It was on this day twelve years ago that my father passed away. There was no warning, no illness, no ailments--nothing. He was alive one moment, chatting and talking to my mother. He had walked 5 kms , his usual distance, that morning. He had meetings lined up for next day. He was to visit me in Pune, a week later. Instead he leaned back in his chair, while watching TV, closed his eyes and died.
The death changed my perception about everything. It altered forever the way I looked at life. It affected all parts of my being--my health, my daily routine, my philosophy, my core belief system. My father was my strength and my rock. I used to talk to him every day. My day was not complete, unless I had a discussion with him on the phone. He had a curious mind, and we used to talk about everything in the universe. When he died, a part of me died with him.
I had started this blog In October 2006, forty five days after his death. I did not think about what I was doing or how long I would sustain it. All I knew is that I was in unbearable pain. I was insane with grief. All the people who I considered 'friends' were not there for me when my father died. It was only one or two who came through. The rest, I discovered were just fair-weather friends.
The only thing that gave me a teeny weeny bit of solace was writing. So I wrote. Anonymously at first. I was afraid. I didn't know who would be reading whatever I wrote, and what they would do with that information. I wasn't even sure why I was doing it, but I knew I felt better if I wrote. So I wrote. And I wrote. And wrote. And then wrote some more. Maybe it was a desperate cry for help. Maybe it was sheer loneliness and not knowing what to do about my grief anymore. Maybe it was universe nudging me towards my destiny. I don't know.
I was surprised when people who read my blog started writing back to me. They said they saw positivity in my writings. They said my writing made them feel better about life. They wanted to see the person behind these writings. I broke my own rule of staying anonymous. I revealed my name and my identity.
Those who have read Love a Little Stronger, know all this, as they are all true stories from my life, adapted from this very blog. The last chapter is about my father's death. I had always written in journals and diaries. I had also won many prizes at national and state level in writing competitions. But I had never thought of writing as a career option for me. 34 Bubblegums and Candies (which is now republished as Love a Little Stronger) changed that.
Gradually, I made friends online. Friends from other countries. I did not know back then, that I would later travel to those countries, and meet them--all because of my writing.
It's twelve years since my father died. I have written ELEVEN books, in these twelve years. In each of my books, if you read the acknowledgements (and in some the dedications) you will find I mention my father.
My father was a rule breaker, a trend-setter, a pioneer in many things he did. He believed in questioning everything. He would be single minded and work around the problems in his path. He was a leader. People who knew him will tell you he was undoubtedly the most positive person they knew. He was deeply interested in people--and he could hold a conversation with equal elan whether he was talking to a security guard or a Chief Minister of state. (In his line of work, he often met with Ministers).
I wonder what he would have said if he read my books. I am sure he would have been proud. He would have probably bought tonnes of copies and gifted them away to everyone he knew, his heart swelling with pride, seeing his daughter's name. He would have probably mentioned me to every one who spoke to him.
I owe a lot to my father.
Above all, I owe my never-say-die attitude.
Like I said in A Hundred Little Flames: When those who we love die, they live on inside us.
But that doesn't stop the pain. Whoever said it gets easier with time, lied.
To whoever said 'He is watching you from Heaven', I can say with certainty, that those words bring no comfort.
I miss him every single day.
I hurt and bleed inside every single day
So I write.
I wish my father was around to see it.
If you wish to order it, you can do so HERE