Read the before part: Forgotten Wishes
Travelling has been part and parcel of my work life, flying me into different cities and throwing me into different climates; it’s tough especially when you have to leave behind your family and travel alone. I would be wrong to generalize that I always hated these trips as there was a time where I was looking out for them and grabbing even the half- hearted opportunities that came my way. But now it’s different, I have been married and have an eight year old daughter who I have to look out for, which makes me want to give rest to these age old wings which I had acquired through my innumerable trips to these innumerable places in this majestic world.
Long back, I had started a strange ritual whenever I am on these travel trips which has now completely gotten into me; I think this started nine years ago, when I had to leave behind my wife to travel to Mumbai, though a domestic destination which wouldn’t last for even a day or so, but I missed being with her. May be it was the occasion which I was going to miss or maybe I just wanted to be with her and celebrate our first wedding anniversary together, but work commitments got better of me and I had to leave. So there I was seated in the aircraft which was getting ready for take-off, while I was staring at this picture of my wife in my wallet, running my fingers over her glossy hair, smiling back at her as if she was for real. If the take-off wasn’t that bumpy I would have literally spoken to her, I am pretty sure I would have been serious. Every time we passed through turbulent skies and when the aircraft became all shaky, I would be seen holding the picture close to my heart. It was strange for me because I never attached so much of emotion for someone and also no one ever loved me back the way she did.
The meeting got over as per the schedule; I boarded my flight back to Delhi and trust me, every minute felt longer than usual. I just wanted to see her, so I started rushing out as soon as the flight landed and even to the point that I was cursing the airport authorities for the delay in arranging the walkway. I just couldn’t wait.
As I rushed outside the arrival facility to catch a cab, I failed to notice a humble tap on my shoulder and finally it was her voice which made me turn towards her. I simply hugged her and didn’t let her go for a couple of minutes. We missed each other, we surely did; it was the first time since our marriage that we had stayed apart for close to a day and it also came on the most important occasion of our lives. We took our car, and went to that favourite burger place of hers which I had my friend to book the entire place in advance. Yes you heard it right; it was not a candlelight dinner which everyone expects to go on their anniversaries. It was just a simple but special burger place, because it’s the same place where we first met and fell in love.
Now, 9 years later, I walk in to this restaurant for my daughter, it’s also her favourite place to eat; like mother like daughter. I do get these glimpses of my wife all around this place making me feel close to her, though she isn’t anymore. The time we spent here will always be priceless; I just wish she could have lived a little longer.
This time as I wait in the airport, the minutes start to appear longer than the usual. I just wanted to be with my little sweetheart whose birthday I almost missed. Like the previous occasion, I had my friend to book the entire place for me and my daughter to celebrate; she was going to turn eight.
So as I took my seat in the aircraft, I carried on with my ritual, and today I just missed her more than anything, may be it was the occasion and maybe I just wanted her to be with me however I wasn’t alone; our daughter missed her more than me.
Flight prepared to take-off while I was holding her picture close to my heart and wondering what gifts we should get for our daughter.