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LETTERS I CAN NEVER SEND

Baba,

It is a Tuesday, 9th May, as I sit down to write this and that is the hardest day of the

week for me, has been for the past 8 years but it is especially harder today. A part

of me wishes for Tuesdays to never arrive even if I have to go through Monday

and double math periods for the rest of my life. It is even harder during May after

all, I ended up losing you during that month. But today, it feels as if I lost you all

over again.

Aap ka pyara Pakistan bleeds a violent shade of red which mixes with the earth to

make the colour I saw you covered in. You wouldn’t wake up no matter how much

I begged you to open your eyes and look at me even if only for a minute.

At 8, Dado told me that you were still with us but I knew she was lying because if

you really were, we wouldn’t lay only two plates on the table and mama wouldn’t

cry all the time.

Nano said I should be proud of you and that you were the son of the soil. I knew

she was lying because you are the son of dada abu and dado.

I was so sad then that I didn’t understand that they were grieving as well and those

words were not only for me but for their own selves as well.

I hated going to school because the teachers looked at me in a weird way, they had

an assembly and prayed for you and I had to stand on the stage. Everyone said I

shouldn’t cry but they all had their babas and I didn’t and knew I never would.

At 10, I would spend many nights missing your hugs and the way you ran your

fingers through my hair

Mama came to me and said she knew it was hard but if I closed my eyes, I could

still hear your voice and that you loved me till the very end but if you truly did,

you would still be here.

I am 16 now and I don’t remember much about you other than your smile and

that’s because I have the same smile, but that just might be mama lying to make

me happy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss you. I miss you all the time and I

know that I can’t stop missing you because once I do, I fear everyone will forget

that you even existed.

All my friends have a baba and I don’t but I understand now why that had to

happen but that still doesn’t lessen the pain. Nothing can.


I think a part of me will always be stuck at 8 years old looking at you wrapped in

green and white.

I once had to write an essay on my hero and I chose you baba while everyone else

chose well known heroes and I found that so unfair. All those heroes didn’t leave

behind a wife and a child in the world they sacrificed to save. All those heroes got

happy endings but I suppose, so did you.

I don’t want you to worry about mama and me. We are doing fine. I sometimes do

think mama is also counting down the days till she finally sees you but that doesn’t

mean we have stopped living. The wrinkles on mama’s face make her even prettier

and I wonder how you would look with wrinkles. The white in her hair makes me

think of you and how you would look with white hair. I miss hearing your

footsteps around the house but the most tragic part is, I don’t even remember the

sound of your footsteps in the first place.

I know you can’t read this baba but I want you to know I’ve never been prouder of

anything else. You are the reason I raise my head even higher when the national

anthem plays, the reason behind the love I have for this country. I might have hated

it once because it stole you from me but I was just a child and now, I finally

understand why you had to go even though I begged you not to.

I love you forever and evermore and that will never change.

Aap ki pyaari beti,

Laiba

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