“One day, you will know the value of handwritten letters. One day, you will realize how beautiful it feels to sit down in one place and put all your scattered thoughts down on paper for someone. One day, you will know how amazing it feels to write something in your own handwriting and wait for that one person to read all you wanted them to. One day, you will know that how much does one person put into one single letter written for someone in particular. One day, you will realize how heartbreaking it is to see that one person read all you wrote to them and tear it all off, in front of your eyes, because they simply don’t care. One day, you will realize how much pain it gives to find out that the one person you’ve loved your entire life, falls out of love with you.’
“Those were the last words I ever heard from him. The last time that he had talked to me, screamed at me and said those brutal words was the last time that he had said those brutal words. He was your father, honey. He was the one to give birth to you. He was the one because of whom I felt the most beautiful feeling in this world. But he was also the one who had abandoned me at the time I had needed him the most. That was when baba stepped up to take my hand and agreed on never getting married to me, as per my wishes. But he took over and agreed to love me as well as the child I was bearing, you. He fulfilled all his promises, unlike Nihaal. After a few years, when you turned two, he came up to me, to find out that I hadn’t aborted the child, instead I was raising her with a man about whom, he had never had any idea. We had an eye contact and he left with tears in his eyes. I was outraged. I hadn’t expected him to be there. I hadn’t expected to see him ever again, in my entire life. But I did. I saw him and I saw him in tears. I received a little chit of paper that some little boy at the party brought to me which said – I never thought that even after receiving all my letters three years ago, you’d still marry someone else, I still hope that you live happily. The boy gave that to me and ran away but I knew who had written it down so it was okay. The shocking part was the mention of some letters I had had no idea about. I realized that he had had the past address of mine, the place that I left two weeks after breaking up with Nihaal and moved to another apartment in Mumbai. Thankfully, I hadn’t sold the place by then so I went back there, the place I hadn’t visited in three years, to find out a pile of letters in the mailbox. Each one of them was from him. He had written about forty letters telling me that he wanted to be with me regardless of everything and to raise our child with me. He had written that he was sorry for the words that he had uttered out the last time we had met and I had torn off all his letters. He had said that he wished to be happy with me and live his entire life with me. He had asked me to go back into his life.
“As a vast irony, I didn’t even get to know about all the love he had in him for me and hated him all along. After reading all that, I decided to meet him once, only to find out that he was gone. His house was open when I had reached there. The doors were wide open so I entered in straight away, only to find out everything gone. The place was empty. He had left. I had no idea to where he was going when I found the envelope with a copy of train tickets to New Delhi so I fled to the railway station. All I got up there was a disappointment for I was late. I walked back home in grief and found you to be sleeping. Baba knew about everything somehow and hugged me the moment I stepped out of your room. I hugged him back. I thought he wanted to make me feel better about seeing him that day but what he told me made me drop down to my knees for the train that had been going to New Delhi had been attacked. The passengers had been killed, no one had survived it.
“It took me around a year to get out of the shock to know that he was gone from the very world that we lived in. A year, later, though, we got busy with you and I finally got married to baba. We raised you together and it was amazing. Parenting you has been the most beautiful thing ever. However, today, when I saw you cry so much, I wanted to make sure that you never make the same mistakes of letting the ones you love, go away from you. I don’t want you to lose the people you love honey. I don’t want you to not trust people when you should and not give second chances to the ones who deserve it. I want you to never regret the decisions you take. Besides that I want you to know that I loved Nihaal, probably I still do but I couldn’t do anything about it. I don’t want you to ever lose the true love of your life. Lastly, I wanted you to know that Nihaal gave birth to you but baba, he raised you, he was the one behind your upbringing, he was the one who made you the person you are today. I know it’s totally unjustified that I made you come face to face with the truth and made you lose both your fathers in one single day but something made me do it, something I couldn’t have helped. I’m sorry honey, but the way you cried at baba’s funeral today, made me very sad and guilty for not having told you the truth in these twenty-one years of your life.”
“I miss him maa,” I said after she was finally done speaking, with tears in my eyes.
“I miss baba.”