A strange feel always engulfed me as a child. In the midst of calm afternoons while my dad was lost in reverie with his transistor playing an old melody or while my mom was enjoying her siesta I paced beside them restlessly. trying hard not to make a noise, carefully observing their rhythmic breathing. At times I even ventured moving my hand across their nostrils to feel their breath just to make sure! Yes, I was restless, anxious lest that becomes their final nap. It was kind of absurd and baseless fear but it happened inevitably,every single time. At that point of time I really didn’t know whether it was insecurity, paranoia or plain love. The moment my parents woke up and I would laugh away my fears and feel unburdened of my fears.
A few years later when I shifted to another city, marriage and kids later too, this seamless fear kept haunting in the background. I persistently telephoned them at that hour fully aware of their belligerence. Years later when my parents shifted to the same city as mine and started spending most of their time with me, the feeling had substantially reduced. Times flew and owing to old age the health of my parents started deteriorating and rapidly so. It was a phase when I stressed emotionally, physically and mentally. Things went from bad to worse and my dad had to be in ICU. Doctors announced that they were pretty much done with their efforts and were of the opinion that the vegetative state my dad was in was likely to continue and worsen steadily. Now, it was De ja vu, paradoxically. though! I felt shattered at the sight of my dad lying unconsciously entangled in wires and tubes and liquids.I found myself praying for him to be liberated, to be freed of the pain he didnt deserve . I found myself checking his irregular breathing which was the only thing that tagged him as not dead, as yet. I found myself expecting those breaths become feeble and come to a nil.The same daughter who barely let him enjoy his afternoon naps counted his last breaths and waited impatiently for them to halt.