"A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life"
- R.K. Narayan




They had done so many journeys together - long car journeys of fun and frolic - but today was so different. There was no song or dance, no jollying or teasing, there was only a solemn silence. It was indeed such an occasion; their adorable daughter was flying abroad and they were all - the family of three: parents-in-love and adorable daughter - going to drop her for her flight. The same car that was filled with the scent of good memories, today smelt of moroseness. The parents cast distressful looks at their daughter in the backseat, but she returned none of that sadness. She just sat there silent and expression-less.
 
With such an attitude, they doubted if she would keep in touch. Oh! what a repayment for all the love they had showered on her!
 
It did not dishearten the parents to see their child go away. They knew it was one of the laws of Nature. Every bird leaves its nest someday. It has to, else what use were those wings? And, isn't that what they did to their parents too? When they got married and settled down in this country, they had bid farewell to their parents too. The cycle of life: what goes around, comes around. Today, they realized the anguish that their parents must have been through. And their hearts bled and guts wrenched.. Both wanted to shed tears but they stopped short. They did not want to create any bad omen for their daughter on such an important journey of hers.
 
When the time to bid farewell has come, and there is no turning around, it was always good to do it with a smile.
 
Yet that smile failed to reach their face, it was interrupted by the worry if their daughter would keep in touch at all.
 
As they drove, they silently vexed over how their daughter would survive without their care and support. They had read about the challenges faced by kids who stayed away from parents. The financial issues, bad friendship, sharing room to save rent, undisciplined food habits and, then, drugs and stuff! They wished they could go with their daughter. At least they prayed God would take care of her.
 
They prayed she would keep in touch... but the kind of carefree kids that today's youngsters are, they doubted if she would even think of them. In that new world, she would find many new things to distract her, strange forces that would cling to her bosom and suck her love. Maybe some new love that would completely replace them in her heart. They wanted to tell her how much they would miss her, and that they would eagerly wait for her call. But they doubted if she would keep in touch.
 
Finally, after a short silent drive, they stopped. Their destination had arrived. They parked the car under the tree, looked at each other and cried. Their daughter still sat there, in the backseat, with no sound or sign. Then they got out of the car, picked their daughter up from the seat, carried her to the river and scattered her ashes into the water.
 
They held hands and cried as their daughter took her flight, with the forces of Nature, into a world that lay far beyond. She did not turn back... they doubted if she would ever keep in touch.
 
 
 
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