By : Hani Baloch
The author is the daughter of missing social worker and publisher Abdul Wahid Baloch. He was known as ‘comrade’ and attended many protest rallies and hunger strikes held by Baloch activists and fishermen for missing persons.
Papa always took me with him to Regal Chowk to buy books on Sundays.
I woke up early this Sunday to go. I have always waited for these mornings and went to wake Papa up but he was not there. The next Sunday, I went to wake him up, but he was ‘missing’.
Papa, many Sundays have passed since the 26th of July when you went missing, but I am not ready to accept that you are gone.
I have never missed someone so much. I have never felt like this before. I am so worried about you, I feel sick. It’s unbearable. Do you know how hard every single minute has been without you? How much we need you?
I miss your hand on my shoulder, comforting me when I felt scared and powerless. I need your hand. I pray that it will remain with me forever because you are my strength.
But you are missing.
Papa I’m sorry I didn’t thank you enough for all you did for me.
Thank you for being the best teacher, the best mentor and the best friend I’ve ever had. I know I haven’t been a good daughter, but you have always been the best father.
When I was a child I suffered from asthma; it was your love and care that cured me. Today you finally need me, but I am helpless. I keep seeing you, scared in some unknown location. But I can’t find you. I can’t save you. I’ve done nothing to help you Papa and I’m so sorry. I am helpless.
Whenever I cried, you were there to wipe my tears Papa. Where are you now?
I’m listening to Mama crying. Your little, sweet Maikan has stopped going to school. In a billion silent ways I close my eyes and speak to you. You are the bestest father in the entire world. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m unable to help you.
Papa, I know you have a big heart and you’re quick to forgive those people who were unkind to you and even those people who were jealous of you and talked ill of you. Please forgive me too because I can’t forgive myself.
I imagine you are in pain. I’d give anything for your safe recovery. If I can find you, I will never let you go again. Even now I feel you watching over me. But I don’t know what to do. I’m alone. I miss you. I’m sorry.
Papa, everyone is remembering you, but remembering is painful.
You taught me everything except how to live without you. When my finger got cut; when I had an unbearable headache that one night; you were there for me. Thank you for the care and love and those happy moments you’ve given me, but it is so hard to move on.
Papa, you could take away all my pain and sorrow with just your words. But now you are alone, and I don’t know how find you.
I am the worst daughter a father can have because I am helpless to help you. You always called me your brave princess, but I am not your brave daughter. You are the father who raised this child with all your love and support. But your Hani is useless Papa. She isn’t able to do anything for you.
Please forgive me.
First published in Dawn