The clock ticked…………
It displayed 6 in the evening. It was time to leave the office.
Shobha hurriedly gathered all the documents from the table and tossed them into the drawer. She grabbed her purse and moved swiftly to the lift. She heard someone calling out her name.
It was her boss. He said “Thanks. Thank you for working on Sunday. I’ll make sure you get the comp off (complimentary off).
She nodded with a smile, turned her back to him and entered the lift.
She cursed the boss. Though she always admired him, she was quite frustrated today. It was 16th of June. Akshay’s birthday. He was leaving for Chennai next month to pursue higher studies.
She really wanted to spend time with him today.
But then, boss had called her last night and told to come to the office today. Akshay was quite upset.
She got out of the lift, bade a goodbye to the watchman and crossed the street. She walked for a couple of minutes and reached Monginis, Akshay’s favourite cake shop and bought a chocolate brownie.
Within 5 minutes Shobha was boarding the bus.
To her surprise, she got the window seat. As the bus gathered the speed, Shobha’s mind raced too……………but in backward direction.
15 years back……….
On that fateful day, her world had collapsed. Her dreams had shattered. She had lost her husband in an accident. Akshay was just 5 then.
No doubt she was devastated. It did felt like the end of the world.
But then she had to live…….she had to live for her kid.
Akshay’s questions regarding his father had always troubled her.
His open days in school, where everybody brought both the parents, were the hardest moments.
While growing up, Akshay was a very nice kid, an obedient one. He had grasped the fact very early on that his mother was going through lot of hardships.
He had never troubled her financially. Whenever his school picnic was announced, he used to give some or the other reason to his friends. He never complained to his mother regarding the tattered conditions of his books.
Shobha felt blessed that she had a son who really cared for her, really understood her. She had always thought that she didn’t do enough for her kid. She always felt guilty that she couldn’t give the resources to Akshay that other parents gave their children.
The series of thoughts was broken by the shouting bus conductor. She regained her composure and searched for the change in her purse but couldn’t find it. So she gave a 50 Rupees note; to which the conductor frowned and murmured. But today she was in no mood to quarrel with him.
Dark cloud filled the sky. It was about to rain. She got down from the bus at her stop and walked towards her building. She knew that he would be still upset but was sure she can make things normal. After all, as they say, you cannot be upset with your loved ones for a long time.
She reached home, the door was locked. The neighbour told her that Akshay went out with his friends. So she opened it with a spare key. She kept the lock aside and drank some water. But something caught her eye, something that rested on the table………….a piece of paper. She opened it. It read
I was very young, almost an infant, when Dad passed away.
But later, at every point in my life you played the role of both father and mother and that too rather convincingly and with ease.
You never made me feel that I didn’t have a father.
For me, you are my mother, and father as well.
It is true that a child needs both the parents.
But from what I have seen, a mother can enact the roles of both the parents much better than what a father can attempt.
So, Happy Father’s Day Mom.
Though it was Akshay’s birthday, Shobha got the present……………one of the best presents she got in her life.
It started raining…………….both outside as well as inside.
P.S. This year, Father’s Day was celebrated on 16th June.