My Father, The Mortal

Today, my life changed.

Well, not in the shooting stars or melodramatic turn of events way; rather in a stop and think kind of way.

Today, I realized my dad isn’t immortal after all.

Sure, he’s the hero I’ve always looked up to, the staunch defender of his castle, the infallible, strong male presence I’ve come to associate with safety and comfort and love.

But that doesn’t mean he’ll be around forever.

It’s little things I’ve noticed: how he’s started to forget tiny details, like where he put some papers or which new boy band my youngest sister is currently obsessing over. It wasn’t like this though. He was the warrior, the king. He’d know everything about everyone; he’d come home with Enid Blyton books for me [she was my favourite author] and Justin Bieber cutouts for my sister…

Today, we ended up at a shawarma place – and I felt like the adult. I told him where the place was, how to order, what to ask for, even the right way to unwrap the food. This is not something I’m used to. I’m the one who would be led around and ordered for. 

It’s the small things, but that’s where our mortality lies. I’m starting to notice the cracks. 

Eventually, my dad will grow old – he’ll have white hair and his jokes will become outdated. But what if I don’t want that? I’m not ready. 

Mortality reminded me of Mistry’s short story, “Of White Hairs and Cricket,” where the son sees his father’s imminent old age in a pair of tweezers, and cries.

Live forever baba. Stay the same, and let me stay your little girl forever.

Amen.

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