Friday, April 24, 2015

And I was Home...

"Sorry Papa, we won't be able to make it this time" I uttered and #lookup at my husband's face. He was staring at me too.
"Oh; ok if it seems difficult. I thought this year may be all of us could be together in Diwali" - I could clearly hear the disappointment in my father in law's voice over the phone. I felt bad. This was supposed to be my first Diwali after marriage and Papa was looking forward to the presence of the elder daughter in law. In fact this was to be the first Diwali with the presence of a woman in 16 years at my new home. My mother in law expired that many years ago and since then, every function or festival has been observed by these 3 men all by themselves. These 3 men ; who are my family now - my father in law, my brother in law and my husband.

I was just back to work after a long leave for my marriage. I would not have got another leave that soon. So husband asked me to explain the situation so that he was not disappointed if we did not turn up. I was not really convinced that papa would not be sad. But then it's better to be honest than lie that we would be home for Diwali.

But as they say "Where there is a will; there is a way". Next day in office colleagues were discussing about their Diwali plans. Diwali holiday fell on Thursday, not exactly a long weekend! But most of them had made plans for short visits. I asked " But Friday is working right?" My colleague Suchi said " Friday I will apply for work from home ; simple. We are going to Nashik to my in law's." How foolish of me. This option went completely out of my mind. Problem solved. I would also do the same.

I called P (my husband) and yelled " we are going; we are going to Dibrugarh for Diwali" He was surprised and happy and then decided to keep this as a surprise for Papa!

Finally on the day of Diwali both landed in Dibrugarh in the afternoon. Brother in law was waiting to receive us. Of course he knew; but he also kept that secret. While coming from airport to home; I called up Papa and casually chatted about the evening plans. He said like every year brother in law has put lights everywhere in the house and if someone drops by the evening he had got some sweets ready. When he inquired about our plans; I said we would be" Home" only. He of course thought I was referring to our home in Mumbai.

Then after 20 minutes we reached Home. Pepper, the dog that my husband had got all the way from Pune 10 years ago was barking and jumping with joy. Papa came out to see why Pepper was so happy. He saw us and he was elated and happy and surprised. He smiled and hugged me and my husband tight. Never in life will I forget that moment. Papa was like a small boy who just got a box full of his favourite crackers for Diwali. He started calling everyone, his sisters , his brothers families about how P & I and my brother in law "tricked" him.

That evening before we switched on the lights that brother in law had put everywhere over the house; I lit up the earthen diyas; one in front of the God and one near the Tulsi and few in the verandah ;our Diwali was complete.
I was Home, completely; totally.

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