I don’t remember the theme of our conversation, the last time I talked to her. I’m sure the conclusion would have been “study hard and become a good human”. Daadi always summed up like that. But I never knew that would be the last one.
Don’t we all have some conversations that turn into the last, without giving us enough time to figure out how? I believe, yes. I have so many of them. So, I choose to share a few of my most unprecedented last conversations with you. I’m handing you a key to my treasure of memories.
Aarti (not even sure if the spelling is correct) was my first best friend forever, in class 1. People used to have landlines and Nokia cellphones then, and kids weren’t addicts. So, our pre-planned conversations started and ended in the classroom itself. We had a beautiful story behind our friendship that I would storytell at every family gathering, willingly or unwillingly.
It’s weird I don’t even remember her face, not even slightly. Even the most prominent moments with her in my sub-conscious are obscured. I allow my lashes to meet as I imagine the second window-side bench of a large, noisy classroom and backs of two girls chatting nonchalantly. Then, a no-face show makes me anxious and I allow my lashes to detach only to find them wet.
I still wonder what would have been our last conservation- had it been over the school monkey or the troublesome classmate; or did we just make another pinky promise of meeting the next day! I don’t know.
My first barbie doll was gifted to me when I was six. After Aarti, she was a constant for straight 5 years because the continuous change of schools had earned me zero friends. I had named her Mishi (the Indian version of me-she) for every conversation of us, although with a stagnant role, remained between me and she. The new places had so much to offer- new languages, new culture, new people and most importantly new struggles- but Mishi knew it all.
Mishi patiently contained all my rants when my new schools gave me lemons and I hadn’t mastered the recipe for a lemonade. Be it my timely wish to have new parents or throwing my brother in the dustbin, losing my pencil or scoring less- I could cry for hours without being called a cry-baby. Mishi wouldn’t judge me ever. Life was bitter-sweetly beautiful then.
I realise now that I only complained, because for my happy stories I had the dinner table and the people around it. We humans love escaping reality, I’m no different.
I’m clueless about the last complaint I confided in her.
I consider myself lucky enough to have witnessed my great grandfather living. Being the first child of the family, I’d claimed the right of naming him Baba. I could only visit him in summers, and vacations were serene, mainly because of him. The days begun with Ramcharitmaanas and baba’s masala chai with AIR Samachar, and ended with the historical (or mythological as one would say but baba) tales and stargazing. None of that seemed so valuable then, not even Baba let alone the stars, stories and masala chai.
What could have been my last conversation with him. Was it a shloka recitation or a breathless poetry containing the names of all Indian rivers, or did baba sing his favourite’ bhajan’ and cleverly elucidated the meaning of life to me? I do not know, or lets just say I don’t want to.
I just want to gather all the memories but never know which one marks the end of our conversations.
And conversations may end but what remains etched is an epitome of survival!
© Akanksha Sharma ‘Chetna’
2 thoughts on “Unexpected Last Conversations”
This is something absolutely amazing!
Lots of love to you akanksha ❤️
Means so much, Thankyou Sakshi❤️