Till late evening, he worked with his typewriter, cigarette burning between his lips, slowly inducing metaplastic changes in his lung cells with each drag. I don’t have a single memory of his when he didn’t have a cigarette in his mouth. It was as important a part of him as his hands and legs but, he couldn’t live without it but also it didn’t let him live long enough.
Yes, it was tough for him to take care of him as a single parent. I was approaching my teenage years and the financial situation was tight. My father worked as human resources department for the state government and the salary was not enough for the both of us. So he spent it all on me. I did my schooling and also managed to get into a degree college. I never wanted to study but I did it for him. I knew he would be at least satisfied that he could provide me with education if not anything else.
My mother passed away in my high school days and it was the toughest part for both of us, more for him. My father loved my mother very much, she was his only companion. She was the only reason he was happy. Every day, mother would prepare hot and delicious food ad tea for him when he came back from work and he would get her favorite flowers, which she wore on her hair the whole day. They would talk for a long time about what food to prepare and about my life. Even though we lived in a small hut and with managed the minimum essential needs, we were happy. We were a family and I know that no matter what I am going to achieve or fail in life, that will always be the best years of my life.
Just a few months before my last school exam, my mother was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. It was treatable but my mother was careless with the treatment, she didn’t take the normal tablets and later the side effects were so much that she decided not to take any. She suffered a painful death.
My father was never the same again, he mostly spent his time alone in his small room writing and smoking. I learnt to cook and also managed the house. It was tough task to manage with my studies. We spoke every less to each other. We still loved each other but we couldn’t express our emotions. In his last few years, his health detiorated rapidly as he was diagnosed with lung cancer. We both knew it was coming.
I remember the last time I saw him. It was late night almost, midnight and the sky was clear and the moon was full. I had reached home late that day and we had just finished dinner. My father was in his room. He never asked or complained about anything. He didn’t have a life anymore outside his typewriter. That was his world now.
I wanted to help him but I dint know how. I had finished my college and had just started working. Money was average, I still didn’t have the money to change our lives, to shift away from town, to get married. I had no other choice but to work till I die.
As I was cleaning the house I saw my father across from the hall
His back was severely bent, he had just a few strands of white hair on top of his head, he had many new wrinkles on his forehead and near his eyes. The cigarette was loosely held between his lips. He inhaled deeply, the smoke was let out slowly through his mouth. Even though I didn’t smoke, I felt his satisfaction as he let it out.
He hadn’t changed his clothes since a week.
He slowly turned and spotted me standing across the room.
We both looked at each other. Even though we were far, we could clearly see each other’s eyes.
For the first time in many years we were looking into each other and I saw a spark in his eyes. He had a faint innocent smile on his face, just like a small kid.
For that one moment, I could recall all the sacrifices he and mother made for me. Everything they did for me, they didn’t do for me. He was happy that I was grown up now, I could live on my own.
I knew that his death was near. His eyes had taught me everything about life, it told me his whole life story. But that one moment changed my life.
My father expired a week later and he was cremated in our hometown.
After that I decided to do something with my life. My father had raised me through all the hardships and I didn’t want to leave the world without leaving my legacy.
My father is my biggest inspiration; he might not have changed the world but he had at least tried.
So I decided to write not thinking about the consequences. I went through his written work and soon realized that he was working on a book. It was strange not to find his life history in it. He was working on a murder mystery novel. I decided to continue on it and now here we are.
After writing a dozens of bestselling crime novels, I have finally decided to publish my father’s biography to the world and I hope you will be inspired the same way I was two decades ago.
I would like to thank all those who helped me with this book, my wife, my children, my agent, my publisher and all my fans.
I would like to end by quoting my father’s words, he told me this when I was a little kid sitting on my mother’s lap, I didn’t understand it then but now I know.
“Son, remember this, don’t always try and do things which everyone else is doing and become good at it. Do things which no one has ever done and you will be the best at it even if you fail because you are the only one who has tried and were willing to do what others weren’t. It is not about being the best, it is about trying.”