Sunday, 19 June 2016

‘So what does your dad do?’

You know what, it is burdening to lie every single time when somebody asks, ‘Oh, what does your dad do?’ After mumbling a few incomprehensible words, you hope and try and wish that the conversation steers in some other direction. Every single time, it feels as if I have committed a crime and I am hiding every aspect of it, trying to build stories around it and trying to sound as convincing as possible. Most of the times, I fail myself but hey, I haven’t been caught till date.

Today, I wanted to write some fancy poetry. Unfortunately I am bad at poetry and I don’t think I can put it in words what I feel right now. So I am just going with the flow. This entire month, fitness companies, bakeries, online shopping portals and many more have been bombarding my email account with gifts that can be bought for my dad. I go through every email diligently. Except for the fact that I can’t buy anything. I just cannot. Today. Father’s Day. Sunday. I open my Facebook as I do every day after I wake up. My timeline today is full of people uploading their pictures with their fathers, statuses wishing them and thanking them for whatever they have been to them. I close my Facebook after a few minutes. Tears rolling down my eyes don’t let me see it for a long time. I cry in the bathroom. I know if I cry in open, others will too. I also know somewhere they have cried too. So yeah, I cannot wish my dad, a Happy Father’s Day or put a status message or change my picture with him because he isn’t with us anymore. 14 years ago we lost him. To cancer. (Btw, Fuck you Cancer)

I do not remember what it is to have a father. I do not. In spite of the fact that I was 16 when we lost him. Still, I don’t. Except some glimpses of his sternness towards me all the growing up years and his not showing of emotions that he loved his children (Well, mom says he did and I will have to believe her I guess). I do remember his last months though. In the hospital and at home, seeing him get weaker by the day, losing him bit by bit every single hour, awaiting the doom that clawed its way into our lives minute by minute. And most of all, what I remember is hope. Hope that he will be better. He didn’t.

What followed was sympathy. Pretty obvious right? Except for the fact that I wasn’t ready for it. So, just after the first few days, when a close friend’s mother asked me what would happen to my school fees and that she could pay it for me because they do a lot of ‘charity’ as such, I decided there and then that I shall not reveal that my Dad is no more to anyone. And I have followed that till date. Except a few closest of the friends (seven to be precise) nobody knows this. So when I write this today, understand that it has taken immense amount of courage to come out about this.

I do not remember what it is to have a doting figure who will take care of all the things. I do not know what it is to not be worried about what will happen in future. I also do not know how to think that there is somebody at home who will solve all my issues, emotional, financial or anything else. Well, it is said that daughters are way too close to their dads. But. I do not know. That being said, it does not mean my father wouldn’t have done all this while I was young. This just means that I have a bad memory, may be because I was young and may be because I too have inherited his genes of not showing emotions to people around. (I write about them though. Don't know what he did)

I don’t know why I chose to write this post. I think it’s mostly because I haven’t been able to talk to anybody about this all these years and the burden sometimes gets on to me and most importantly I think I got overwhelmed by all the Facebook activity of dads on my timeline. Yeah, Facebook sometimes does that to you!

If you are reading this, here’s one thing I expect out of you. If you know me personally and have just come to know about this, please do not ask me awkward questions the next time you see me and most of all, please do not sympathize at all.

I sometimes think it was a decision taken in childish zest (I was sixteen. What else do you expect) Maybe that woman was really concerned or maybe it was just the tone of her voice that made me want to hide and not see such ‘charitable’ people again. But I stuck to my decision. Left school. Graduation. Post Graduation. Job. Bus friends. Random friends. Blogger friends. Acquaintances. I kept my word to myself. And kept on answering one awkward question after another. ‘So what does your dad do?’ My answer from now might be this, ‘He watches over us. Somewhere from far far above.’ Happy Father’s Day Dad !


  1. It is ok to let out what you have inside of you...and good that you did that!

    We all have something or the other to be really worried about in our lives. It is difficult to cope up with the loss, especially.
    Wish him a Happy time far above.

  2. This space and writing has grown more closer and more important to you with this than it was before.

    Wishes to writing even more wonderfully. He sure must be proud watching over you seeing you grow into such a fabulous writer Jyotsna. Best wishes!!!

  3. Hugs dear. I have some experience in lying and losing my dad. I'm not yet courageous enough to talk about it. I understand at least a bit of your pain. Your dad must proud to see his little girl as a wonderful writer. And yeah, he is watching over you.

  4. God has gifted you with strong will and all I can say is "Stay Strong".
    We try so hard to hide painful memories, vow never to visit them again and stay as far as we could. Alas, we are humans after all, we do break down once in a while. Wish you all the very best,

  5. Even if you wouldn't have written about sympathy, I'd have kept it out of the interaction. The simple reason is that it is pointless. It does no tangible good. On the other hand the tangible good that I see, the world sees is the levels of happiness and perhaps pride you have earned for your family and his memories. Just the way you write. The other accomplishments you have and will make. All of it is the manifestation of an indomitable will to keep the tragedy within and inspire on the outside.

    It is hard to lose someone. No changing that. But holding on to the memories, working for something, dreaming on and looking up to say 'Happy Father's Day', that is phenomenally brave.

    May God fulfill all your dreams.

  6. Hey, a wonderful post-Can relate to your feelings on the dreaded question...God bless you!

  7. Writing is cathartic. I have nothing to say except that there can be no better answer than what you have framed. :)

  8. You take care mam.. I am sure your dad is watching and smiling for sure ..


  9. Hey Jyotsna, Its my first time on your Blog but I loved the way you write. You know what- My Father always maintain a distance with me- may be its his nature to not gel up with his Kids much or he has some bitterness for me. Its been 4 years I am married but still he doesn't talk to me much except giving reply to my Namaste. Sometimes, relationships are there just to fill the void but not lively as they should. It strains my heart but I could not understand him throughout this time. Yes, Parents are always there to look after their Kids no matter physically present or not. You are making him proud.


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