My New Shoes…
The long awaited day did come when I got the opportunity to buy new shoes. I had been waiting for this day, the day daddy would take me along and I would be able to spend some time in his company. Such delightful moments are so rare yet they add great hope to my existence.
The bike moved quite slowly and I kept chattering…knowing well that dad is the only person who would never tell me to ‘be quiet.’ I know he would have never said ‘girls don’t speak so much.’ He listens to all my stories with a twinkle in his eye. I love him so much!
Some moments are so precious. This one I was going to cherish. I could tell the story to my friends. Now they would know I have a loving dad. Now they wouldn’t make fun of my dirty, worn out shoes. Now I would run with confidence!
I chose my new shoes. I didn’t care much about the style or the color. The excitement of going out with dad and be myself was more significant than anything. My focus was dad, my hero, my savior who was always interested in my demands and only he fulfilled them.
After buying the shoes I was told to sit on a rickshaw and go home. I looked into dad’s eyes, pleading my unwillingness. Probably he didn’t understand. The words I wanted to speak stuck in my throat, out of the fear of going home alone. I pretended to be strong and didn’t utter a word of protest.
With one hand I balanced myself and held the verge of the rickshaw tightly. The other hand was holding the box of shoes tightly lest it might slip from my hand. No other journey could have been as long as this one. I hated my dad for sending me home like that. I knew he too didn’t love me.
Why didn’t he ask? Why couldn’t he go to his office late? Why is he so insensitive? I kept asking all these questions to myself, trying to analyze and now I am writing them down, hoping to get all the answers when I am big.
When I ran inside the house, put the box of shoes down in the patio and sat on it, tears were streaming down my cheeks. I tried to put myself together. As usual I didn’t want to share my feelings with Trod who would mock and tease. I don’t want to tell anyone about my insecurity, I know I can handle it alone.
Mama didn’t ask me why I was sitting in the middle of patio. She yelled…‘Are you going to sit all day, looking at those shoes? Put them inside and come and help me in the kitchen.’
I felt like throwing that box of shoes at her. I felt like opening my mouth fully and scream loudly. I wanted to tell somebody how my heart was racing, how scared I was. I wanted a soft word of reassurance, a gentle hug and a caress.
I got that from you dear diary. Thank you so much for being my only companion, my haven of love and comfort. …Earthy.
Dedicated to all those children who have to handle their fears alone, who feel neglected or bullied and crave for parental attention.
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