Saturday, August 28, 2010
DAD : By Bissme S
If God is going to be in heaven, I would rather be in hell. Those were the last words my mom said on her deathbed. There was a time in her life when God and religion played an important role. She was a regular face in church. The bible was the most important book in her life.
She was actively involved in church organized charity events and she didn’t stand anyone making fun of religion.
“God made us and we should respect him and not make joke out of him,” she said.
But when my dad died, everything changed. She stopped believing in God. She stopped going to church. She developed an intense hatred towards God and anything that has connection to Him.
Mom held God responsible for my dad’s death and she didn’t - couldn’t- forgave God for taking her husband away, the man she loved with all her heart and soul.
Dad was only forty-one when he met his tragic death. Too Young to die! What a tragedy! That was what everyone said at my dad’s funeral.
My mom literally worshipped the ground he walked on. In her eyes, he was a perfect man, a perfect husband and a perfect dad. Mom always told me my dad was an angel in disguise.
Indeed, she was so shocked when she learned that someone hated him to the extent of murdering him.
“Ramesh, why would anyone want to kill your father? He is a wonderful man,” my mom said to me when she first heard my dad had been murdered.
It was raining the night someone sneaked into my dad’s shop and shot him. TV shows often have the tendency to portray crime scenes as gory and extremely violent.
But my dad’s murder was nothing like that. Except for his dead cold body and a pool of blood staining the carpet, no one would have guessed a murder had taken place.
Policemen scrutinized each corner of the shop for evidence. They dusted for fingerprints. They studied the blood spatter analysis. They ruled out robbery. Nothing had stolen, so they believed the motive was pure hatred.
“Mrs Shanti, whoever shot your husband wants to make sure he is really dead,”Inspector Ram Kumar explained.
“That is the reason he or she used up all the bullets in the gun,” he added.
He was young and ambitions. This was his first murder case. He promised to apprehend the murderer at all cost. My mom had a hard time digesting that anyone could hate my dad, let alone murder him. She refused to accept the police inspector’s theory. She believed what took place was a robbery gone wrong.
In the end the young inspector failed to keep to his word. The case was forgotten and my dad’s murderer was never caught. Sometimes the young and the ambitious make promises they cannot keep.
Of course, life went on for the rest of us, except for my mom . She couldn’t stop loving my dad and she couldn’t stop hating God.
Years later, a distant relative of mine who became priest visited my mom. He was hopping to convince my mom to love God again…to come back to church again. My mom simply replied: “These days, I find myself having more respect for prostitutes than priests.”
The young priest was startled. He looked at me for support. But I could offer none. My mom continued: “Father, tell me why do pimps, prostitutes and priests starts with the same alphabet.”
My mom took the broom by the closet and literally swept the young priest out of her house. I did nothing to stop her. “Don’t ever come back here again,” she yelled. We never saw the priest again.
I, on other hand, became totally the opposite. My dad’s death brought me closer to God. I went to Church more often. I read the Bible from chapter to chapter, book to book and whispering the archaic verses over and over to myself.
Religion brought me the peace I desperately sought. Killing your own father is not an easy burden to carry. Strangely enough, my hands were not shaking when I shot him to death that night.
I still remember every detail. I walked into his shop, bold as brass. My dad was shocked to see me pointing a gun directly at him. He stared at me speechlessly, a thousand questions going through his mind. Before he could regain his composure, I shot him.
In case I missed the first shot. I shot him again and again, until all my bullets had been used up. I dashed from the shop not looking back.
At that time I didn’t have any regrets killing my dad. He deserved to die. But seeing my mother’s misery put so much guilt in me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have killed him in the first place.
I was getting tired of my dad sneaking into my room and touching me in the place he shouldn’t. I begged him to stop coming into my room.
“For God’s sake I am your son, not your lover,” I whispered.
But my dad wouldn’t listen to me. I hadn’t expected his death will take such a tremendous toll on my mother. Even after killing my dad, I wanted to tell my mother the whole truth. But I was afraid she would hate me the way he hates God. I don’t want her hatred. So I keep it a secret.
Initially like my mom I hated God too. I hated God for different reasons. I hated Him for everything bad that had taken place in my life, for allowing my dad to touch me and for not being there to protect me.
Later I realized I couldn’t lead a life like my mom’s … a life filled with hatred. I needed God in my life. I needed God to forgive me for what I had done.
Footnote: This fiction has appeared in Dark City 2, a book consisting a collection of 17 short stories