A loss is a loss. When we lose people to death, the vacuum remains but with time our scars do get healed and we do knowingly or unknowingly move on. But when we lose a person to himself, there is no return. Zaara was standing at this point in her life. She had lost her mother and she no longer recognized her father. He was not the same man he used to be. She didn’t cry but tears tore her heart apart. She was chained into the heaviness of emotions around her. She knew her mother won’t come back, but what she truly feared was will she ever be able to get her Dadda back. See him as the vibrant man he once was. Two months had passed and with every passing day she realized that the chances of return were getting bleaker. Fading hope and isolation together caught up on her.
She had friends. Few good ones. But she always saw sympathy in their eyes. It was like everyone was trying to console her for the loss she had overcomed so bravely. Her true loss was of which no one knew.
She juggled between office and home. Trying her best to take care of her father. Things went from bad to worse. She seldom thought of how unforgiving love could be. What does it eventually bring us to? After all their fights, arguments and disagreements, they still loved each other. When it couldn’t find expression in life, it found itself more profound in death.
She thought of consulting a doctor to counsel her as to what is that there needs to be done. She called up relevant people and took appointment with a practicing Psychotherapist. She didn’t think it wise to take her father to the clinic. She thought it would be best to get to know things before making up his mind to undergo treatment.
There was a war going on between her mind and heart. The man who couldn’t see her daughter cry had not looked upon her to enquire if she was doing good. If he had lost her, she had too. And she was on the verge of losing him. And she didn’t think she had the strenght to face it.
She sat in the car and took a deep breath. She needed to focus and keep her head straight. If she failed, he would fail with her. And hope would be lost to destiny. She had just got the engine started when someone knocked on the window. It was her Dad. He gave a bright smile and signalled her to open up the door. She did. Her face knew no emotion. Nor did her heart. He told her to take him to the grocery store in the main market. She agreed. She drove. They didn’t talk. She had a lot of questions to ask but she stayed mum.
He bought his favorite soda drink, picked up a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. He then went to the nearby bakery. She dropped him back home. She told him that she had some work and that she would be home soon.
When she returned from the clinic, she saw the entrance lit up with colorful LED lights. She felt a bit uncomfortable as she entered the hallway. It was all dark inside. And then suddenly with a hue of laughter and shout, she heard the words-‘Happy Birthday.’ And there he stood, the man she had waited to see for so long. She dropped to her knees. And first time in several months,she cried. She cried. And the guests looked at her with sympathy. Her father came and sat down on his knee. He kissed her forehead. He said, “You have been brave my girl. More brave than I ever could be. I am sorry that you had to see me destroy myself. Somehow your Hero was no longer your savior. And you smiled for me. Even when you lost her. More when you lost me.’
Zaara just looked at his eyes. She could see herself in them. His baritone was melody to her ears. She wiped her tears with her wrist. She slowly got up and went to her room. As her father looked her go, he felt weak again. She returned after a while, draped in a cotton zari saree. Her father smiled. Meera, he whispered.