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Anvi was there sitting beside her Bade Papa, watching everyone. Not able to understand what is happening. All her relatives known, unknown, her whole neighborhood gather in her house. Her Dadi crying inconsolably in one corner of the house. Her mom, sitting in another corner, staring at nothing. Anvi continuously looking at her Papa… thinking…“He is sleeping since long time. That too in such a chaos? Why he is not waking up? He used to say Anvi is his princess, little source of his happiness. He loves to play with her all the time. Then why he is not even looking at her?” Suddenly few people from gathering came forward and pick her father up on shoulder and started their way out of home. Anvi was looking at sleeping father, wanted to ask someone, where are you taking him? Leave him, let him be with her. Instead she keep mum, staring last image of her father going far away from her. Far away… forever… even though 4 years old, she know somehow what is happening… her father has gone… gone for long journey… he won’t able to play with her now… she won’t able to hear his hearty laugh again… she never able to hear his voice neither she able to feel his touch again… But she don’t want to say her good byes… No… she is not ready… not now… not so early…
Days passing on. Anvi’s home returning to normal. At least trying for the same. Everyone has their own share of memories for her father, but they know things won’t go well, just by mourning on what is lost. Instead, her family trying to come back on track. Trying to build new memories, with whoever they have alive. All her male relatives like uncle, her own grandfather show love towards her, for that matter even her friend’s father also. They extended their support by whatever way they can to cheer up little Anvi. But Anvi know in her heart this is not love of my Papa, not that affection which he was pouring at me. For all of them, if time comes, priority will be their own children and not me. Whenever she visited her cousin’s place or her friend’s place, her favorite time pass was looking at their father, their bonding with each other, amused what secret they shared among themselves. Many times she saw their father scolding them, but that is also fascinating for Anvi. “At least come back to scold me, which is also fine” thought she… When first time telephone installed at her home, she was wondering, “Do these sky has some number registered somewhere, where I can call Papa…” Sometimes she look at the sky, searching her father in twinkling stars… that’s what her Dadi told her, “Look he is there in sky, smiling at you, waving at you” Never she able to see anything, but Dadi never spoke lie, would she?
Even though lost her father at tender age of 4, Anvi has some memories, some images of her Papa, folded in her brain. Whenever she misses him lot, she just close her eyes and open those folds. And he comes running behind toddler Anvy with broad smile on his face, he comes cuddling baby Anvy with some babbling voices… He comes doing some puppy faces to make her smile… he comes… always comes behind her closed eyes… always with love and affection he pour on Anvi in those initial life of 4 years.
Anvi’s mother is strong woman. She takes care of Anvi well. Provide all those things which makes her life comfortable. Educate her. It’s not that Anvy is not happy. She is doing well, her life is good. But there is something missing. One part of frame is not perfect. Whenever she saw any father with his daughter, her heart skip some beats. She feels everything is fine except one… “Papa is not here to see all this, to congratulate me on my achievements, to hold my hand when m slipping, to stand behind me when m going forward. If he will be here, he will be proud father…”
Years passed by, and she grows up. From 4 years to 15 years teenager and from 15 years to 28 years adult. She got married. Her Father-in-Law introduced himself to her “you never seen your father, do you? Now on wards am your father” Even she also thought like that. But one year of marriage passed by and she ends up in firm conclusion “This is not true. I seen my father. I know how he was. He was not like this. No one can be your father, just because he said so.” Not that FIL was not good or something, but he reminds her same picture she use to saw at her cousin’s or friend’s place in childhood. FIL is affectionate, loving but his priority will always his Son first and not his DIL, he said so sometimes during their casual chats. And Anvi eloped again… again on those childhood memories… this time when her Papa’s image flashes behind her closed eyes, she asked “Don’t you feel the same way? Don’t you miss me? You know how much I miss you? There should be some way to meet you, to see you in front of my open eyes…” He smiled back again… his reassuring smile… as usual… just his smile…
And when Anvi lose all her hopes to meet him… It happens!! she was on her hospital bed opening her heavy eyes just after her baby is born… she saw him, coming towards her, with twinkling pride in his eyes and their tiny bundle of joy in his hand… he was approaching her with confidence and love… the most adorable memory of her father she remembers from her childhood... Her dream is live now, most awaited dream… She closed her eyes again and came flashed image of her father, smiling with love and affection, bidding adieu… She smiled him back “I missed you very much PAPA. Missed you very much but not now. I know you are here with me when I will open my eyes and you will be with me always” Opened her eyes, she saw her husband stood there cuddling their daughter!!! She is going to feel warmth and love of her own father through her daughter now!!!