“Sana, are you ready?” Karan enquired soothingly to his 5 year old daughter. She looked up from her strap on shoes and gave an exasperated look to her father “Dad, this takes time. I need to get it right, don’t I?”
Karan smiled fondly towards his over-smart daughter. Like every Saturday evening he was taking her out to play in the park. As soon as Sana was ready she jumped and ran towards the door.
Karan followed behind her, his voice getting louder by the word “Sana, don’t run towards the street.” Sana was very patiently standing near the gate smiling back at her dad.
Karan smiled but the words seemed to tug a very old memory of his. He let it go for now and took his daughter to her park. As soon as they entered the park, it was like they had entered Sana’s kingdom, she just very easily let go of him and ran towards her friends.
As Karan let go of her hand, followed her in a brisk pace. He found his usual spot from where he can keep an eye on her and also enjoy the beauty of the park. As soon as he sat, he heard a mother shouting at her son “Don’t run, Please hold my hand”.
Those words tugged at his tucked away memory of long time back. He glanced towards Sana to see her playing and let himself the luxury of drifting down the memory lane.
He could still hear his mother’s voice as he remembered one of the most prominent words of his childhood “Hold my hand”.
Normally it would be a threat “Hold my hand or else ............”. But sometimes he thought he heard an underlying plea of his mother in the threat to hold her hand so that he can be safe. Everytime they left house her first condition would be to hold her hand. And how he enjoyed to disobey that.
Karan remembered feeling caged and getting angry that his mom never let him enjoy any cool things. He smiled to himself wondering if as years went by maybe the plea was still there but she just couldn’t spell it out for him. He remembered that one time when he was all grown up and mom had asked to hold hands. He had looked at her like she is an alien and told her with clenched teeth “mom, don’t embarrass me in front of everybody. Am a big boy now”.
After that she never asked him to hold her hand. Was it pain he saw in her eyes that day?. Karan shook his head wondering why was he over analyzing this today. But at the same time he couldn’t stop wondering why was it so important for him to stay out of reach from her holding hand. Maybe she was over protective, maybe she feared for him or maybe she just wanted to feel close to him. He didn’t know what to think, but a moment later he justified himself, he was big enough to know the danger, she should have let him grow up independent. He prided himself that he would never do that to Sana, he would let her try every cool stuff and learn from her own mistakes.
He sighed and looked for Sana. For a moment when he didn’t find her, his heart skipped a beat and then he saw her. He let out a breath of relief. He watched her with sharpened focus for a few minutes, she was standing on the small bench leaning down from the edge to guess the depth.
He jumped up immediately and rushed towards her shouting “Sana... “ He then smiled at himself before chiding his hypocritical mind and extended his hand towards her saying “Wait.... Hold my hand”