Thursday, February 17, 2022

did you really go?

I was in Mumbai. At my parents' apartment. I had my work laptop with me - I was working from home. It was a bright and sunny late afternoon.

I wasn't feeling quite well. I shutdown my laptop and told mom I'm taking the day off work as I was finding it hard to work.

Although I didn't say it out loud, the reason I couldn't work was because thoughts of dad were unsettling me. I felt terrible. I wanted to curl up in bed and just do nothing.

But as I walked past the kitchen to the bedroom, dad was there!

He was sitting at his usual spot at the dining table, and although he didn't turn to face me, he asked me what happened.

I put my arms around him, and gave him a hug from behind, while he continued to sit. I told him it's just a headache.

That's when I noticed a bit of bandage on the side of his stomach. it looked like the bandage was covering up stitches.

I asked him what happened, but he did not answer.

I asked mom how dad got back here. What happened? Hadn't he gone?

She did not answer either.

I asked her if she could see dad sitting there at the dining table.

She turned to me, confused, and said, no she didn't.

I burst into tears.

Dad was there. I could feel him in my embrace. He could hear me and speak to me.

what was happening? it was too confusing to handle.

I just wanted to hold on to him until I could think straight again.

He stood up. He walked to his chair in the living room, where he loved to sit, and sat there.

He sat and looked outside while I cried.

I saw his face. It was just as I remembered.

He just sat there looking outside while I stood at the door, watching him, and cried.

I don't know why he did not react to my tears.

I got into bed and cried some more.

That's when Shruti shook me awake.

I was in Belfast, crying in bed.

I told her I just want to hug him one more time.

I told her I'm not ready to let go of him yet.

There was nothing she could say.

I closed my eyes and I was back, face to face with him.

My tears didn't bother me.

The only thing that bothered me was that if nobody else could see him, he really was dead.

But at that moment, it didn't matter if he was alive or dead, as long as I could see him again.

I opened my eyes. My alarm was ringing. I switched it off and closed my eyes again.

I don't know how long I stood and watched dad sitting there, but I didn't want it to end.

I heard Shruti apologize for not knowing what to do to make me feel better.

I ignored her and kept my eyes closed while she held me.

I don't know when I stopped crying or the dream ended.

But every time I close my eyes, or even when I don't, I can still see him in that chair.

ps: as I wrote this, I remembered a similar dream from many years ago. I don't think Jeetu has appeared in subsequent dreams though.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

staring at a photo

 it's strange, how I've suddenly spent at least 20 hours of the last 80 staring at this photo.

one month ago, I was hanging on to every word mom and Kevin said about how dad was in hospital. what did he say? how was he reacting? was he awake? did he sleep? what was he eating? was he eating?

I remember thinking to myself, that if I was there, I'd have been by his side every moment I could - and feeling helpless at the fact that while mom and Kevin were at his beck and call, he refused to even call for them (intensive care protocol is apparently that the designated attendant can only visit the patient when the patient asks for it).

We didn't know how hard he was fighting. We thought he'd be out in a couple of days, as he had bounced back countless times before.

I wanted to reassure him myself that it will all be okay - but phones are not allowed in intensive care.

But anyway - would it really have mattered?

Either way, i must sleep now.

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