All I need is a day off

Story By: Neelanjan Chakraborty

The doctor wrote “terminal” and my life was never the same again. Clichéd, but my father was indeed my hero. Our relationship was more like a textbook father-son relationship. From walk to cycle to an accomplished motorcyclist, I owe him everything. Today I am because he was.

In 2015, I lost my father in terminal cancer. It’s a loss like no other. And before I could grief, I realized that the world would not stop by his passing. And it did not.

My relationship with my mother has always been complicated. While I know she loves and cares for me; my ideas of good and bad differ from hers. With age she’s become morose and my father’s demise has made the equation between us more complex. She has anxiety issues but categorically refuses an expert’s advice.

Since I’m the only son to my parents, I understood that I’ll have to take his place in my house. So now I’m a designated driver and a constant partner to my mother for anything and everything. The situation is so dire that now even if she has to go for a walk where there is no manual work or anything is required; she wants me to accompany her.

One time, I was working on my laptop in my room; suddenly she rammed inside the room, sat on the chair and started staring at me blankly. I’ve realized that the death of her partner has ignited a fear of loss in her which has resulted in obsession with her son.

I can imagine her agony of losing a partner. But I’ve lost my father too. I’ve lost a person I could count on for help and advice and now with his passing, I don’t know where to turn when I’m vulnerable. Ever since I lost him, I was so occupied in consoling my mother that I forgot to grief. I’m all bottled up inside. I feel isolated at home.

And in situation like mine, my inheritance of my father is less of materialistic possessions and more of responsibilities. Hence, to fulfill my responsibilities like a good son, I’ll hold my mother’s hands whenever she needs me and wherever she needs me. But all I need is a day off.

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