I don’t know what my father is. Or who.
Who’s a better question.
My father is an enigma, my father.
He’s a pillar creeping into the clouds, clouds singed with despair and jungles and loneliness.
He’s like the red coloured monster they sketch in children’s story-books filled with magical dust and deep pits,
He’s a chocolate milkshake. Layered, multiple and simply designed to blow your minds over.
My father, is a problem.
He is either good or bad,
He is both but he isn’t neither.
He is also the solution to every problem, by the way.
My father’s legs straddle the secrets of the universe,
A universe kept away from me and replaced by fairy-tales and chart paper
And caterpillars. Chameleons. Little devils disguised as children,
Little menaces, little everything.
And followed by long, stealthy consequences.
My father’s hands are callused, whether from ageing or the lack of it I have no idea.
My father’s eyes are black but his hair is almost grey,
Black and grey fighting for dominance, reign,
Just like my father.
My father has no beard.
He remains clean, stands alone,
Away from everything that could hurt,
Away from everything that could heal,
Away from everything that could ruin
My father is the blanket I used to fall asleep into
When I was eight. And used to worry about Cinderella finding her prince,
How could the wicked stepmother be this WICKED?
My father was stars, stars he promised me he would fill into a packet of Alpenlibes and bring for me on the eve of my tenth birthday,
My father was the bicycle he bought for me in a torrential downpour,
My father is the tyrant,
My father is a big problem,
My father is also the solution.
He also is the sound of appa rolling around inside my mouth, searching for meaning, absolution.
And at the end, my father would not just be the grounds I fall asleep on,
He would be the canopy preventing the rains from falling over my body and scalding me,
And he would never sing to me lullabies of the earth,
he would whisper into my ears to fall asleep and I will.
By Anjali Bhavan