Happy Birthday Papa.
A little rose was sowed onto this earth. The seed was just as imperfect as the two plants. The seed was given water, food and the obligatory sunlight. Yet it lacked warmth that it needed to blossom. So it grew with chipped petals, often wilted yet surviving, for the plants loved the flower in their own earthly way. Today the bud has become a flower; it knows more of its smell, its colors and its purpose on this earth. It knows it has to bloom to tell the world of a tale that sings of all the years that the farmers put into it. Stealing a chapter from that tale, it shall tell you of the imperfect bond it shared with the male plant.
The seed meant everything to him as it germinated from him. It had its smile, its bone structure, the lines from his forehead and most importantly his blood. The seed meant the world to him yet not more than the world. So he raised the seed in unintended isolation. He forgot to embrace the seed in the love that bestows the beauty to a flower, the world adores. The seed was his reason for living but he forgot to live with it. He knew that the seed, growing as a bud had its struggles but was incapable of taking its hand upon its journey. After all every man’s battle is his alone to fight. The seed blamed him for a long time for the isolation that wrecked its essence. The void making the bud different than the others. Today things are different. Today as the bud has grown into a flower, it knows better. Yet the flower is still a rose. Born with the thorns that its parents too bore. Maybe the flower will write a different story, maybe it will learn to love without pricking its loved ones with its thorns. But for now it hides behind those chipped petals singing in secret and loving in disguise. This is the message from that flower.
As I sit in front of my computer writing a justification for my cruelty, I think of you more than ever. You are but an hour away from me. I wished you in the morning over phone but I make more efforts for my friends on their birthday than the kind I made for you, my family. I want to surprise you with a cake, go on a daughter-father dinner, tell you all the stories from my travel and enjoy the smile you have for making you happy. You have tears in your eyes, overwhelmed by the love you have for me. You pull me in an embrace and place a kiss on my head. Yet here I sit spinning a dream I could turn into a reality yet I don’t. I do not know why but until I figure it out just know how I feel.
I imagine as we sit over a coffee, I tell you how blessed I feel to be your daughter, that I know you meant nothing but the best for us. How proud I am to know a legend like you, who rose above his great battles, living each day for his kids. I know you have tried to give us the best; you wish to see us grow, to be happy in life. I know you broke through your barriers to accommodate the challenges our growing up imbibed. You tried again and again to set things right but we are too broken to be fixed so soon. My mother has been in isolation for too long to know what she’s missing without being with us. My brother is coping through our tragedy in his own conspicuous way. He loves you too, maybe more than me and so does my mother but is just as restricted as any of us. It is sad that I do not much of my childhood with you, but one memory shall always stay with me until the end. The details though blurry are from a picture from that shall now be immortal.
It was a sunny winter morning. It was the time of Diwali (the Hindu festivals of lights). You came to visit us at my maternal grandparents’ house. We had just woken up and we ran to see you in the living room as soon as you arrived. You brought chocolates and fireworks, a luxury we craved in that small town. We must have talked for a while but were soon distracted by the newly arrived fireworks. We laid a mat outside and fried the firecrackers in the sun. Sitting outside displaying our fire crackers to our cousins. Somewhere in that day you took that picture of us with our lovely cousins. Those faces smiling to the camera with messy hair, winter cheeks holding wide teethed smile shall always be dear to me. I have no one but you to thank for that memory. Today we are conflicted than before, we have our own battles to fight. I am more aware of my love for you than I was as a kid. It is for this reason the struggle is harder than ever.
Instead of a gift, I shamelessly request you for time. I ask you to not lose hope, until we all have walked for a while to meet at this one point. The crossroads where we know as much about love as you do. The point where we smile again, together. Boasting our happiness in yet another Polaroid.
Until the day I plan a surprise on your birthday instead of a sad note. Until the day I am brave enough to love. Until then just know I love you.