Twelve Years Ago – The Black Dog Chronicles
I had just begun my third trimester. Things were looking good. Round, but good. So, I kind of took time to go from one place to the other. Think of a waddling duck, now just add the kilos and the mood swings to it. There you go. And so on some days I was all ready to be Mother India; on other days I’d be wallowing in self-pity at the end of my life as I knew it. And it was at such delicate times that he chose to be with me. The evenings, especially, would get me all worked up. Somehow, the day would just not end.
This was one such particular not-so-good day. My Titanic was close to sinking in the sea of my tears for no fault of any particular iceberg. Whoever said that pregnancy was a divine journey, clearly, was not a woman. I was sitting on the couch, not very comfortably. He was on his favourite chair, simply unwinding for the evening. And there was some forgettable English movie running on the idiot box. How I longed to watch some nonsensical Hindi serials. Another thought added to my cloud bursting on the seams.
“We stayed in the same vicinity, your mother-in-law and I”, he said.
My tears braked suddenly at the interruption of this commercial break. I did not look up to him immediately. I was just too irritated to have any conversation. Perhaps, if I ignored him, he’d forget about it.
He didn’t. “She was the first one to start working from the seven siblings. It was a huge responsibility on her.” He continued, unaware of my emotional turmoil.
“I used to throw peanuts at her when she went to work”. I saw him smile from the corner of my eye. He somehow had managed to pique my interest.
“I managed to woo her and we finally got married. Then the boys arrived, one by one. She stayed at home to look after them, even though she was earning more than me. She never regretted it.”
I was hanging on for more, my mood swings had left the building. He then turned to me.
“Whatever it is, it will pass. Tomorrow is another day, and it will be okay. You are doing fine. Don’t doubt yourself.”
I was taken aback. Did he like just read my mind? While I was still having a monologue with myself, he took a sip of his Whisky which I had come to recognize now. I was feeling better already. Funny, I wasn’t the one who had a drink.
“She would have liked you, you know. You are somewhat like her. A no-nonsense-what-you-see-is-what- you-get-person. She would have been the right person to get you through this. She went too soon…..”
We sat in silence for the rest of the evening, watching a movie I don’t recollect. I just remember how he made me feel. I also remember how he must feel every other day. And yet, he goes on in life. I think that evening I wept, for a man I had come to love as my own father. I think that evening is when I realized, how lucky I was. I think that evening is also when I counted my blessings. That was 12 years ago.
Since then, Daddy and I have had many such evenings. We watch TV together. He loves Western movies. I have grown to like them. He is at his best when he has his drink by his side. The one story I love to hear is how he wooed mom, by throwing peanuts at her. Daddy, as always, is very obliging. Evenings are what I look forward to, always. They make me feel at home.
Disclaimer: This blog post content is meant only for adults above the age of 25.