Second Dad

Ankita was the apple of her eye. For Ankita her dad meant everything . She loved him the most. She  was the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Mehra. Mr Mehra used to love Ankita very much. Ankita was working in a MNC. She was in a different city. He used to call her every day.  Mrs. Mehra asked him one day “ How are you going to send to her in laws home”. Mr Mehra said “ She will always be my little girl”.

Soon the day arrived. Ankita’s marriage was fixed.Vikram was a decent boy. He used to work in the same office as of Ankita. Vikram was the only son of Mr Sharma. Mr Sharma’s wife expired when Vikram was studying. Mr Sharma was both mother and father to Vikram. Once the marriage was fixed Ankita used to call Mr sharma daily. She used to call him Uncle. Ankita’s marriage was only week from now. Ankita’s mother came and said “Ankita did you call  Papaji”. Ankita said “Papaji oh Vikram’s dad I couldn’t call Uncle today.”

Her mother interrupted “You should start calling him Papa or Papaji ” . Ankita said “How can I call him Papa ” . My Papa is here. But dear After marriage he will be your dad too. Ankita was still not convinced.

Soon she got married. Vikram was a very good life partner. She knew Vikram loved his dad the most. Like a good daughter in law she started taking care of him. It was a weekend Ankita got up little late. Mr Sharma got up early.  It was 8.30 a.m . He was reading a newspaper when she got up. She said “Sorry Uncle I am late today. I will go and make tea for you”. He said “I have already made two cups of tea one for you and one for me . Come let’s have tea.”  She looked at him in surprise . He said “Why can’t a father make tea for her daughter.” She was happy and remembered her Papa who used to pamper her . Today for the first time she saw her father in Mr. Sharma. She said “Tea is very nice Papaji”. Mr Sharma looked at her and said  “Its sounds so good when you call Papaji”.

Next day He told Vikram “Ankita started calling me Papaji. I am so happy  Vicky”. Vikram could see the happiness in his eyes. Vikram and Ankita were in office . He went to her cubicle and said  “Let’s go out for Lunch today”. But I have packed lunch for both of us.  “Come on we will have that in dinner. Lets go out.” He took Ankita to her favourite restaurant . “Hey this is the same place where you proposed me she said.” You know that I am very close to my dad. He is both mother and father to me . I always had a fear that after my marriage will my wife treat him as her own dad . But you know today he is very happy as you have called him “Papaji”. Ankita smiled at him. She thought “Yes I respect him . I will take care of him as he is Vikram’s dad. But will I ever love him like I love my Papa”.

Slowly the days passed by Ankita got busy with her new responsibilities.  One day Ankita forgot to put salt in Vegetable. During her lunch time as she took the first bite she immediately called her father in law and said “I am so sorry Papaji today I forgot to put salt in curry as I was in hurry. He said “It’s O.K I will add salt and eat. Don’t worry about these small things.” She thought I am so lucky that he is so understanding. One day She was very sad because she had argument with Vikram. He was not talking to her. Mr Sharma sensed that “Something is not right.”As soon as Vikram came he called him and asked Ankita to make tea. Ankita went in to kitchen. He said to Vikram “ You know Vicky after your mother was gone I used to think that this house has lost its happiness. But after you got married Ankita has bought back the happiness in the house. Have you ever thought how much she does for us. I am able to see how she is trying to adjust between house hold works and office responsibility. I cannot see her sad. Did you fight with her”.  Has she said anything to you Vikram asked. He said  “She will never say anything  to me as I am your Dad.” But I get to know by seeing her face. She was listening all this from Kitchen and thought How could he understand . I have not said anything . Only my Papa could understand by looking at me whenever I was sad.

Ankita was pregnant. It was the seventh month of her pregnancy. Both Vikram and Mr sharma tried to make her comfortable. Mr Sharma called Ankita’s mom and said “She needs her mother during this time. Please come and stay here for few days. After the delivery We will send her to your place as you can take care of her and baby in a better way.” Ankita gave birth to a baby girl. Ankita’s parents,Vikram and Mr Sharma all were happy with the arrival of little princess . When Ankita was going to her mom’s place. She had tears in her eyes. She thought I am going to my home but still I am feeling sad.

At her home Ankita was feeling happy but was constantly worried for her father in law. She used to call Vikram and remind him about his father in law’s hospital visits, medicines, food etc. He told her “You just enjoy there. I will take care of him in  a nice way.” Her mother and father noticed the change.  His father said “Ankita I have started to feel jealous of your Papaji. You have really become his daughter .” Ankita said “I am your daughter by birth but became his by destiny. I am really lucky to have two Dads who love me so much”.

Ankita was giving bath to her little baby. Her phone rang. She asked her mother to pick up the call. It was Vikram on the other end. He was crying . She asked “What happened Vikram . Why are you crying Beta .” Ankita came running from bathroom. He said “Dad is in hospital. He has suffered from cardiac arrest. ” Ankita was crying like a baby after listening to the news. She said take me to Papa please. I want to be near him. His father immediately booked the flight tickets for Mumbai . They reached Mumbai. Ankita went near to Mr Sharma and said “You didn’t take care of yourself . Papa you have to get well soon to take care of your Pari.” Mr Sharma smiled at her and said “Nothing will happen to me . Ankita’s dad was standing at the other end and had tears in his eyes . Mr Sharma thanked her dad for giving him such a lovely daughter.  With tears in eyes Finally Ankita admitted to herself  “Yes I have found my second dad.”

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