When Dad turned 50…

As a kid, I loved to celebrate birthdays.
The best part about them were –
A week prior to the birthday,
Dad would ask what I’d loved to do
and he would get me a present around that.

When I was 8 or so,
I’d told him that I loved to read stories.
So for my birthday a week later,
he bought me a set of mystery books –
Mystery of the stolen egg
Mystery of the haunted house
and few more…
Those memories are so precious,
I’ll take them to my grave,
but never forget.

Yesterday was Dad’s birthday.
I too wanted to ask him
what I could give him.
But I knew the answer.
I’ve known it for 20 years.
He loves to ride bikes.
But I can’t gift him one.
He is suffering from chronic disease of the kidneys
and is going through dialysis sessions thrice a week.
Yes, it’s that bad!
He’s been advised to not so much as lift half a kg.
Riding a bike is off-limits.

The treatments and frequent hospitalization
is making him weaker.
He needs something that will keep him strong.
Something cheerful, something special.
So on his birthday yesterday,
I gave him nothing!

I’m at work, a new project.
Capturing our special moments,
in the form of a booklet
Is there a better gift?
I can’t think of one!


Dad turned 50 yesterday.
Given the present situation, could I be any more happy?


Asha Seth