phone back to charge. In a hurry, I rushed to the sofa and I put it back to charge. As I was rushing back to my room, thud came a sound. I could sense that both my parents were about to wake to investigate the sound. I rushed back to my room and I pretended to be asleep. I figured that I knocked down the metal flower vase while running back.
Whew, thank god, I didn’t get caught by them.
“I guess it’s the wind. Close the hall window” said Appa to Amma. I listened curiously to hear what they would do next. “Get my phone. I’ll show you something” Appa said. She handed it to him. I had no visual. I could only hear their conversation.
“Look at these pics of this three year old boy, look how happy he is on his birthday. It reminds me of my Siddu”. He paused for a while. “It’s the baby of my client whom I met him today.” He rambled on a bit longer. Amma replied mostly in short sentences. “Oh!, Is it, Good, Wow, Wonderful”. I guessed she was sleepy and tired.
“You know what? My client is such a good person. He doesn’t have any ego despite he being very rich. It’s sad that he’s been bed ridden from past 2 years”.
“My client is in a bad condition, he wants me to get his son covered under a large insurance policy with a huge premium. He has got only his younger brother by his side as his wife died five years ago due to cancer. I don’t really want to approve his policy just to reach the company target. But I really want to help him”. The story continued. It looked interesting. I kept on listening and what he said next touched my heart.
“Such a bad condition, right? Thank god we are all such a happy family though we don’t have as much wealth. I really missed Siddu today. I suppose he must be feeling bad about that crackers but what can I do? Its my job. I can’t even spend the Diwali day with my son”. He was expressing his pain to Amma. Amma further asked about how he celebrated the kid’s birthday. I suppose she was trying to deviate his mind.
He was expressing his pain to Amma. Amma further asked about how he celebrated the kid’s birthday. I suppose she was trying to deviate his mind.
“I somehow came to know that yesterday was his son’s birthday. I just acted as though I was celebrating Siddu’s birthday while I was there. “Take a look at these pics”. He kept swiping one by one. “How cute. How happy he is” said my Amma.
That was the night I felt so proud of my father. Whatever may be the situation and however strict (and sometimes irritating) my parents are they still love me like anything. I’m fortunate to have them as my parents. And I decided to think in a broader way from since that incident.