A Tribute

He always seemed like Einstein to her, minus his crazy hair. That slight polio limp in his leg wouldn’t stop him from moving briskly in and out of his house. The memory is fuzzy, after all the girl was about 5-6 year old. He talked about things which would always have caught her attention. Evenings were the best. Her fairytale world would come alive. She would wait every evening, he would walk in home take few minutes rest and put on the video tapes in for her. And she would watch it sitting on the floor with a huge smile pasted on her face. That’s how Beauty and The Beast had come to be her all time favorite.
He was a surgeon who saved her daddy, from what she never understood. But he, her uncle saved her daddy with stitches around his throat.
Straighten up little soldier
Stiffen up that upper lip
What you crying about?
That was her wonderful Mysore trip. Years passed. She inspired to become a painter looking at her cousin’s paintings, which were sent over by him. She drew well, but her colors were always flat. Her daddy pushed her told her how to hold her brush, but they were still almost flat. And then, she declared she will work for the FBI and made herself a badge based in NY. Inspired by Agent Scully.
Few  more years passed by. By now, Gregor Mendel had entered her life. And she was fascinated like never before. His experiments impressed her 15 year old heart like no one had. The field impressed her even more, especially when it came to human gene. She read more, and decided she’ll be like him and find a cure for cancer. Yes, that will be it.
We’re all we got in this world
When it spins, when it swirls
When it whirls, when it twirls
Then came those precious Boards. And just like that, finally it was over. And she finally saw him again, after years. He looked a bit tired and worn, the spirit was still the same. He sat on his beautiful black leather sofa right across her, and asked her, “So, what do you want to be?”
She shifted in her sofa, she wanted to be bit of everything.

And we don’t know why
We fear how we feel inside
It may seem a little crazy, pretty baby
Her parents were listening to the conversation standing in other room, and she struggled in her head on how to start talking. There were so many things bursting in her mind.
But she finally answered, “A genetic engineer”. And started speaking about all her to do things once she becomes one, starting with cancer.
“A FBI agent!! But I hate civics!”
After sometime, “A surgeon! But I cannot see blood, nor the beating heart. I tried on Discovery, but no!”
And then started the famous unexpected counseling. The head searching, the soul searching.
She wasn’t pushed. She was just made to think, and she asked herself what is right for her. The options were laid in front of her. She asked again, what was she passionate about? She was so hell bent on being a scientist that her family dentist had gifted her a book on genetics.
Then he broke her chain of thoughts and told her, “Reach for the stars, but don’t expect all your dreams to come true.” and went in to talk to the grown ups. She never really understood the complete meaning then.
Two years later, she decided to become an engineer.
He was proud.
And she got to know he’s diagnosed with cancer. She wasn’t told before, because she was too young to understand then.
First year results. He asked her how she did. A 9 pointer, she said. He said he was proud again.
He asked her to try and top her university. But she didn’t just didn’t want to.
He called time to time to talk. And one day, he said, he just wants to die.
She said, she wouldn’t let him.

But it’s just something we have no control over and that’s what destiny is
But no more worries, rest your head and go to sleep
Maybe one day we’ll wake up and this will all just be a dream
By the end of her second year, she went to meet him. He didn’t look at her. He didn’t respond back to her greeting. He didn’t want to see her. Was pointedly ignoring her.
The whole family and relatives had gathered. He wanted to meet everyone, explain what his condition is. Talk to them. Just talk. He didn’t let her come in the room. He didn’t tell why. But her cousin brother was allowed. Hurt, she ran to his room and cried to sleep.
Third year, one day before she left for her college her dad breaks the news, “Your uncle is no more. Yesterday midnight.”
Leaves for college. Reaches college.
Breaks down.
You’re scared, I ain’t there?
Daddy’s with you in your prayers
No more crying, wipe them tears
Now with a job in hand, she wished she could break the news to him and listen to him say, “I’m so proud of you.”
It was not the closeness. It was not the support. It was not dependency or neediness. It was an attachment. Her first attachment, which dawned on her two years later when she got up this morning and broke into tears in the bathroom, suddenly missing him. For the first time she understood what missing someone is. For the first time, she really missed someone.
All I ever wanted to do was just make you proud
Now I’m sitting in this empty house, just reminiscing
Almost two years now. It is late, but a small tribute to that great surgeon, dean, loving husband and father, and my uncle. You will be missed whenever I touch a milestone of my achievements.
Thank you for showing me the stars when I was lost. For saying you were proud when I felt never good enough with myself.
I’mma give you the world
I’ll do anything for you to see you smile

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