My Father, Brojendro Oinam, expired on March 22, 2005. He was born on February 13, 1953. He is survived by his three sons and a daughter.

About a week back, I received calls from home that he was taken to a hospital and was in a bad shape. Later, I got further information that he was recuperating after couple of intermittent coma that overtook him. While I was still preparing to go down there, somewhere late in evening of March 22, 2005, his condition worsen suddenly and succumb to his illness.

Though he was never a man who excel in anything, he will be best remembered as somebody from whom we learn not to make mistakes in life. When he was alive, when we were with him (which were always rare occassions), he himself made sure that we do not fall in his footsteps, but instead become better persons in life. I am sure, we all learnt from his mistakes, and he was proud that all his sons and daughter are more competitive and rebellious enough to survive on their own in this harse world. We were not the best, but were good enough in our own rights.

He was a man who would rather keep his sorrows to himself, rather be silent about his un-happiness, be shun away from the world than bringing up his hardship to anybody near or dear. In time of happiness, he would eventually share with us. Though a concerned father, he was helpless enough not to be able to do much for his kids. But he was rather more of a practical man, who would teach us to be practical than to crave for things that are just fantasies.

One of his most commendable deed, which I realized at a much later stage in life, was during the time when our mother left us all for somebody else. We were all very young, I was still in third grade and our youngest sister was in the earliest phase of her life. As agreed by elders and relatives, she was deported to our Mother while the three of us remains home. Our Father who was away at that time, came to know of the whole situation, took the drastic step of separating his very young daughter from her mother and unite all the kids.

I can still remember one of his best lines, which comes out only when he is drunk (it was rather frequent anyway), that "Your cleverness will never surpass my foolishness". I converted that to my own idiom and love to follow the same; "Never understimate your opponent, nobody is foolish."

I am sure there are more hardships in this world than ours. But then, eventually, those days, the events, the situations sowed the seed for my lost of trust in womankind, the perspective of looking at anything from dark shade first, of not believing in people that easily, the inability to trust in relationships, a restless fear of failures and the worst of all; of not feeling remorse for anything that goes bad. I can feel the similar feeling in all his kids; always ready to accept fate at all its scary versions.

I was one of the most timid kid among all brothers, sisters, relatives, cousins but I could vividly remember that those days when the family broke apart, I was transformed to become so hard hearted, I stop crying, stop believing in ghost stories, scary myths. I could remember myself trying to cry when my grandmother expired but fail to do so, inspite of the fact that even on the last day of her life, I was the only one whom she specifically left aside foods, which was the usual super that I have when I returned from school.

At this moment while I am writing this, I could feel the uneasy feeling of sadness, regret tormenting inside my heart, but I can keep it wrap and not let it burst. May be that is what I learnt from him, may be that is what I am suppose to do, may be that is what he would have want me to do, embracing solitude as your most trusted companion at anytime.

Though I regret my absense at the time of his demise, I am glad that he was a much proud man during the later part of his life. Proud of his kids, who are doing good in life and are no longer dependent on anybody like him. Would like to thank him for inducing in us the never-give-up attitude, for showing us how to take every stride on our own, braving the worst of situations and most important of all, making us feel that "You have to face the world alone, lose or win alone. Hide the sorrows and share the happiness. Keep the bad and give away the good. Smile but don't be disillusioned by it."