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A Short Story by G.S.Vasukumar
Whenever she saw the dark, cloudy sky, she remembered her father. Maybe, he never remembered her in the same way, but she always longed to have the love and affection of her father like others girls of her age. But then, not every one in this world is blessed to have the affection of both parents in their lives.
It was one monsoon night, when her father had deserted her mother after he came to know that his wife had given birth to a female baby and not a male baby as his family was expecting. Especially, his mother wanted a male baby. He just left the hospital without even seeing the face of the new baby girl.
Arpitha had grown up without the love and affection of her father. She used to keep the wedding picture of her parents in her trunk box and whenever, she missed her father, she used to take it out and stare at the picture, with tears rolling down from her pretty eyes..many times, she used to run out of tears or tears refused to obey her feelings or they didn’t want to make her pretty face ugly.
“Father, why did you leave me and go?” She asked, looking at the picture many times, but she never got the answer. “Because God made me into girl instead of boy, isn’t it?” She used to answer herself.
She wanted to hold the hand of her father and walk in the sea-shore, build sand castles, play hide and seek, play in the swing, and do many other things which other girls of her age did. She wished her father would come and attend the parent’s day function in her school and see her win many prizes in various contests held in her school. But all her victories had been hollow without his presence in her life.
Arpitha’s mother wanted her daughter to achieve something life and not to suffer like her. So she strived hard for her education. Arpitha became a teacher when she grew up. She thought it was the best professional to make children realise the true value of their parents and also to make them to grow up into reasonable parents.Arpitha wished her father could see her succeed in her life and she could spend time with him.
“Ma, would papa be proud of me, if he were to see me today?” Arpitha asked her mother.
“Sure, dear.” She replied. “He would be very proud of you. God knows, whether he is alive…”
“No, ma, I know he is still alive somewhere,” Arpitha said, interrupting her mother. “I’m sure that I will see him someday.”
“Hope so, dear.” Her mother said with a sigh.
One evening, it was raining and her mother wanted to visit the temple with her. So she went with her. As they climbed the steps of the temple, she saw some beggars seated on the side of steps. She took out some coins from her purse, but one coin slipped from her purse, fell down, rolling down the steps. It went and hit a bowl of a beggar and came to a halt. She climbed down the steps to pick up that coin. She saw his face while keeping the coin in his bowl. Even her mother walked down the steps and came towards her.
His face was familiar to her though she had seen it only in the picture. Arpitha felt like shouting, “Father, God has punished you enough for leaving mother and me alone to suffer.” But she couldn’t.
Arpitha’s mother had tears in her eyes seeing him like this. She spoke to him and he immediately recognized her voice.
“Laxmi, please forgive me, if you can. I really deserve this for what I done to you.” He said, tears rolling down from his eyes. “Where is my daughter?” He asked, looking at her.
“She is here!” She said. “She has grown up and has become a teacher!”
“Good!” He said. “I’m really proud of you, my dear. I wish God had been a little kind to me and spared my eyes…so that I could see your pretty face at least once.” He added, feeling his daughter’s face with his fingers and his fingers touched the tears coming from her eyes.