A Father's Treasure
"No, not again", I sighed. It has been a routine now to search for my pen in the morning before leaving for work.
"Dada, where is my pen?" I shouted at my father standing near the door of his bedroom. He was writing something in his notebook and
stopped all of a sudden on hearing my angry voice.
"There it is! How many pens did I get you and you keep on losing them! I am in a hurry and I don't have time for all these." I
took the pen and left the room. I could hear his vague mumblings about old age and memory loss. I felt bad for my harsh tone. Old
age is no fun. Your body and senses fail you and at some point loneliness steps in. But life has to go on.
The morning incident haunted me for the whole day. Dada is the man behind my success. He supported me to open an Internet café in
the town when my scores came out bad in college. Being a school dropout himself, Dada always wanted me to acquire a degree. But he
accepted my flaws and guided me. I was lazy to continue my studies but Dada was a constant learner. He did postal lessons in English
and since then he gets English newspapers and comics for himself so that he could improve his language. He says English is the best
language to portray emotions and life.
Dada was asleep by the time I reached home. I kept the pens which I bought for him on his old wooden desk. His notebook was lying
open on the desk. I had always wondered what he was scribbling down in his book. I just went through some pages. I sat on the chair
holding the book in my trembling hands. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I left the room with the book close to my heart.
The book was full of memories. Dada had been writing stories about my childhood. My childhood pranks, my relationship with him, my
fears and how he helped me overcome those, my bicycle tales and many more narrations were there. How could he remember my dress on
the first day at school? All those tiny details from a man who was finding it difficult to memorize my mobile number were
unexpected. I realized that he is the one behind my awesome childhood and I have forgotten that in this hustle bustle of life.
A few weeks passed. Dada mentioned about his missing notebook a few times.
It was a weekend and Dada was sitting on his wooden chair and reading the news.
"Good morning, Son. You are up so early today", he said.
"Yes, I wanted to spend some time with you. Did you find your missing notebook?" I asked him.
"No, could you get me a new one?"
"Perhaps you should have a look at this one", I said.
He raised his head from the newspaper and I gave him a book.
"A Father's Treasure by Aditya Rai", he read aloud. Astounded and puzzled, he looked up at me.
"Open it. It is your notebook. I just got it published. It will hit the market tomorrow."
He opened the book and flipped through the pages. I knelt down near him and held his hands. He was smiling like an innocent child.
"Son, you know I am not a writer. My language isn't even good. People will laugh at my writings and spellings. I saved these stories
for my grandchildren. You shouldn't have got this published."
I gripped his hands tight and said, "It's all corrected. My 'friend' did all the corrections. But the notebook is very special to me
and I want to keep it. Thank you for an awesome childhood, Dada."
I stood up and left, since I didn't want to cry in front of him. As I left, I could see him weeping from the corner of my eye.
Dada sat the whole day holding the book. I saw him reading it and getting lost in thoughts. He came to my room in the evening.
"Son, what I wrote down in the notebook was just bits of my memories and your friend has crafted those memories into beautiful
stories. Say thank you from my side. Goodnight", he said.
"Sure Dada, goodnight", I smiled and turned to my laptop and opened my email.
I composed an email to Grammarly.
"My father says that English is the most beautiful language to showcase emotions. Being a college dropout, I was not sure about what
to do when I came across my Dad's writings. I didn't feel like ignoring it as experiments of an old vegetable seller. It was at this
difficult situation when you guys helped me out. Your premium services did the job perfectly. I published his work and thank you for
helping me to give such a precious gift to my Dad. Moreover, thank you for that smile on his face."
I sent the email and said, "Thank you, Grammarly."