"What are you doing this Valentine's Day?" was my Dad's first question after I received his call.
"Dad I don't have a boyfriend nor do I have a wonderful life partner like you, so, I am doing nothing and you know Dad, I don't believe in all this, these days only make the card and gifts company rich. It will be college as usual for me." was my rather elaborate reply, all the time I was wondering why was he asking, I can't get caught as I am seeing no one locally and I don't have any other dates on that day.
"That preaching should be my line, you don't believe in human emotions and you are a student of literature! shame on me, I am wasting my money." was my Dad's over the top melodramatic reaction, it was a daughter- father humour we had.
"I believe in love but at right time" was my white lie of an answer.
"Diplomatic First born. Any ways since you are free that day and you don't have any seminars or exams that day do this for me, go to home, at Gwalior station buy a rose and give that to your mother and also make a card for her on my behalf. Please do this for me, will you?" My dad literally requested and I was again moved by his humility, I mean he could have simply ordered me,
My Dad was in Gujarat and away from my Mom and it was the first time they were away for such a long interval of time. They had a twenty five years of marriage and we never saw them apart, theirs was an arranged marriage but I , who was always falling in and out of love had this notion of their love being perfect.
I did the same as my father wanted and boy, wasn't Mom happy, She looked beauty incarnate with her maroon "Bindi" and Vermilion at the hair parting with white shell bangles one in each hand and red bangles following after that one in each hand, this is how married women usually show their married status.
"Take care of them child" I saw my Dad standing a little far from me at The Delhi Airport and crying. I got startled and came into my senses from the daydream. Dad had suffered a massive heart attack and we were going to him, He was no more with us and at that point of time only I knew it.
Life was not the same after that my Mother told us later one day "My life and it's joy ends here and yours will move on." I was not able to comprehend her, but now when I am myself married I know what she meant, when I think, "What if I lose him?" I go numb, I go cold and cannot think any further, my thought and life stops beyond that thought. My mother is living that 'unthinkable' everyday for the last seven years, and she laughs with us, lives with us, finding the glimpses of her beloved, her life partner within us.
"The life was for years and death is a moment so, why to give death such an importance and stop the life for it, let's celebrate life, Let's celebrate the time he gave us." I said when I couldn't bear anymore my Mother simply fading away. I just had said it and she followed it, she lived for the life that she and her husband brought in. She remembered him by being happy and moving on and by doing everything that he would have loved her to do.
Youth and love are overrated when we fall in love and are going all dizzy in it, the thought that our parents are also madly in love never crosses us we take their love and relation for granted and when we fall in a soup we seek help outside instead of looking at the successful love affair in our homes. Being a daughter I saw them in love, I saw it in their eyes, in the moments they lived and loved together, in the moments they raised a family together, their love transcended the boundaries of life and death, happiness and sorrow. We are a family because we are bound by their love. To you- Maa and Babai.
Thank you Maa (Basanti Ghosh) for being my friend and also being such a passionate person, I owe my love for photography to you. Photo Credits Mrs. Basanti Ghosh (Maa).