‘You had a father: let your son say so’
~ Sonnet 13, William Shakespeare
My father wasn’t a great man. He was a great illusion of a man. He was an amazing failure. There wasn’t a thing he hadn’t failed miserably in – education, business, marxism, physics, sex. And I am not being too harsh. To say nothing of him would be harsh. He had notions of greatness which if he would have ever got chance to execute would have proved not to be that great. He was a product of an age which had made a sheer profitable business out of thinking out loud. Not a thinker – though he tried hard at it – he was just loud.
I rememeber my father one time when my mother was talking to herself and I was playing hard to get with the bees. And the evening was pouring down heavily. And sky was all betrayal and despair. And the meaning kept disappearing. And the dogs were desperate. Unreason ruled. I remember my father. If foolishness had a face and it wasn’t beautiful it would have looked like my father. Though he was not ugly. His face was all chin – and foolishness. I remember him becoming his torn tweed jacket, making pretty foreground to the shit coloured Government quarter, and almost thinking out loud: I am moving to Kashmir. Delhi disappoints me. My mother kept talking to herself. I continued playing hard to get with the bees. He went inside. And he never left.
Whatever be the failures of this civilization, a failing, desperate man beats them all. I remember my father, his nose upturned to call the rain, his hairy ears deaf to the point of being utterly noisy, his eyes losing the power to pretend, his lips never much there. I remember him a painter’s dream. And a writer’s muse. And a sculptor’s nightmare. I remember my father. That’s enough accomplishment. Isn’t it?