I hope this letter finds you in divine bliss and peace.
I was contemplating to write this letter to you since a very long time. Alas! The gravity and magnitude of my emotions overwhelmed me every time I tried making an effort to pen my thoughts.
5th April 2010, it was 9am (at Clemson, USA) when I woke up to Mom’s Phone Call. It’s been six years today from the time you departed once and for all to find the ultimate solace and peace. It’s been six years today from the day you commenced your final journey to the other world. How I wish I wouldn’t have had to hear about your death over the phone while being miles away from you. How I wish I would have been there with Mom and Bhumi at that very moment to hug them tight and share and mitigate the inexplicable grief that we collectively felt. How I wish I could have had in me the power to stop you from leaving us. How I wish I would have had the chance to be there with you by your side in your final moments. How I wish I would have had the chance to hug you tight before you breathed your last. How I wish I would have had the chance to tell you how much I loved you as I still do and will always do.
My wish list is very long indeed and the least that I can do for you is not to burden you further with my wishes when you are finally at peace. It has taken six long years to muster the emotional strength to write this letter to you. The simple reason why I am writing this letter to you is to tell you how much I owe to you in this lifetime.
You are aware how life has treated me until date, of the struggles that I went through, of the battles that I was forced to fight since a very young age. Do you know what my reservoir of strength has been in trying times? Do you know how do I quench my thirst of courage? Do you know how I find solace whilst treading on the tough terrain of adversities? My reservoir of strength is the indispensable life lesson that I learnt from you of taking the bull of adversity by its horn and sailing against the tide of life come what may. I quench my thirst of courage by drawing inspiration from the circumstances that you went in life with full gusto and with the “Never Say Die” spirit. I find solace whilst treading the tough terrain by the simple rule of following the rules that you laid of living in the moment.
I know you might be sitting out there and smiling right now that my son is indulging in simplistic hero worshipping like the way every son does. It isn’t a simple hero worship Dad. Your life wasn’t simple and my worship for you stems from how well you lived your life against all odds. I remember how ambitious you were and the Cancer and the Kidney Failure never bogged you down. I recall very well how you use to take a lead in all aspects of life. I know how you built your life from scratch without any financial or social support from any one by sheer hard work, grit and determination. The life that you built brick by brick would have fallen apart like a pack of cards had the cement of courage not held it together whilst being battered by tremendous trying circumstances.
It takes immense courage to fight and defeat hands down the dreadful battle of cancer especially when your kids haven’t come off age and your whole career and life is at stake. I was too young when you were diagnosed of cancer at the peak of your career. I could not empathise with you at the young age of 12. I just remembered that you had taken ill. However, I could never fathom the gravity of the situation or the degree of your suffering. I do not know what kept you going. It is difficult for me to imagine what your state of mind was, of how concerned you would have been considering that we were young and completely dependent on you in more ways than one. But in retrospect, I do remember that you fought back. You did not let cancer break your spirit. You did not let cancer lessen the love for everything that life signified. And it is precisely the strength that you displayed serves to strengthen me in my trying times. It is precisely your “Never Say Die’ attitude that I draw inspiration from when I find myself in the middle of miserable circumstances.
It is difficult for me to forgive life for the way it treated you for as soon as you tried picking the pieces of your life together, life pushed you in the dungeon of another incurable disease. Within a few of years of coming out of cancer, you kidney problems started and I remember the numerous times you were hospitalized and how you use to go all alone for dialysis as if it were a normal visit to the doctor. Such was your strength of character that you behaved normally for our sake despite of being subjected to the painful dialysis process for over a decade. I am deeply and thoroughly indebted to you for the life lesson that you taught me while going through dialysis for such a painfully long tenure. You taught me the lesson of (a) living in the moment, (b) of tenaciously holding on to whatever life and love signifies come what may, and (c) of taking life as it comes and putting your best foot forward.
I do not think I would have been able to face my circumstances and come out stronger and unscratched had I not learnt from the way you dealt with your pain and suffering. You taught me that the trying circumstances of life will push you to the wall, batter you and try ripping you apart. However, it is your strength of character and tenacity that will help you to hold on to life and rise against all odds.
Your death left a permanent dent in my heart. However, it did deliver you from the untold pain and suffering. Your life left you in permanent pain. But it taught me valuable life lessons. I do not who was fairer to you, life or death. Nevertheless, what really matters at the end of the day is that you lived and died with dignity and I will always value and cherish you for that.
I finally wish to tell you dad that death is just a physical separation for you are very much alive in my mind and heart in the form of sweet memories and indomitable spirit.
May you live long in my heart and mind forever…
Love you Dad,