The Purple Sunbird

That night you sat at the head of the table,
quintessentially holding court
Your face was flushed
beaming from a joke
Amidst the adorable banter of friends,
Everyone jostling for your attention
Everyone seeking your intervention,
You – bold, brash and confident
Charging into the arena like a conquering gladiator
Me – small, meek, fearful,
twiddling my thumbs, watching you shine…
Your last supper was laid out in style
Candles lit, the ambience just right
Dinner done, I left your room, kissed you goodnight
And that was the last time.

My navigation through grief, like a thumbprint, was unique to me
I was lost, completely at sea.
I waited the next many nights, tossed and turned
I even hid your shoes for I was sure you would ask for them when you returned
But you went away never to come back…
Ever since November, sunlight smacks of regret,
Moments of our togetherness hard to forget.
I miss you Dad,
Your endless jokes
Your irreverence
Your early morning ritual of BBC news
Your contagious smile
Your maverick wisdom
Your peerless generosity…
Every single day I think of you
Every now and then you cross my mind like the purple sunbird
flying past my balcony on the periphery of my eyeline:

Sangeeta Kampani, 63, was formerly with the IRS and retired as Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi.

Featured image: Sonika Agarwal / Unsplash