Presence in the Absence
The absence is complete..yet the presence is palpable. It is there in the form of strewn shoes…an unmade bed…perfume lingering in the air, like a guest reluctant to leave..even the comb wants to hang on to a glossy long hair as a keepsake.
Her presence is everywhere..a silent witness, it winks from countertops and jumbled clothes, it gives away every personality trait of my teen aged daughter..sometimes reluctantly and sometimes with glee..sure in the knowledge that it will get a reaction out of me. I am reluctant to start cleaning and clearing..enjoying her presence in her absence. I see examples of this girl-woman in little things that looming adulthood has not taken away yet..three magenta colored monkeys keeping Gandhijis lessons alive…a fluffy stuffed toy, a keepsake from babyhood still finds pride of place. Alongside it are photographs capturing the metamorphoses of a baby into a young woman.
She is faraway now… gone for higher studies..that sounds ironical too because she always makes me feel that she knows everything..it’s in the folding of clothes and clearing of clutter that I feel oddly close to my child. This child, who loves paneer, poetry and her point of view all with equal fervour.
Though she is not in my field of vision she’s still everywhere..sitting squarely in my heart and in her home..With every move of my hands that remove the creases from her clothes I say a prayer..be happy..be safe…be yourself…