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The Last Conversation

Tanya was in a spin as she was shuttling between the guest room and the kitchen. Her parents were visiting her after a long time. The last time they visited for barely two days since they were in transit and travelling to another city and then back to their own hometown.

As she straightened the bedsheets,fluffed up the pillows and folded the blankets for the umpteenth time, Tanya smiled at her own excitement. Her eyes teared up thinking about her parents. Every time she sees them, they somehow seem to have aged and shrunk.... They grew older and more vulnerable somehow.... She sighed and thought," I don't want to grow old! I hope I die before I become old.... It's scary to depend on anyone...."

Daddy was a retired war veteran, always careful about diet and exercise. He never missed his walk or his medicines! He never binged and followed a strict diet. He also ensured that mummy eats her food and medicines on time. They cared for each other.

Tanya had spent a lot of time preparing and cooking her father's favourite lauki kofta and dal fry exactly the way he liked it. Her parents would be amazed every time they sampled her cooking, because Tanya hardly ever entered the kitchen before she got married! Over the years, through trials and errors, she had improved and created her own cooking style.

With her cooking and cleaning done, Tanya went for a quick bath and then put the laundry out to dry. Daddy had called to say they were already in the cab, about half an hour back. So, they would be reaching anytime now.

The sound of a car honking made Tanya rush to the gate. It was them! After some hugs and kisses, they all came inside. Though it was November, this place wasn't too cold! Winters were comfortable here!

Tanya made tea for the 3 of them while her parents freshened up. They caught up with the latest about relations back home as they had tea. There was still a long time for lunch, her parents decided to take a nap since they had taken an early flight which tired them out.

Looking at the time, Tanya thought she could use a nap too! When hubby and kids return for lunch, it will be hectic again. She set the alarm and slept.

Her parents were with her for a week this time. She always wished they would stay longer but it didn't really work out! The week passed by so quickly that Tanya found herself waving out to them as they left for the airport to catch the return flight.

Tanya sat and cried for about an hour, thinking about how a girl's life totally changes after marriage! Not that she was unhappy with her life..... She had a loving husband and two adorable kids but she missed spending time with her parents.... The last time she went to her hometown was probably 2 years back!

So, it was back to phone calls and video chatting! There was a fixed time in the morning when Tanya would call her parents after all her work was over. Being an early riser, by 10, Tanya's housework was over.

It's been more than a month since her parents had visited. Tanya called her mother but she didn't pick up. She called her father, who was in the market and said he would call back once he is home. After about an hour, she finally got to speak to both of them. After their usual conversation, they hung up.

Next morning, Tanya called her mother at the usual time, but she didn't pick up the phone. She tried her father's number with same result. She thought about trying again after a while.

Tanya had almost fallen asleep when her phone rang. It was from her mother. She took the call and cheerfully said," Hi Ma!" She heard her mother almost whispering at the other end," Tanya, he is gone..... Daddy is no more..." and she burst into tears.

The phone fell from Tanya's hands as she sat like a statue, tears flowing non stop.... She couldn't believe it! She replayed in her head, yesterday's conversation with her dad. Who knew it was her last conversation with him......

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