From a walking talking guide of “Mai apni favourite hoon” to a running sad shadow “Mai to bhaag rahi hoon”, from Anshuman who was assumed to be Aditya leaving me with a decaying broken heart in this lockdown, I always had a one-way ticket to home. A place where with a father’s healing touch and my mother’s glowing hands created a room for wholeness in my soul. Where our happiness had no boundaries and where I’ve learned to be the best version of me. But this time it was different, my one-stop destination was knocking down like a giant titanic with painstaking efforts and everything reflected like the worst nightmare.
Oh, did I introduce you to my mother and father; my permanent support system and the love of my life? No right. Dear reader, this is my mother a retired Professor, and my father an income tax advocate. With Covid entering the picture of our lives, work from home was the new normal. This revolutionary phase which wasn’t witnessed by any of us dispersed us three. From being cooped up with each other for months in the same four walls with enormous added pressures, the everyday squabbles of my parents ended up brawling outside the house. From psychological projections to all the defense mechanisms as coping mechanisms and the knee-jerk reaction of my parents to anger was to explode on each other. From being able to relate to all Taylor Swift songs for her Ex’s to being able to relate only to Older by Sasha Alex Sloan as I was corned and could hear them screaming at each other.
I covered my eyes before they could weep, slowly their frustration crept onto me. I wanted to pour my heart out, but my solitude left no choice. I just wished to uncover my eyes, hoping thatall that was happening around me cannot be true! But God has his own plans. My already disabled mental health got worsened as the days flew slower. I could sense our lives getting shattered. Our train of thought was passing by the melancholic tunnel every day but had no end. I feared my parents deciding on splitting up. Those thoughts made me hate myself and blood drained from my face.
On the eve of New Year, my parents’ fight could suck the oxygen out of a room. They verbally lashed out at each other, broke pickle jars, and made outlandish threats. My father’s outbursts froze me in my tracks. I covered my head with a pillow full of tears and wanted to scream at the top of my voice, and then I hear my father calling out my name in a shivery voice.
I jumped out of the bed and my father who had in past suffered two cardiac arrests and is a senior citizen too had a high pulse rate with a sudden oxygen level drop. At that moment I found myself drenched in pain and unprotected. Goosebumps covered my arms under the sweater. My mother and I drove the car immediately to the nearest hospital with constant prayers and I see my father laying his head on my mother’s shoulder, wherein my mother’s tears were holding up the loudest pain of fear.I wanted to say, “Mumma, please don’t cry. Don’t worry.” But could not gather the strength to speak. On my way, my father indicated to us that he was feeling severe chest pain. I felt everything tearing apart in that toughest moment of my life. “How will I inform this to my sister and brother-in-law? What if we don’t reach on time? I wished this would never happen!” and these words kept running in my mind.My heart ached at our state and I was driving like a maniac not being able to think straight.
I could hear my mother murmuring “Satnam Satnam Satnam.” Mercifully we managed to reach the hospital on time and we were informed it was stress-induced chest pain. The hospital was keeping him overnight for observation. My mother and I took turns in keeping an eye on my father- I stood outside the ward looking at my father’s panel from about 15 feet. I could see my mother holding my father’s hand while he was asleep. The scene in front of my eyes melted my heart and just then my conscience whispered that kiddo it will all be okay.
The next morning my mother was the first to decipher his wants from cryptic nods and gestures and the one to anticipate needs that were not expressed by my father. My father looked into my mum’s eyes filled with compassion towards her and gave me the infinite blessing of his hand upon my head. When my father was discharged from the hospital, a few days after they like grown-ups with a sense of adjustment whenever the difference of opinion occurred resolved their issues. Maybe they just needed a reminder of their young old love in these darkest hours, of those decades of candle night dinners, decades of milestones together, and the living proof of their bond built from abiding love. The toughest times as hope kissed their cheeks with a gloss of empathy and belongingness.