“Can’t you drive any faster?” she snapped at the driver. She was angsty since she heard the news of her father’s demise. She was not surprised, she had been expecting it for a while as her father is enduring terminal cancer. She just didn’t expect it so sudden. She looked at her watch again, time is flying by. Since she can’t do anything until she reached there, she reminisced in both her fond and bitter memories of her father. Like when she was a kid, how she rode her father like an elephant, how she slept on his tummy after playing with him. She remembered the video, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, of her first steps with him and how he pretended to be hurt when her first words were ‘mama’ but was very excited for her. She thought about how he told her bedtime stories and checked for monsters under the bed, how he stood by her when she did mistakes and taught her to be honest about them. That instance when he gave her a puppy for her birthday and how he consoled her when the dog was run over made her cry even when she grew up. His struggle to keep up with her increasing homework only told her how much he wanted to be there for her.

          He worried more than her when she left for the hostel and visited her every other weekend. She recollected how he trained her to protect herself from the monsters in the society, how he cried until she returned unharmed from an accident. She remembered bitterly that the gap between them increased after her marriage. He would visit them on the pretext of seeing his grandchildren, but she knew he came for her. He still looked out for her by depositing half his pension in her name even though she is more than self-sufficient. A tear rolled down her cheek as she relived that day when he was going in for chemo and asked her how she was holding up. She saw him cry again when doctors gave up on him, but she knew that he was crying because he had to leave her forever. He would talk to her every night as his day begins, even that couldn’t satisfy him. She finally broke down when she remembered what her mother said: her name was the last word he uttered ever.

           She wiped away her tears as the car came to a halt. She handed the driver a little extra and got out of the car. She raced toward the building and took an elevator to her destined floor. She thought to herself “I’m sorry, dad” as she entered the meeting room while her father was being cremated in her faraway homeland.

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5 thoughts on “The Rush Hour

  1. Once again .. Bipin you showed your talent once again…(both hands down..respectful bow)
    Firstly, what I liked was how thoughtfully and meticulously the journey of a person from childhood to adulthood via adolscence (and very carefully bridging all age gaps…) you have covered with very concise statements and just simple english.
    Secondly, here I also liked how we do get… a balance of how both rapidness and just little requisite slowness both are observed in the narrative..which justifies both of the words of the title of story as “Rush” gives the speedy jumping of ages passed and “Hour” gives the gentle emotional-time taking stroll through memory lanes…

    But to fully appreciate it’s meaning I need to clarify a doubt. At the end in the story we the readers, detect the emotion of sorrow,sadness and also guilt..Is guilt present because she could not be present physically at his death bed? And is it also because he is being cremated in a faraway country rather than his homeland?

    But on the overall it was a very nice emotional and “memory”able ride !!!

    — Anurag Chakraborty

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    1. Thank you, Anurag, for both reading my article and analyzing it. Regarding your doubt, it is definitely guilt, but to what measure is left to reader’s imagination. Secondly, it is nowhere mentioned that he was cremated in a foreign country. I didn’t mention it separately because I thought it’s a common trend, but what I meant was that the daughter is in a foreign country and the father is in his homeland.

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  2. Omg.. this is super Bipin, now a days work is Moro important than personal life or family… hope my kids not to be so mechanicslThe way you narrated is fabulous..

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