Monday, June 12, 2017

Stolen



It’s unbelievable how the happiest moment of your life can turn into the worst within minutes. I guess, that’s how people who have been in train wrecks or tsunamis feel, that is, if they have survived to tell the tale. I feel exactly like one such survivor right now.

My wife and I are separated. Not legally yet, but on all other planes, we are. I guess, some relationships are not meant to be. But come to think of it, every relationship does have a silver lining. Ours is Ishaan.  

Ishaan, as the whole world knows by now, means the world to me. It is inconceivable that I think of my life sans Ishaan. If I breathe, it is in the hope that I might see my little one and perhaps he might get to know this accursed being, that is his father.

Well, though Ishaan was snatched from me unlawfully, and all my attempts to reconcile with my wife failed, my heart ached for Ishaan. I sometimes wish she'd let me know the reason why we aren't together and why I have to seek permission to see my own son. I couldn’t stop my parents-in-law from forcefully relocating my son to their house, but how could I give up on seeing my son? He is a piece of my heart and without him, I’m sure my heart would stop beating.

Taking legal recourse, I was “granted” two hours, every second Sunday of the month to see my son. I’m not sure if you’d understand how empty and meaningless 29 days of the month feel and how I live them with the only hope of seeing Ishaan on the one day that I’m entitled to see him. But when that day comes, I’m unbelievably excited, my heart beats like it is compensating for all the other days of the month, and I can’t stop thinking of all that we’d together.    

Yesterday was ‘that’ day. Our day together. Ishaan and I.


I’m supposed to meet my own son in a public place, not in the comfort of my own home, where he can leave memories for me to relish in his absence. Hell, not even in the city where I stay. Though we both stay in the same city, we both have to travel to another city to meet each other. Sounds pretty twisted, I know, but there’s no limit to what someone can do when they have decided to put you through pain. They will not even stop at putting a child through the same pain.  



As would be expected, I arrived before time at the mall to meet Ishaan. After a longish wait, I saw him. My sweet, innocent son, holding hands that were invisible handcuffs. All of 3, he looked like a fine young man. When had he grown so big? He was walking now, which meant I had lost watching him crawl, trying to stand up, fall, and try again, I had missed watching him teeth, taking him to his first haircut, and in short, all the firsts that’s typically father and son. His unsteady gait beckoned me to hold him in my arms and his smile brought tears to my eyes.



When I finally picked him up and held him close, I’m sure everyone could hear my heart break. Under the watchful eye of his grandparents Ishaan played with me. He’d hide and ask me to seek, he’d run and play catch, he’d laugh and speak, like he had never forgotten me. When he helped me pick up clothes and toys for himself, I was so proud of his choices.






But this camaraderie was getting too much for his grandparents, who I believe, did not expect Ishaan to get friendly with me like this. Cruelly, they snatched Ishaan from me and took him away. I was threatened and abused in full public view and told to stay away from my own son. They told my son I’m a bad person and ordered him not to go to me. There’s even a video of the incident captured by me as I was taking a video of my child.

I’ve never felt so broken. My life turned upside down in a matter of minutes.
I wonder what Ishaan felt that day. Did his little mind believe the lies or did he trust his dad? I hope he did the later. If he ever gets to read this someday, I want him to know that he’ll always be a part of my heart and soul.   

#papa #IshaanAPai #Fathersday #dadslove

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