Someone asked me today if I missed home. I laughed and said, “Its been a decade since I left home. I am used to it”. I don’t know why I always lie when someone asks me that question. Or even to myself, for that matter.
My father would fill ink in my crooked Hero pen every morning before I went to school. First it was because I used to get ink all over my hands. And after that it was because he didn’t realise I had grown up.
Sometimes I would wake up at 4 in the morning to study. My mother always woke up with me just to make me a cup of coffee.
My father would pick me up at school every evening. He would be there at 3:55pm and I would almost always be the first one out of the school gates at 4:01 pm. It was like a silent pact.
Whenever I was bad, I was afraid my mother would cry. And that was so much more effective that any fear that she would be angry. So I tried to be good.
Whenever my father dropped me off at school before an exam, he would tell me I would definitely be the first in the class. And he never ever flinched. Or looked like he didn’t believe in it. Even when I told him I hadn’t finished reading half the syllabus. That faith made up for more than half the unread portions.
I was once in a bus in Mizoram’s mountains and the driver left the bus for a minute without pulling the brakes properly. The bus started rolling down towards the suicidal hairpin curves. We narrowly escaped. My parents called me up early next morning, because my mother couldn’t sleep the whole night. She was worried about me and felt something was wrong. I will never know why she felt that way that night.
Whenever there was an important cricket match, after my mother had left for work, my father and I would skip work and school and stay home to watch the match. And we would have omelettes for lunch because that is all he knew how to cook.
On most days, long after the alarm has gone off and after many angry faraway shouts from my father, I would still be sleeping. My mother would make her way up the stairs to my room. She would kiss me on the forehead and I would wake up with a smile. Even now, when I wake up in the morning, I often think of my mother.
I know my parents don’t know what a blog is. And they will never read this. So I can safely say what I have always wanted to tell them, but never could – I miss you. Terribly. Every single day. And it doesn’t get any better just because I am all grown up. Nor do I get used to it just because its been a long time.