TODAY -

Be Careful of Honey Trap by Sharks Disguised as Dove

* Kh Deepi Devi



"You are late for the school", my mother would growl at me every day and that's how the day would normally begin. But what I always waited for was my Dad's company when he would drop us to the school bus every day. Holding his big hands during those short walk to the bus stop always made me feel strong and secured.

I never forgot to give him a goodbye kiss on his rough unshaven cheeks, and before the bus left, my dad always sneak into the bus to see if his daughter was seated comfortably. I wish it could last forever. But then...!

My Father was an ordinary employee in a firm, earning less and carrying huge financial responsibility. He was known for his good nature, easy going attitude, and for being a hard worker and a jolly person. Despite the fact that we were short of funds, everything seemed nearly perfect and future challenging but bright.

"Thada hai, thode ki zaroorat hai'(1 have little, need little more) was the famous line which he would often hum and looked so damn convincing when he would sing the next line, "Zindagi fir bhi yahan, khoobsoorat hai" (shortage notwithstanding, life is still beautiful).

I was planning for engineering after the secondary. I and my dad would sit in the evening with a tea and indulged in long discussion over the fees structure, the good institutes and expenditure involved. I knew it was not possible for him to afford such expenditure but knew that he would go to any length to secure a future for his daughter.

Along with this was my father's ambition to give those little material comforts to his wife and children which in themselves were no less. And this is what always worried me. And whenever I would argue, he in his nonchalant manner would always say, "thoibi papa leirisidi" (sweetheart papa is here for you). I wish, in retrospect, that I could prevail upon him.

When I look back, I think our nightmares began when my gullible dad was approached by a Shark who came disguised as a Genie, bringing with him the Arabian treasure. He was a salesman from the bank, who wanted to achieve his target and in a matter of two hours convinced him that he has sufficient funds and he and his family deserve a better life style.

More important was the fact that he convinced my father that he can have all that he always wanted straight away and also that without cutting much comer, funds for his darling daughter would also be available when required. The only thing that my Dad was required to do was sign a few papers and the LOAN would be sanctioned.

The genie from the bank quoted sufficient examples from the immediate surroundings to convince my father that seeking loan was a done thing and everybody was doing it and he is no exception. More than him, why should his wife and children be denied of the comforts which people earning lesser than him are enjoying. This finally touched a raw chord somewhere and in a jiffy, my father signed on the dotted line of the loan paper.

Soon all the goodies came and we did experience a life which was beyond our financial capabilities but not for long. Initially EMls (Equated Monthly Instalments) were planned and bit easy but very soon it became stressful for my father to handle. My dad was no more as carefree and jovial as he once used to be. He would get irritated and lose temper, often for no rhyme or reasons.

The fights between my mom and dad, which hitherto were almost nonexistent began to grow and all this was happening when I was about to appear "for my SSLC exams. His health started; deteriorating and to meet the dead lines of EMI, he started working late hours. A declining health, coupled with stressful working hours gradually started taking its toll and his condition became from bad to worse every day and I could do nothing to improve the situation except curse that Loan Shark. Needless to say that it affected my studies too.

I vividly remember, it was 8.30 at night when my father's colleague called up. His voice was trembling when he said "Priyangshi baby your dad" and then there was an unusually long pause. Hoping against hope, I thought he would say that, Dad might be late or may be that since he suddenly fell ill he has been taken to a hospital. And when he resumed, he said, "Priyangshi something very terrible happened, your papa is no more!!

I dropped the phone, and could not react, I was speechless, I could not say a word for a while and then my mother grabbed the phone. I was numb and resumed senses only when my mother hugged me and started crying. Hers as well as my world had been hit by a Tsunami, the ill effect of which are felt to this day.

Whole night I kept praying that in the morning I would wake up and realize it was a terrible dream, and my dad was still alive. That morning never came and I never saw him after that. He died of a heart attack. I wished that God could take back all the materialistic comforts from us and return my dad to me. This was one wish which even Almighty would have found difficult to grant.

The liabilities were paid off from the funds which we subsequently received. It has taken a long time for us, especially me to come to terms with life but then life must go on. I have learnt the meaning of the old phrase, "Cut your Coat, according to Cloth" after an irreparable loss.

Unfortunately, I also see people inviting the same troubles which my Father had in the past. If you read this piece, Dear fathers and daughters, please pause. The material comforts which you are seeking now may not be worth the price which you might have to ultimately pay.

And daughters do everything possible but don't let your father be taken for a ride by those Loan Shark who often come disguised as Dove.




* Kh Deepi Devi wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on April 11, 2011.


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