Bhupal Sapkota

Kathmandu:

I turned 18 on May 1. Like any other teenager I lived through happiness, love, enjoying life with my friends. My grandfather looked after me while he was with us. He cared and gave advice but everything sort of finished when he left me alone last year. Grandpa, are you listening to me? I am alone! Completely! Please come back. I need you. When grandpa was with us I felt that life was so interesting. I never felt the need for parents, grandpa never let me. He was my guardian, my teacher, my friend. He was my everything. When I cried, he cried with me softly asking what the matter was and telling me not to worry. Many a time I

fell asleep listening to his voice, “Life is a struggle. No one knows tomorrow. You should never study for yourself, study for the country and the world. Everyone in this world will die one day but live in such a way that when you die, every one will miss you and cry for you. Be the best person in the world....” He gave me such enthusiasm and encouragement, I felt that nothing was impossible. I will surely be “The Best Person” grandpa but when you left, my heart broke. I cried, cried... and am still crying.

I have everything but I feel like I have nothing. I am alone. My parents buy me all that I want but I need what they have not given — their love and affection. I need your priceless love grandpa. dad, mom — grandpa never let me feel your need but now I am alone, blank and hopeless. I want you, your love, your affection. I want you to understand me, my heart, my feelings. I need a person to cry with me in my pain and laugh with me in my happiness. I need somebody who loves me. Papa, I need Grandpa. Can’t you be him, Papa? People say that no one understands a child more than his parents. When I speak why do you tell me that I am a child and therefore must not speak back? When you talk to me like that dad, I am hurt. Parents think that because they brought us into this world, they should make us good people and we should strictly follow whatever they say.

You don’t understand me. You treat me like an object. dad, I have a mind of my own, feelings, thoughts, wishes. I feel for you, for me, for the world. I think of the future also and I want to be “The Best Person”. Will you for once feel for me? You have never in my life talked with me but always for me. I need a dad to talk with me, I need a friendly dad. I need grandpa. Grandpa tried to understand me as a person. Grandpa was my “Best Person”. He talked with me and not for me. He asked how I felt about things and what I thought.

I spent my days and nights this year thinking of my relationship with you dad after grandpa passed away. I talked to my friends and brothers. I asked them how I could bridge the gap but they told me, “It is not just you. We face the same problem”. Some waved it off as “Just a generation gap”.

I don’t agree. Grandpa was 78 years old and I was 17. I do not have the words to tell you how strong our relationship was. I have thought of the relationships in my life — grandpa and I, dad and I and mom and I. My relationship with grandpa was real but with my parents it is just a formality. I think I have found the problem between us — communication gap. Grandpa and I could talk for six to seven hours straight in one day. He would tell of the days of his youth and crack jokes. There was nothing we didn’t tell each other. We were closest of friends.

When I look at you dad, I need time to find a topic we can talk about. It took me 12 hours to find the answer but soon it was supper time. That was enough for the day you thought but I need more dad, I want more of you here with me. The communication gap has changed my daily routine. I cry for hours comparing you and grandpa. Every night I pray that my dad will be more like grandpa. When I tried to talk to you in the morning, you had already left for your morning walk. I go to college during the day. In the evening, you come home from office with a tired face and after supper, retire directly to bed. I tried many a times but have never been able to look you in the eyes.

I fear that I may be mistaken and try to follow my heart. dad, all I want you to do is talk to me like grandpa did. mom, I need your affection. Please talk to me. Let us remove this communciation gap, this widening rift. I hope you are reading this paper dad. I’m writing this to you on my 18th birthday. The best gift that I could ever receive from you is your love. dad, mom, I need you. I need you to tell me you love me. I want you to know I love you. Holding my heart in my hands, I hope we will be able to make a positive move.