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Fathers and Daughters

When the world around is flourishing

Or perhaps thriving at its best

You look at yourself in the only mirror of your house

And observe the fading laugh lines around your eyes

This is the only way to know that you have grown

But not happily

You wait for the cat that visits you three times a day

And compare his love with those around you

Wondering where it mingles together and where

it separates

I think sometimes the smallest of reasons, like

thinking of your cat dying of hunger, makes one

survive at the least

But other days, you see your father with his

sullen face, and sad eyes

He doesn't say anything when you wake up in

the morning, no attempts at talking

You don't either

The only distance between you two is not just

age but this reminder of how things when left

alone for a while learn to accept emptiness as

the only normal

Your father left you just like your dream

He sometimes calls it a mistake and you,

reckless

The gaps develop like trails of a track expanding

and contracting

Some days you are there loving him so much

that it hurts

And other days you hurt because he doesn't

Nobody says a word to each other

This is how indifference feels like

You buy a flower, let it droop under the sun

And then ponder over the regret of not watering it

enough

This is how you become just a child and not

daughter

As if daughter is an action verb even when you

learn it from your mother about being a good one

You stare at the world

Dancing, drinking, celebrating life as if they know

that it is their last chance at making it look like a

good one

After all, we want to be remembered not like the

shadows of our unfulfilled desires but

abstractions of everything we were

This is how I know I will be forgotten soon

enough

Like losing one rupee coin and not noticing the

change in the weight of wallet

This is how I know my father will not remember

me as a child

But anger

Vapours of his colours that I couldn't paint with

I get up again thinking that fathers are made that

way

You grow up in their arms

Until you forget to differentiate between rope and

embrace

And when they set you free ( which they will)

You learn to notice how wobbly your feet are

This is the only rule of nature

You hate your parents until they start hating you

back

You kill a flower and spend the rest of your life

arranging its funeral

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