“I don’t know Ma, how to bridge this gap between father and son. I die every day to see it all happening in front of my eyes”. A sobbing Shyamali explained to her mother on the phone. But interrupted by the sounds coming from the living room she hung up hastily.
“You little brat , what are you? You still are too small to teach me ways of life. I have spent last 25 years of my life, serving for this country”. Pointing a finger towards his son, Retd. Col Singh shouted on top of his voice.
“Yes Dad, but what have you given me and mom in those twenty five years? HAH, Twenty Five years of loneliness and sadness!!” Exclaimed Shobhit as his face turned red with anger.
Col. Singh trembled with aghast anger but held himself to annote staring right into Shobhit’s eyes “You, Lieutenant Shobhit are in no ways going to marry that girl. And if you ever change your mind, you are welcome to my house”.
The vase on the table went cracking up into pieces as Shobhit banged his arm on the table. A shivering Shyamali stood as a silent spectator. A moment later Shobhit speeded up towards the doorway with a bag and a suitcase. He turned around once to see his mother. Shyamali knew it was too late to mend things now.
“I am never going to forgive you for this”. Said Shyamali to her husband and drifted lifelessly towards her room.
Resting on the armchair, she sunk into thoughts of the past.
It happened for the first time when Shobhit was 13 and Maj. Singh was posted in the intense areas of Jammu and Kashmir. At the Annual Parent Teacher Meet, he had innocently asked “Ma, all my friend’s fathers’ are here for the meet. Why dad is not here?” And Shyamali replied, “Beta. Your father is serving for the country, you should be proud of him.”
Time flew and Shyamali tried her best to compensate for the father’s love. But all her attempts were going away in vain and Shobhit was growing up with a feeling that his dad was never there for him, in the good and bad times of life. Shyamali knew that her husband had always been a strict father. He wanted Shobhit to learn life-lessons in a hard way. But , a young shobhit always hated his father for being a control and discipline freak. Unfortunately, the two never got along well.
The house had been silent as a grave since Shobhit left. But , a news on the television that evening broke a lot more than expected..
“In an intense operation in the Poonch sector,two jawans and an officer was killed.Lt. Shobhit who was……….”
…..Shyamali fell unconscious on the floor !
A week passed by, holding Shobhit’s photograph to her chest a pale lifeless Shyamali lay on the bed. Col Singh sat beside her , turning the pages of Shobhit’s diary of his childhood days , which he found in his trunk. It read:
My Hero !
… Only if you were here dad,
…Only if I could say,
… I would tell you how much I miss you
…I would tell you how much I love you!
…. No matter how things are,
… No matter how things will be,
But you will always be my hero daddy!
Tears rolled down Col Singh’s eyes.