I hear a laugh,
unmistakably my dad,
been a while since I made him laugh like that.
Makes me shiver, makes me wonder,
reminds me of the reality that our time as best friends has passed.
Just wish I could drop my bags and run to him,
just tell him about everything wrong in this world, everything wrong with me,
without missing out even one teensy-weensy insignificant detail.
Babble and rant for hours while he just listens, doesn’t say a word but nods his head and inconspicuously tries to hide a yawn.
Wish we could stay up, laugh and kid about the most random things,
sit reinventing board games from dusk till dawn
like we used to.
Wish I could just ask him once,
was growing up so scary for him too?
Did he stumble and fall and get his heart broken into a million pieces too?
Did he wish to just run away and hide every time something inconsequential went wrong?
Or was he always this headstrong?
Did he too stay up at night, talking to the moon,
wondering his place in the world, wondering where did he belong?
Did he say things he couldn’t take back and do things he couldn’t explain?
Joked about everything, hoping it’ll numb the pain?
Try to do something with a good heart but end up just hurting everyone around?
Did his days too end with his knees to his chest, arms around himself, crying on the ground?
Walked one way only to end up stuck in an obscure lane.
Did he too feel lost even on a paved path with the map with directions in his hand?
Just wish I could ask him,
if at times he too felt so very alone,
even with so very many people around, like he had no one to call his own.
Just wished I could ask him,
did he wish he could ask Grandma these things too?
Author: Riya Pote
Editor: Diya Chakraborty