Skip to main content


"I have been in and out of the country more than you can imagine… so I know".

The statement hung in the air for some time, before an out of focus pair of blank eyes, came back to reality. Colonel Gupta, now 57, looked like 75,stopped himself from a sharp retort.

Just like he had done for the last 24 years.

A well travelled officer, a decorated officer, meticulous and extremely proud of his country.Col. Gupta was well respected by his peers and seniors .He commanded a huge respect right from the Jawan on the front to the Field Marshall. He had fought wars leading from the front and won medals of honor, and was in the process of becoming the youngest Brigadier in the country.

The telephone call concluded, and he sat back with a sigh...he'd just been offered a role as a defense attaché in Amsterdam. He had to make a choice - decide between serving the nation or the corporation. It was a difficult one.

He took up the job with one of the big MNC's in town shutting his memories and burying aspirations of becoming the next Defense Attaché. Sacrifice had called him again.

How else was he going to fund for that foreign degree that Arun wanted? How else would Arun ever get out of the mediocrity of it all.? ‘Besides a foreign degree would reduce competition for him’.

How else was he to support his only son, whom he loved more than his own life.Col.Gupta thought a little more about Arun, and gulped the lump in his throat, sitting alone with two of his best friends, the couch and loneliness.

Crossing over to the corporate from the military was tougher that he imagined. Over time, he numbed his feelings and adjusted to this new corporate life. The only connection he had with his past were - two ice cubes, water and whiskey ! He would sit quietly in a corner of the dimly lit living room and stare into the empty skies and relive his glorious past. Since his wife had passed away a few years ago, longer if you count mentally and physically, he had become a man of few words ,a stark contrast from where his words would inspire scores of soldiers to go out and lay down their lives for their country or their next best choice - their beloved commander. His savings and health both deteriorated as his wife's medical bills and his son's education fees kept mounting. Yet he had fought on, like a true soldier - never to give up.

Today, his son Arun was home after an assignment in Amsterdam for a prestigious IT company.Conversations were largely limited, mostly close ended or mono syllabic.

Arun was eating when Col.Gupta inquired

‘did you get to eat properly in Amsterdam?’

‘did you get proper accommodation- after all they asked you to leave at such a short notice?’

After a long pause...which seemed like an eternity - Arun’s responded with a modern ‘yeps’?

‘It must've been very cold, did you buy some warm clothes?’ asked a concerned father.

‘Yeps’ was the response again.

‘Did you bring back the muffler I had given you?’Col.Gupta eagerly continued as his face lit up…

‘It is the one I wore when we were facing the enemy in the moun...’

‘ufff Stop this nostalgic stuff Paa’ interrupted a visibly agitated Arun.

‘I've been in and out of the country more than you can imagine, or have ever done, besides how would you know what it is like in Amsterdam - so relax, I know to handle things ’ and Arun left the table,a whiskey glass, and his fathers heart ...empty.

Gyanban Thoughts- We have often come across stories of sacrificing mothers, however sacrificing fathers largely go unnoticed. This is a tribute to them....and mind you...all stories are not fiction. This is about the fathers who have sacrificed their entire lives for their families and yet go unrecognized in their efforts – after all that is a man’s job to work and earn isn’t it? No one realizes the price one has to pay to make this happen. The sacrifice one has to do to make this happen.

So the next time, your old man wants to spend some time with you, discussing his glorious past, give him some time…give him some patience…someday you too will need it in big time.


  1. The end was really touching.A true depiction of the younger generation. Nice post.

  2. Thanks for appreciating -@ roshmi & Old monk.

  3. nice story..
    like the narration..
    take care

  4. very touching, really.

  5. Beautiful!!

  6. Mersi @ aria and @ catawampusme

  7. I very sad situation between father and son. The tension between them utterly palpable.

    Yeah, the sacrifices of fathers often do go unnoticed.

    Very well written!

  8. Very well written

    Its really strange how sometimes children lose touch with their parents and never try to ignite the relationship again.

  9. I just saw a tweet which read - going for grandma's xray how boring...

    and I reverted - what goes around comes around !

    @ Margaret - loved your blog. It's people like you who help demystify the often misinterpreted India to the rest of the world.!

    @Survivor - i really like the painting on the post..did you draw it or is it from some other source?

  10. Hi Gyan. That was a nice piece starting and ending well. Short and sweet portraying the feelings of a father.
    Keep it going Gyan.

  11. @Well thank you am glad you liked it.


Post a Comment

Say it only if you mean it -

Popular posts from this blog


‘I need some rest, else I’ll be late for school.’ she said blurring.
‘The doctors are on their way’ he said. She stood motionless, staring blankly at the cameras, Volcanic debris had trapped her legs.Hidden below the ground, gangrene ate into her calves, as she faded.13 year old Omayra’s death was captured live.

Gyanban Thoughts - Nevado Del Ruiz volcano erupted on November 13,1985 which killed nearly 25,000 people in Armero, Columbia. Omayra could have escaped, but stopped to save her sibling from the oncoming volcanic lava. Her legs got trapped in the deris of her own home.When rescue teams arrived they realized that she could not be extracted without amputating her legs. She died with gangrene and hypothermia.She began hallucinating in her last moments. World news covered this they say saw Omayra die a slow painful death.For 3 days her pain and agony was captured by television crews but one photograph went on to capture the imagination of the world. Frank Fournier captu…


Hunger and shelter kill people.

Finding a place in the prime Borough is like finding a diamond in a coal mine. Mum used to say, learn to adjust, and you will find what you want. After all, these little adjustments, are a part of the fucking parcel of life. Huh. 

It would be exactly nine months on the first of April since I moved into the plush Toccata penthouse. It had soft caramel undertones on the walls and the Renoir’s, one on each side, caught my gaze on the first day. Instinctively, I knew, it was the house I wanted. As the landlady walked ahead of me, notes of coffee, pink pepper, cedar, and cinnamon oozed from her swaying hips, sucking me into a deep hallucinogenic state. Fuck me. 

I couldn’t bungle this one up, unlike the previous eight houses. Terrible, they were. “No late-night partying or substances, pills, injections, powders, got it?” She said breaking my gaze. Yes, she had the vocabulary. I am the shy type, so I lowered my head and nodded gently but my head was still spinni…


It's 5AM and the clock is late,
the rush to dress up and change my fate,
but the wrinkle is annoying the mane,
and the greys are flaying the vein,
I carry the mirror in mind,
leave the resigned sigh behind.

The train is packed with eyes,
I stand under the strain of lights
the dark skin is brighter,
maybe they'll like me better,
their shampoos leave no clue,
only the fan comes to my rescue.

Waiting for the elevator,
a minty breath drifts over the shoulder,
the noose around my neck chokes
gasps for breath and the heart pokes
the lights are incandescent inside
empty faces on the outside.

The tube-light and the guard flickers
People wearing strange monikers
floating close to the floor
a door opens, the stupor
he sashays along leaving them behind,
my eyes lose him and hope to find.

Clocks go by and the hours shiver
the cardigan shrugs off and the  lips quiver
a sudden surge of reason, cold air ,
aimlessly slides off my ruffled hair
witness  to the porcelain teapot stare,
bits an…