Dear Dada,

14th December 2009, I remember writing the date in the specified corner on my answer sheet for my 10th standard prelims. Never in a million years had I thought the significance and grief that would be associated with that date from that fateful afternoon.

My English exam went well and I remember waiting eagerly to go home with my sister when it happened.

I am not the most devout of believers, neither am I highly superstitious, but the very vibes of the world around me seemed wrong, like it was grating on my nerves somehow. That’s when I knew, something was going to happen to you.

You had been sick for so long that it was the only logical step, but the heart seldom has any use for logic. My fears were confirmed when Mom asked us to change our clothes and meet her downstairs where you had lived.

The past year had been so very hectic for me. Juggling tuition and school in a bid to make everyone proud of my scores. I rarely had had time for dinner with you and if I harbour any regrets, this is one of them.

Never in a million years had I expected you to actually leave. My heart screamed at the world, railing against it for giving us hope. You had been doing better for a few days, so why now?? You wanted to see me complete my 10th, and it was so close. How could your life end now??

The second I saw you on the bed, I knew that these were your final moments. You were barely conscious, I don’t think you even heard what I said to you as I held my finger on your thready pulse, anchoring myself to the throb throb that signifies your life.

And I was the one who felt it slip away.

Mom, there’s no pulse

I’d said it, but I couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t believe that you’d faded away, the throb throb silent entirely.

I couldn’t believe that there would never be anymore games of shooting the ball into a target. No more catching you cheating on a game of solitare. No more laughing at how wrinkly your hands were. No more of that ridiculous dance you did to annoy us.

Today, I am in my final year. I only wonder what it would have been like to have you here when I am about to complete one of the most important phases of my life. One that you wanted to see with your own eyes. What would you say to the biscuits I bake, or the drawings I do.

6 years later Dada,


Yours Lovingly,




©Sonali Mukherjee