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I kissed the picture on the card I had once decorated for him. It was placed right ├▒ext to my bed. It was Archie’s card having a subtle tinge of purple and pink; The card was lying there still, with no movement at all, just the way everything has become for me. Bleak. Diminished. Faded. A Beautiful quotation rests on the front which said: “To the world’s best Father”. Inside it, I had placed a picture in which I’m sitting next to my Dad on a “Frog Ride” in “Appu Ghar” that hopped every three seconds. Anyone who was born in the late nineties knows what “Appu Ghar” meant for kids.

During my childhood, It was my favourite place and I loved going there. Irrespective of how many times we had been there, my Dad took me to that place as long as I asked him to. He wore a light Navy blue shirt that day and I was in a floral pink and yellow frock, as the photograph suggested. I must have been some four-years-old. He had held me firmly yet softly because I was so scared. I still am. But the only difference is that he’s not there anymore to make the Rides easy for me. I have to rise and fall at my own risk. I have no back to rely upon. That one photograph summarised everything, from what I had to what I lost. There will be no memories adding up to my albums. I can only keep the old ones close to my heart.

When we think there is still room for making more memories that’s when we underestimate the power of Time and God. Our life and Death have already been decided. We cannot prolong the inevitable let alone escape it. The bars have been laid down and what should not be arrested have been consumed in the fumes within. Realities have been accepted. But the picture is still fresh in my mind. And the feelings are still alive…


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