“My father was paralyzed for 15 years, so I grew up seeing him in a wheelchair––but that doesn’t mean he was a weak man. Regardless of his condition, he was the best dad ever.
But, he got sick again and was in the ICU for 5 years. And when his condition finally stabilized, we decided to take him to my uncle’s farmhouse for a break. He asked for his dinner earlier than usual, and not long after, I found him collapsed. I’ll never forget the sound of my own voice shouting ‘Papa’….we rushed him to the nearest hospital, but it was already too late. My father was gone.
I remember saying over and over in my head that I’d be a good son if he just came back––but that could never happen. I couldn’t help but think of all the times I was studying and he wanted to spend time with me but I didn’t give him attention because I was too busy. I would do anything to have that time back.
As soon as I could, I escaped to Bombay where I was studying. I surrounded myself with new people that didn’t know about my dad so that I wouldn’t need to think about him. And for the longest time, I avoided going home.
I used to shop at a store in front of my hostel that was run by this little old lady. She barely ever spoke about herself, but told me so many things about her family–her life revolved around taking care of them. Those few days of talking to her gave me some perspective–I needed to go back home.
I’m living in Delhi now, but my life isn’t about me anymore–my mom, Dadu, and my brother are my priorities. I’m not happy here all the time, but I know I’ll never regret this. We’re all finally coming to terms with our loss– and there’s not a single day that I don’t miss my dad though, I think about him all the time. I hope he’s proud of me, I’m trying to become the son he always wanted me to be.”