A Nightmare that changed me

” Mom and I need to work faster to turn up our frowns. Even reluctantly!”

10 May 2021                                                                                                     9:30 p.m.

Dear diary,

‘Haar haar kar jeetne wale ko he toh baazigar kehte hain’.

Today my dad called me, and these were the first words he said. He went silent (as usual) expecting some tears. But he was shocked because I started speaking. In a normal tone.

The call lasted for some half an hour. It was the longest call we made since he got admitted to the hospital. Anyways he asked me how my studies were going. I told him how much inconvenience it is for me to wake up at 7 for my classes. And he pointed out that it was too late. 

Our conversation went like that – me cracking silly jokes and him resuming his daddyish– sarcasm! 

As soon as I hung the call, I went in front of a mirror. After 12 whole days I saw my reflection with a lopsided smile. My dad must have smiled too, I betcha! I did not cry this time while talking about his illness. Shocking, to hear I bet ! Well after all those emotional hopeless abrupt notes of course! 

Only I knew the reason behind this smile. My nightmare.

Last night I saw us attending a funeral. Me and my mum. My dad’s funeral. The previous day we had called him. It was a relatively short one, I could see. Me and mom just cried for a few minutes. He said he would be fine. And the call ended. And apparently the next day so did his life. 

I woke up with my body shivering today, as I came back to reality……

It was the similarity between the call we made in the dream and the previous ones that followed up to our call today.

Each day every day, we would ring him up and just stay dispirited. Out of sheer fear? Who would not? It was a relief he got admitted but still uncertainty remained.

You know, the thing about us people is that we have many fears. Our fears cannot be locked inside some bottle. The biggest fear of the many? The fear of loss..

It is human to feel scared when my family suffers isn’t it? Because I realised how much the fear of losing dad can make me panic stricken.

Our family is quite normal, you know. We do not have special outings every now and then. But even the very bland looking moments, now feel close to my heart.

I am not ready to lose him. Not yet. Cause well he is my dad. 

I now understand that he would want us to be optimistic. 

Both of us, perhaps should not greet him like a patient at the peril but rather a soldier marching into a battlefield. We have to allow him to go happily in the battle for 17 days and greet him with salutes. Mom and I need to work faster to turn up our frowns. Even reluctantly!

This will be a hard way for us. But sometimes it is the hard way,isn’t it?

Certainly,myriad medicines may provide him the physical resurgence but during such times,I think me, and my mom only have the capability to provide the enthusiasm and emotional will to live; and that can be a major weapon in my dad’s armoury don’t you think? 

Dear diary,all the shivers I felt after seeing that nightmare helped me perceive that this time, we must try to replace our tears with smiles because if viruses are contagious then so are smiles.

And that dear diary was why today’s call was different!  I betcha he will recover!


Hey readers, we all are feeling very low spirited these days! Most of us can relate to this girl above. What better way to tell thoughts of fear to a trusted confider. For this girl it is her diary. And if this girl can decide to stay optimistic and endeavour to turn up a  smile then then maybe we can do too. Even if it is too hard. Both of us are from India. We encounter disappointing press releases and news of loss on a daily basis from people around us. But still, why did we write this? To find a deliberate reason to keep our smile intact for others. Even if it originates from the worst of fears. _______________________________________________________________________________________________