Monday, April 6, 2020

Dangling Conversations ( Sunday, 5th April 2020)

500 words (exactly!) inspired in any manner you choose by the "Dangling Conversation".
Tagging Mathangi KrishGouri DangeParomita VohraVeena Mani

Dangling Conversations
Our non-dangling conversations are usually absolutely ridiculous. The spouse and I can argue about nonsense with complete, rapt attention. Case in point: he was lying down for a post prandial nap, and wanted his dohar (coverlet) which I offered to give him as I was getting up anyway to write this. Which reminded me that last night he tried stealing my dohar off of me, (which I foolishly insisted on telling him). I was awake enough to get out of bed, pick up his dohar from near his feet, cover him, and go back to sleep, with my dohar firmly in place. Since all this happened while he was asleep, he could resort to stout denial and outright fibs. The more inane it is, the more likely we are to have a conversation that is not left dangling in mid-air. Much of the time our conversations proceed on parallel tracks, which are sometimes made to meet. When an answer is urgently required, much attention seeking/grabbing behaviour is required. Yes, life chez nous is a circus.
I used to have proper conversations with my father, especially when my parents were living with us, especially at lunch time. Sharing books with him was always a pleasure, and we would have wonderful conversations courtesy Leila Seth (On Balance), Ira Pande (Diddi), and the irrepressible Sheila Dhar (Here’s Someone I’d Like You To Meet), and others. The occasional visitors, especially those of our friends whom my parents hadn’t met before) were fodder for many discussions too, with Dad being interested in all their biographical details. In the almost ten years since he left us, there is so much that I have wanted to share with my father. Books, movies, theatre, dance, countries and cities visited, my grandchildren and their antics, my frequent angst with the world as it is and has been, so much that we would have discussed. My last conversation with him took place some minutes before he passed away. He wanted me to take him outside, out of the room where he had been bedridden for some months. I promised that we would take him out in the morning, when the driver came. Arun would be able to pick him up. He did, the next morning, only to lay him out on the living room floor.
When the spouse asked me where I would like to go, soon after Dad left us (my mother had passed away less than three months before him) I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Bhutan was where I wanted to go. It was a country which my father had visited a couple of times with his boss, a country where his cousin had lived for a few years on a government posting, a country that was part of family lore. It lived up to every expectation, and was utterly beautiful, but like so many other, subsequent trips to so many other places, it remains in my mind as part of a dangling conversation with my father.Dangling Conversations

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