I was talking to my father about my day to day happenings over the phone. He was telling me about my family, about my grandpa, how he had become weak now since he is old. He was talking about the weather at home, about the food that my mom is cooking. I was telling my own story to him about my lab work. It was just a normal talk.
After I kept the phone, as I was walking back to my hostel, I started thinking about my grandpa and my family. I started to think about my talks with my grandpa, I started to recollect certain memories from my child hood days. How I used to play around with my father and my uncles. My father words of wisdom and advice, which I could not understand at that moment, I started to think about it.
My father is a jolly person, who loves to smile, treasure memories and is an enthusiastic planner. All my relatives from both my father’s and my mother’s side looked up to him even for advices, whether it’s about building house, or for a traveling tip, or for money matters, Everyone will call him and asked “Chaoba, what should I do about this?, will this be better or that be better ? ” He would always give his suggestions in whatever he can. Even now when I am faced with serious problems or worries, he is the first person I go to. Sometimes, I want him to be physically next to me, even though we converse everyday through phone, it is during this day like today when I miss him that I remember his words, the pranks he had played and made me smile.
It’s his words that I remember so vividly when I was still a young child. Certain evenings, when the sun has set down and the twilight have started to glow at the sky, my father after returning from his tiring day at office, would sit outside the verandah with his cup of tea. My mother, my youngest uncle, sometimes my grandpa, my neighbor uncle would give him company. They would be sitting enjoying the cool breeze. They used to talk about their day happenings, about politics, about everything and sometimes cracking jokes and laughing together.
Since I was young, I cannot understand anything of it. I used to get tired of listening to it and sometimes would want to go inside the house for some reasons. Even though there are lights outside the verandah and porch, since its getting dark, I used to get scared to go inside the house alone and moreover everyone was outside. I did not want to go inside alone as I was scared of dark. Whenever, I wanted to go inside the house, I would stop their conversations and would call out my father to come with me. He will just look at me smile and won’t even budge from his seat. When he did not get up, I would pull his shirt to let him get up from his seat. But he would reply saying “I am also scared, I don’t want to go inside”. His reply used to make me more annoyed. But still he would be laughing and would say “Just go inside nothing is there, if you are scared, just call out my name. Just say ‘Chaoba’ and go inside, nothing will happen. Even if ghosts are there, they will be scared of my name.” But annoyed and angrily, I continue to throw tantrums and would let him to at least stand at the main door. I would go inside the room and come back fast as I can. When I come running outside, he would ask “nothing happened right? Was something there? No right, then why are you so scared? ”. But I used to reply back angrily saying ‘I am scared means, I am scared’ with an annoyed face.
Since I was young at that time, I cannot understand why he used to do that to me and instead I would get angry. But now I am getting to understand his motive. He wanted me to be brave; he wanted me to face my own fears and wanted me to overcome my own weakness by myself so that I could face the storms of my life later on. He was teaching me life lessons to me, so that i won’t be scared of small things.
Sometimes when I am faced with my own worries, when I want to overcome my own weakness, when I think about my life, I remember his words ‘just call out my name, nothing will happen’. And now I do realized that his words were right, nothing happened to me as long as I think about him because I knew he is here with me.
Even though i say to myself i am strong and independent, there are times when i want him to be with me and when i get scared, I want to call out his name, And when I call out his name,
I do feel secure; I do feel that he is next to me. Even though I cannot ascertain the hidden meanings of those words when I was a child, now when I call out his name-
I find my troubles go away,
My worries fade away,
I feel l can do anything,
I feel he is right here next to me.
I don’t feel scared of the dark anymore, when I think about him.
Now I feel I can venture into my uncertainty future, and leave my worries aside.
Now I feel can go inside the dark room of my house again, if I just call out my father’s name again.