A Voice from the Faraway Land

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!

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Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—along with VinithaShilpa and Anamika.

7 thoughts

  1. Hugs, dear Esha. I know exactly how you feel. It’s been 10 years since my father left this world. There are days when I get emotional a little too much and I find it hard to accept the reality. There are so many conversations that I want to have with my dad, but all I can do is imagine them in my mind. But I take solace in the fact that he is watching over me and is free of any pains and one day we will meet again.

  2. Hugs, Esha. I too lost my dad almost three years ago. We loved arguing about everything under the sun. He taught me never to take things at face value but look for the hidden meanings in things. He taught me that things we read about or hear around us have both beautiful and ugly connotations and we need to be aware of that. Yet he also taught me that people are fascinating. I have his habit of talking to strangers and having long conversations with the shop keepers and auto drivers.

  3. When I started reading this, I went back to Saltlake and all the memories came back. Not only of Manik Pisho but everyone who lived in that house. Tiki Piishi, Paramesh Pisho, Dadu, Baro Pishi, my parents. How the house used to be full of noises and chattering and gradually the voices are fading one by one. We are now just clinging to the memories of those days and those people. Love you so much and lots of hugs…We have each other’s shoulders to cry on. I am sure you know that I am always there for you.

  4. Hugs, Esha. In this moment, I am not able to find the right words to express how I feel after reading about your emotions. I believe your Baba can hear you and feel your love each time you think of him and communicate with him. Our loved ones who move to the other side are always with us with their unconditional love looking after us and protecting us.

  5. Hugs, Esha. Even though I didn’t have the easiest of relationships with my parents at times, I think of them every day and like you, write to them in my journal. In quiet moments, I often talk to them and tell them that I love them and hope that they are happy and at peace. It’s strange how our loved ones seem so close to us even though they are in the faraway land! As I’m typing this, I have tears rolling down my cheeks – the grief never goes away, does it?

  6. I had a lump in my throat as I read this post and realised how much you must miss your father. Yeah, those who leave for the faraway land, never return. All that we have left of them are their memories. I am sure your father is there somewhere around you, looking after you and praying for you, giving you the strength to go on despite all odds. I think that’s what really gives you the strength to keep going, don’t you?
    Tight hugs, dear Esha!

  7. It’s so difficult, losing a parent. The pain dulls with time, but it never fully goes away. Memory is our only solace – bittersweet moments, things we wish we could have done differently, moments of love that we will never forget. I’m sure your baba is watching over you, telling you just how much he loves you. <3

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