My dad is with me in his coat. He will never die. He is immortal. His coat is still warm and cosy. I felt it then and I feel it now.
Black-coloured, well-knitted and shiny with stylish collar, deep pockets and befitting sleeve brims, a coat hangs and will hang till coats last in my room where life and death do not matter, separations do not occur and people always live. Some rooms and some coats never age. Coats do not age like humans. They last longer than humans. Their finesse never deteriorates. My dad would have never thought that I would write on his marital coat that was tailored for him for the auspicious marital occasion. When its size fell short to fit my dad, it was passed over to me as an inheritance. I guess my dad was sure that I would write on this coat one day or mom knew it perhaps as she insisted and persuaded my dad to give it to me.
I was chosen among four brothers to have it. My clothes do not wear down quickly because I care for them. I revere them and maintain their life span. Yes, clothes do have a lifespan. I was taught that later in my life. They age like humans. I kept it on a hanger after I overgrew its size. Besides, I felt tightened in its enchanting fitting. I hung it on the hanger and slipped a bar of soap into one of its pockets. On the bath- occasions, I used to have a pilgrimage to it. I would stroke it mildly and feel the finesse of its cloth.
Coats smell and I smelled my dad whenever I touched and went beside it. He left but his coat remained. It is brutal and innocent simultaneously. Clothes have associations which never cease to exist even if they are transferred from one person to another person. You can pass over the clothes but not associations. They are abstract and cannot be transferred or exchanged. When my dad passed away in 2013, his coat gained more significance for me. I still have it with me as a sacred souvenir. I feel my dad under this coat whenever I cast my nostalgic looks on it. I shifted it from my room to the attic. Don’t feel bad. I did it because whoever visits me inquires about the coat as it is of rare fabric and unique tailoring. It has no analogy, my guests say. It is so fascinating that it grabs everyone’s attention. I don’t have regular pilgrimages to it now. I only have frequent ones.
Thrice a week, I see and touch this coat and reinforce the memory of my dad. It is not a coat but my dad whom I lost when lost had only monetary meaning for me as I was studying economics during my B.A. Subjects develop perspectives and I was no exception. This is perhaps one of the reasons that I left studying economics. My friends are still shocked and angry. They thought I could flourish academically only in economics. You know people change our goals and aspirations. I told you associations last longer and I have bitter associations with economics as well, not because I was studying it when I lost my dad but because it has shaped my perspective in a wrong way. I was an apprentice of Karl Marx without knowing him properly. I understand it now. So, I then resorted to literature which has been a solace since then.
The coat contains numberless tales and I cannot narrate them all. I don’t narrate tales. I don’t have art and am not an expert in it and besides tales are painful. They discomfort us and make our minds boggled to extremes and if you are a literature student, tales make you weep and cry like a wizardess whose son has been killed by a wild demon. A decade had passed since my dad left me. So many things slipped away from my memory. Like most of the concepts of economics which I had good command. Recently, an economics teacher asked me to define debentures, honestly speaking, I could not define it. I forgot most of it now but I remember the coat of my dad. I can’t forget it on account of its reverence for me. It is my pilgrimage sight. It relieves my heavy heart. When I miss my dad badly, I resort to this coat and it soothes my distressed soul. It is an Elysium. It eliminates my suffering. It has constructed a universe within which death and life do not matter, in which separation and union do not occur, in which pain and joy are not two separate emotions and feelings.
This universe transcends space and time. My dad is with me in his coat. He will never die. He is immortal. His coat is still warm and cosy. I felt it then and I feel it now. Don’t call my dad dead, he is alive, he lives in me and through me, he lives through the memory of his marital coat, through your remembrance of this memory. I know the words of this coat memory will stay with you longer. I know you will definitely pray for my dad. For his peace and for his solace. The finesse of this coat gives me a peep to the wedding occasion of my dad. He would have been the male version of Venus. Once I asked my mom about her marriage to my dad. She said my dad was a baron and a son of a baron. His father wore a golden earring in the times of utmost penury. He was a landlord and had a good financial position. She further said that my grandfather was called Sona [gold] Bhat on account of his golden earring.
Clothes capture auspicious occasions better than cameras like the marital coat of my dad, and the golden earring of my grandpa. The coat of my dad still hangs on the hanger. I still see him in his coat. I still smell him in the fragrance applied on wedding occasions. I still see his moustache which demonstrated bravery and fortitude. I still see his fine beard trimming that radiated the sparks of brown light whenever it faced the sunbeams. I remember everything about my father. This coat is an entrance to the unknown world. It has shamanic powers. I cannot write more. I want to stop. If I don’t, I will continue writing for days. I want to stop because the spell is broken by the morning adhan. I want to stop because the new dawn is about to sprout. I have a lot of chores to do. I will write again after some time, after some days or maybe after some years about the marital coat of my dad.
The writer can be reached at [email protected].