Somedays, my thoughts lead me to a faraway land—a land that stretches in the vast depths of my imagination and perhaps, in the realm of memories from the past, a world that is miles away from my current reality.
As if in an endless procession, I can see the many familiar faces that once were a part of my life, and I can almost hear their voices, their mannerisms, the tone in which they spoke, their choice of words, their gait, the smiles and the words that came from them, once upon a time. And, there are so many faces that keep coming, that I lose count of them.
I often chide myself for my failing memory these days, but strangely, the memories from the past are strikingly clear. I don’t seem to forget how the voices sound.
Often, when I’m alone, spending a few quiet moments to myself, I imagine my phone ringing and the very warm familiar voice at the other end, calling out my name and asking me how I’m doing. It’s been very long since we last spoke, I say.
And then, there is silence.
I’d love to imagine a conversation that continues from there but as it happens, there is an unmistakable silence at both ends.
Old conversations play in a loop, within the mind. Things that were said, words that were uttered. Then, there are flashes of memories buried from years ago, a million happy ones, and sad ones and even some difficult conversations; some, bringing with them a torrent of related memories…the mind turns out to be a magical repository of events, people, faces, things and feelings. A mish-mash of all of that, as well, sometimes.
The rush of emotion chokes me at times. My eyes well up to hear the familiar voice once more. I think of the conversation between us that never happened. There were so many things that were left unsaid before the final goodbye.
On days when I feel overwhelmed with sadness, my diary bears my thoughts and all that I would have wished to convey to him. They take the shape of little notes here and there. I hope they reach him someday. Maybe, he is around and can see the pain and distress that I carry within myself always.
Over and above everything, I know his presence will always be there in my life. And despite our differences and all the disagreements we had over the years, I know that he always loved me dearly and that one thought has always given me the strength when I need it the most.
I often glance at the contacts’ list on my phone when Baba’s latest phone number shows up. There are days when I wish to call his number just so I could hear his voice once more.
It’s been two years since Dad left us, and yet every day, I hear his voice inside my head, talking to me, reassuring me, at times, and reminding me that I’m a fighter and that I must never quit. His voice is sharp and clear. Baba’s words resound in my ears. I know that’s what I shall hold on to for now.
Nobody ever comes back from the faraway land. The only way to find them is in our cherished memories!