I got a call, it must have been 2 am or later. “Daddy passed away” the voice said. I was told to immediately leave for Bombay. This was 18th Feb 1999.
I along with my 6 month pregnant wife drove 420 kms to Mumbai. I had to take more than 5 breaks to use the loo during this 10 hour drive. My bowels were emptying. There were no tears. I guess diarrhoea is a kind of crying too. Ofcourse if I had cried I wouldn’t have been able to drive.
Reaching Mumbai and seeing my Dad’s dead body. I felt numb. It was surreal. I mentally couldn’t believe he was dead. I was 26 and it was probably the first dead body I was seeing.
Just before lighting the fire, I had a crazy thought, what if he was just in deep sleep or some sort of temporary coma. I ridiculed my mind and lit the funeral pyre. Now even if he was alive he had no chance of coming back I thought.
Still I couldn’t cry. I wondered, what was numbing me so much. All I could think was about the factory and the salary I needed to pay.
In a few days leaving my pregnant wife at her parents I was in a train with a few lacs of cash to give salary to the workers.
I am back to mumbai, finally having paid the workers. I take a bath, and looking at myself in the mirror on the bathroom. I break down and cry. It was a private grieving. I wondered what took me so many days to break down and cry. I rub it off. But am glad, I am no so numb anymore.