I remember an incident from my childhood that my father used to love reminding me of. I was about a year and a half and playing alone in my room. As my mom was busy with cooking I managed to reach the front door unnoticed and went out. Standing alone outside I could feel the fresh earth under my bare feet. The breathtaking sight of the outside world is so thrilling when you stand alone without any adult to supervise!
You might wonder what this little brat was doing outside. Well, I was on a mission: I was in search of my father. He was my hero and I was missing him a lot when he was away. He was my listener when I would babble my stupid stories that had no sense or structure. My stories would end with my nodding off to sleep close to his bosom.
My tiny mind was filled with lots of questions: Where had my dad gone? Where could he have been? Was he at his friend’s home? I knew that Uncle’s home as I had been there before. I was very sure he had gone there; he might be talking about everyday happenings that adults generally talk about. But, how will I get there? My mom was taking a shower after finishing her job of cooking and she would not notice if I went out now. So I went out in search of my father who is not just my father but my best friend too.
Well, going all the way to that Uncle’s home was not easy but I didn’t care. My eyes did not see the stones on the way – they were filled with my father’s love that I longed to have again.
Walking alone on the road, I was afraid, but I still did not wish to give up my search. There were people passing by who were staring at me. I wondered how I looked to them – a child with head shaved, wearing a petticoat, stumbling on the roadside, perhaps with no mother or father to support it.
“Oh! The sun is so warm today. I wish I could have stayed at home. The sun’s heat really burns. However when my dad comes he will buy me chocolates and cakes. It will pass away.” And so I still clung to the wall and walked toward my uncle’s home in hope of finding my father.
My father was returning from work seated in a rickshaw and saw a lonely child sticking to the roadside wall trying to move on. Could it be some labourer’s child? Could it be any of the orphans left behind? The rickshaw was getting closer and closer and suddenly my father realized it was me, his child! He jumped from the moving rickshaw and took me in his arms covering me with kisses and hugs. I was in awe, full of joy, and only my laughter came out from my heart in response to my father’s love. My bare feet felt less pain; the scorching heat did not seem to bother me anymore.
My little heart could only say – at last I found Him! Or did He find me?