Sunday 1 December 2013

my father died on the 29th of November. He'd been ill for a while, but we only found out about it when he went into his final decline. His wife's nephew decided that she had kept his condition from his family for long enough and called my uncle in Madras. My sister, my uncle and my wife and I rushed to the hospital, but he was already too far gone to recover or recognise anyone. He died the next day at 7:15. It had been 3 years since I last saw my father or spoke to him. He was 63.

He was never much of a friend, or much of a father to me. At least he didn't abuse me or throw me out. When he remarried, his second wife made him cut me and my sister completely out of  his life. My sister tried to stay in touch. I didn't.

He still turned up for my wedding. He actually caught up with me a little before it happened. Asked Yasmine if she was sure of her decision, gave us a DVD of Casablanca. He'd been a journalist all his life but he was talking about getting qualified as a lawyer and writing books in his retirement. He'd started sketching again. But he never did write that book.

The funeral ceremony was horrible. Horrible. Poor old man, couldn't they just leave his tired old carcass alone? He still had a thick head of hair. Still looked at least ten years younger than he was. Strange to think he died so young anyway. His father lived to be 96.

He read a lot. The last few books by his bedside were novels by James Patterson and Louis L'Amour, books on colonial history and mountain climbing. Stephen King was one of his favourite writers and he used to read a lot of George Simenon's books.

Such a long ceremony. So many rites and verses when all I wanted to say was goodbye old man. I'll miss you. Sleep now. 

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