”Hello dad, I am fine.”

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“Dhaker Taale Komor Dole,Khusite Nache Mon,
Aj Baja Kasor Jama Asor,Thakbe Ma Ar Katakhan”

Durga puja song resonated along with the beat of drums being played in front of the idol and a huge crowd. I stood there amongst 40-50 odd people, taking a break from my work nearby this Durga puja exhibition. The Bengali girl in her traditional white saari & a prominent red bindi on her forehead now gave me a stern look…yes the same girl who had smiled at me when I entered the pandaal. She clearly envied me now, for being tall enough to clearly view past several followers crowding in front of us. Well she wasn’t alone. A small kid standing close to us looked all the way up at me, then at the crowd in front and back at me again. But before his tiny heart could learn any more about being envious, he was off his feet in air in arms of his father.

The little boy kept his eyes fixed at mine while his father made him sit over his shoulders. Watching me notice him, the boy finally gave a smile as the father moved his face towards idol and pointed in the direction asking him to enjoy the aerial view. And he did so.

Something reminded me of myself looking at the kid. I did envy tall people, when I was small. I remember walking down the streets of Garihat hand in hand with my father. I remember him putting me over his shoulders the same way every time we went to watch a circus. Yes, there used to be regular shows of circus back then. He would make me sit up on his shoulders & I would stretch out my little jaw as wide as possible, watching motorcycle rider doing stunts in the so called death-well. I recently realised how far the walk to Gol-Park really was from the place where we used to stay, when my vehicle couldn’t start and I had to walk all the way down. Back then he would carry me in his hands and then we would walk the streets of Kolkata down during Navratra. Only difference being, my feet were off the ground in the air even before my tiny heart could learn any more about being tired.

Here, I kept my eyes glued onto the little kid at Durga puja exhibition and I could tell there wasn’t anything as naive and pure around that place as his heart. He kept giggling and smiling as his father continued to brief him over the story of Maa Durga and how she fought off bad powers. I wondered how much the boy would really grasp from that long detailed conversation. But I guess his father did not care much about that logic. He simply did his job.

And he would most certainly continue to do so, even when the boy gets on his own feet, grows tall enough to see the world on his own. His father I am sure, would still brief him over things ‘the boy then turned into a grown up’ would think he already knows. Because fathers do that. They ask you, if everything is alright, if you are fine after breaking up with your first girlfriend in junior high. They ask you if you have reached home and suggest you not to drink and drive. Well but the boy has grown up now. He makes his own set of wrong decisions and keeps the conversations short.
“I am fine dad” he says and cuts the call. Lot goes unsaid on both the sides. Unless he becomes a man & asks his father sharing a drink with him about the first time they went to the circus together.

“What? Yes yes, I will do’’ father with impaired hearing makes a random guess to the conversation.

And the son still continues to share with him, the talks about their long lost friendship. Because, he does not really care much about the logic. He simply does his job.

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