So.. Hi guys. I have been MIA for long. But now I am back with a series of fictitious letters : “Open Letters straight from the Heart”. The first one is from a daughter to her estranged father. (Any similarity to any actual incident is accidental.)
I was 8 when Ma at last took the decision to permanently shift to GrandPapa’s little one bedroom flat with me. Ma was tired, tired of her life in our house. Sorry, your house. Its been 8 years but still I make mistakes! She wanted a healthy environment for me to grow up, devoid of daily disturbing arguments even if that meant being devoid of a parent. She did what was right, though it came at a price. She was unemployed then, and so was my GrandPapa. GrandMama’s little business supported us. Those days were tough, especially when you are just 8 and have left a three storeyed luxurious house and half of your family and all of your childhood playmates to come and live in a little room which did not even have a tv. Yes, at that age, it was one of my main concerns. Anyways, you won’t know that because you never bothered to keep contact. To be honest, you were never too close to me, father, were you? Well, how would I know? I was just 8. The two person I missed the most was Grand Dad and my cousin sister. Yes, they did keep contact. So, the next time I saw you was in court. Two years later. The divorce case hearing third day. You were sitting with your lawyer. You gave me a humongous box of delicious chocolates and an expensive watch. To make up for the last two years? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. You know, I still wear that watch sometimes. Because it looks really good on my hand.
No, no. This is not a blame letter. This is a THANK YOU letter.
In our life, people help us by staying there for us. Sometimes they do so by not being there for us. Just like you did. I like to think, and I am quite sure its true, that I am stronger because you were not there. Middle school was not tough for me, yes, but I can’t deny there were problems. And like other kids, how much I wanted I couldn’t run to my parents with them. Ma was trying so hard to run the household that I felt bad troubling her. I was alone. Some problems got solved, and some I was unable to. Yes, they created problems but at least I learnt lessons. Life lessons, early in my life. Thank you.
Next year, I am completing high school. It has not been a cake walk, but it has been unforgettable and definitely a success. I made best friends, friends who would never leave me, like you did. I always knew that like other kids I did not have a father who will keep tabs on me and warn me of bad boys. But see, I am still a nerd and my boyfriend is the sweetest. Maybe if you were there, I would not have been matured enough to take responsible decisions. Thank you.
As you were not there, Ma had to play both the roles of father and mother to me. She became my first true friend. I watched her grow with me. At that time I did not know, but now I see the struggle she went through. I wish one day I can become half the woman she is and twice the parent you ever will be. Thank you.
GrandPapa and GrandMama were living on an income which was maybe lesser than the word meagre, but they did not even think twice before asking Ma and me to come and stay with them. We don’t live in that small flat anymore and we have a tv which is the latest model in the market (though I don’t watch tv much these days!), but, I think I understand the value of money as well as the value of things more important than money
better, because I lived in conditions which were very different from the affluent manner I used to live in your house. Thank you.
I have seen kids in my class going for sessions to the school psychiatrist as a result of broken family. But to be very honest, it never bothered me. Yes, the first few days, I mean weeks, okay for many months to come I used to miss home like hell though I knew there were none there who actually wanted me back. But I was never sad that my parents were divorced. I saw that as an interesting situation. Like the interesting life of a character from a story book! I made myself understand that it was an extraordinary incident which made me different from others and I learnt to revel in that. But there were days when I would see my friends getting down from their fathers’ bikes and getting kissed on the forehead, hearing stories of how funny and cool fathers can be and I would wonder that how nice it would have been to have a complete happy family for one day. But that is just it.
I do not need a biological father. There are so many people in my life who fulfil that role. My mother has someone in her life who loves her a lot, unlike you ever did. He loves me a lot too. But I will never be able to give the place of a father to him. Just like I will never be able to give that place back to You ever again. Never.
I am not mad at you. I only wish good things for you and your new family. Its just that my life is better because you were not there for me. Sometimes water is thicker than blood.
I just wonder, do I sometimes pop up in your head, when you are standing at the terrace, or walking past the swing in the balcony or going in that small room on the second floor where I had left all of my toys before I came? Or am I just a long lost memory? I wonder if you would recognise me if you saw me on the street.
I am not that chubby now. I have longer hair. I am taller too. I still wear glasses though.
I guess not.