“Those 17 Missed Calls Still Haunt Me”: The Last Conversation With My Mother

Oct 07, 2015

The last time my phone beeped with ‘mommy’ calling was on 22nd October 2012. She had a habit of calling me every morning, afternoon & evening. We would talk for a minute or two each time. Sometimes she would call me continuously, if I didn't answer.


That night, I tried to sleep, failing miserably. After tossing and turning a while, I called home. My mother answered and was taken aback since it was unusual of me to call.

She was the one who called, always. She thought something went wrong with me, I pacified her and told her that there was no electricity, and I couldn’t sleep.


Missing Home

I told her I was bored and missing home. That was it, she broke down and started crying, asking me to come home as it had been five months since I saw her last. I was not the most expressive daughter, so the fact that I said that I was missing home made her cry.

The moment I hung up my phone’s battery died, and I couldn’t charge it. The next morning, I couldn’t get over my thought from the previous night, I felt I had committed a sin.


A Call Home

Around afternoon, I started worrying that I need to call my mother otherwise she would panic, considering my phone was off all day. I used a neighbour's phone to call her. I called her again and again, no answer.

Bad News

That moment I got a call from my brother, he was crying, and I knew something had gone horribly wrong. He told me I had to take the next flight and come back to Punjab, and that mother had met with an accident, she was in a coma.

The Final Call

The phone beeped with a message. I opened it. It was from Airtel. 17 missed calls from my mother. Till today, three years later, those 17 missed calls haunt me. What would she have wanted to say, that she called me 17 times?

I resent myself for never expressing how much I loved her, what she meant to me, how I would give my life thousand times over just to hear that warm voice again, to hug her, to hear her call me “beta”.