The last three months have been a breeze; some cool swifts and some hot afternoon blows. My parents arrived on May 28th, after a long three year wait. I kept coaxing them to come while I was not working but that didn't happen. I was just glad they were here. Eight days later my grandmother, who had been in and out of the hospital since February, passed away. My dear old grandmother, with whom I spent a huge part of my childhood, went away quietly; leaving me on the threshold of reality and illusion. My mother did not show it but I knew she was shattered within. Days rolled by, fast and slow. The girls were busy with their summer courses and tennis camp. My parents spent time watching movies, my mother cooking, and once we came back from office, with us chatting, playing cards and going for walks. I kept wishing that I am able to spend more time with them , but that not quite happening. Our morning tea-time was the best moments spent together, chatting, papa cracking silly jokes and we planning the day. Then came my older one's 16th birthday. We went out for dinner and friends came with a cake. Her big party still remains in planning. Once their summer courses were done we all set out on a 4,600 mile, 15 day long trip. From Houston we went to Colorado Springs, to Yellowstone, to Salt Lake City, to Bryce and Zion National parks to the western rim of the Grand Canyon where the skywalk was built on a Hulapai Indian reservation in 2007. From there we headed to Las Vegas - an ethereal world of money and glamor for 3 days and then to the charming cities of Santa Fe and Albuquerque before heading back home. We returned two days before my 45th birthday. My mom and my friend had done some meticulous planning for a party on the evening of the 5th. 6 families came and we had catered food with servers. It was fun! I was back to my office routine and rushing back for an afternoon cup of tea to be had with my parents. In the evening we cooked, sat around chatting, went for a walk, or for shopping and then had dinner. Sometimes, we watched a movie on a weekday evening. On August 17th another bit of bad news came, Dr. Gohil, whom I lovingly called Mchacha passed away. It seemed to have happened so suddenly! I had spoken to him before going on my road trip and he did tell me that he had been to the hospital and that the doctor had asked him to take rest. He did not sound as if it was anything serious but he had made a strange request of wanting to chat with me for five more minutes in that conversation. I even said to him that of course, that is not something he needed to request. Little did I know that that would be our last conversation. My dear Mchacha left me to continue music on my own. It was because of him that I had made an effort to learn so many new raagas. Our afternoon practice sessions were leisurely, fun, and full of learning new things. His dedication and love for music were unparalelled. He was such a selfless person, always ready to learn something new. The next two nights I could not sleep thinking about him, his wife, their family. Some people touch you so deeply so unknowlingly. Such is life I guess. Two selfless souls whom I loved so much were gone from my life forever. Never before has the fleeting nature of life touched me so deeply.
After our road trip, there were a mere 15+ days left before my parents return date. The last few days were a rush with shopping and invitations to friends' houses. On the eve of their departure, we went to Baker Street pub for the first time. It was a leisurely place, very quiet around 7 p.m. The ambience was very British pub like and the menu had shepherd's pie and fish and chips on it. It was a lovely evening with a couple of beers, fried cod, sweet potato fries and mashed potatoes. Papa loved the place too. Then we walked in La Centerra for a bit, showed my parents the Central Green there and headed home. Today we left my parents in the early afternoon. I was able to control my tears quite well I will say. In the evening, we sat at home and watched Singham. I had to keep my mind focused elsewhere. There was some office work to be done too. Now, from tomorrow life will go back to what it was three months ago when I was eagerly looking forward to my parents' trip here. Such is the fleeting nature of life. So, someone wise has said "live the moment!"