It’s your birthday tomorrow and also one of the most special days of the calendar for me, each year. Tomorrow, you’ll be 53 and it will be your 24th birthday since you became a father. As I write this letter, I know you are never ever going to read this and yet I want to write to you for all the things I always wanted to say; for opening up my heart to you and for letting you know that I feel so hurt each time I hurt you. I remember when I was small; I made sure to give you little gifts. I never had enough money so I would take out a derelict perfume from your wardrobe, gift wrap it and give it to you. I suppose even that made you smile. At other times, I and brother would contribute little pennies we saved from our pocket money to buy Jagjit Singh’s ghazal cassettes for you. You always loved his songs; still do. I don’t remember when the last time I gave you a present was. I wish I could give you what you wanted at all times.
Looking back at my existence of twenty-four years, I can honestly claim that the first person I came to love was you. I never cared for Mom as much as I did for you. Every night, I held your hand as I slept or rested my palm on your bare stomach because it always comforted me. Every morning you woke me up and dropped me to school. You always made it a point I was never late. You would come in the afternoons to pick me up after school and buy me Kismi chocolate bars or the Naturo’s mango candies because you knew I loved them. You scolded mom each time she hit me because you couldn’t look at those tears in my eyes. I literally went berserk when you went out of the country for just five days because I couldn’t see you, because I missed you and it made me cry so much. Then, when I went for a camp with my school friends for ten days when I was fourteen and I wept on the phone as we talked; I heard your voice choke; I know you missed me too. Both of us recognize how much we have loved each other throughout. Doesn’t the same affection subsist now?
I have forever hated your anger but that could never come amid the relationship we shared, the strongest father-daughter bond in the universe. Why did it amend so wretchedly? Over the years, you changed, I changed and we changed. What suffered was this connection, this love, this togetherness. You always rescued me from every situation or person who would hurt me. Where are you now, dad; when I need somebody to keep me strong, to hold me tight and carry me out of this darkness? You have always been my hero, my vigor, my strongest support, but I lost you with time, with the grasping and immaterial aspects of this world. I wish you would have taken a moment to comprehend. I know I broke your heart umpteen times; I made you irate, I lied, I cheated, I hurt; but, each time I bore the twinge, it ached more severely than you could ever envisage. It smashed every speck of me, my existence, my psyche because I lost you; because you could never understand despite being the one best friend I had when I was little.
Today, I know you detest me and love me at the same time. I know you do not take pleasure in talking to me, hearing my tales, sharing your stories because we have changed. Nevertheless, the fact that you brought me into this world can never be modified. I’d just say I feel so mislaid without you and I shed tears pretty often for having reached this phase in my life. I am sorry for being an awful daughter, for not coming up to your expectations and for hurting you. I am sorry for rebelling, for standing up for things I believed in, for falling in love, for breaching your trust. I am sorry for being myself because that took you away from me. Happy Birthday, Papa and I love you very much, even now. Please hold me.