Thursday, 21 May 2009

Dont keep me waiting...

He woke up with a sudden jerk.
Beads of sweat lined his forehead.
He felt weak and almost devoid of strength.
He looked around the empty room.
He could not see her. He could not hear her.
He tried getting up but in vain. He seemed to have lost control over his limbs.
He tried calling out for help. His vocal chords felt heavy, as if coated with a thick spider’s web.
After a lot of effort, he felt them reverberating. The only outcome however was a feeble moan.
He collapsed on the bed, barely able to breathe.
He could only think of one thing...her.

She had gotten up early that morning.
Crisp rays of the sun entered through the gaps between the blinds. She felt good about the morning.
She looked at him sleeping. He lay there a child – innocent and carefree.
He was wearing his favourite blue kurta. She remembered how it used to fit him so well, not too long ago. He had become very frail.
She went back in time all of a sudden. She remembered herself taunting him with songs about how unlucky she felt to be blessed with an old man! How he would fume and fret at the song!
She came back to reality laughing. A joyful tear rolled down her cheek.
She decided not to disturb him.

He wondered where she could have gone. She hadn’t mentioned anything to him last night.
He tried looking for the phone. He wanted to turn his head. It took him what seemed like hours to turn it to the right. He could see the phone lying to his right. He tried reaching for it. His hands barely moved.
He broke into a sweat.
His kurta was drenched in no time. His balding head glistened with silver drops on them. He felt uneasy. He felt breathless.
He could only think of one thing...her.

She had resisted jumping onto him twice! She loved doing that. She loved how he’d get up cursing at first and then he would hold her in his arms and just look into her eyes.
But not today. She din’t want to wake him up. He looked so peaceful.
She wanted to have more than her smile for him when he woke up this morning.
She was going to bake him his favourite cake. It would be his most memorable birthday ever.
She left the room silently.
She hurried into the kitchen and started collecting the required ingredients.
She grimaced when she realised she would have to make a trip to the supermarket .
She found her car keys and tip toed out of the house.

He felt a piercing pain in his body. His chest became numb. His heart beats started slowing down.
He felt he was going to succumb to the pain today.
He needed her more than ever before now.
He wished. He prayed. He wanted her to come to him right now.
Suddenly something knocked the wind out of him. He felt like he’d been hit by a speeding train.
He fell back in bed. His head fell to the left side.
He could only think of one thing...her.

Their regular supermarket was shut. It was a Sunday!
She laughed at her luck.
She started the car and decided to drive to the other one across town.
She paused for a second. She thought of him. She missed him.
She picked up her phone to call him and dialled his number.
She dint want to wake him up before his cake was ready. She disconnected.
She called her son instead.
“Baba, what time are you guys reaching?”
“On the way Ma. The kids are so excited! They are dying to play hide and seek with Pa.”
“Dont wake him up till I come. Let yourself in with your keys.”
“Ok Ma. See you”

He was confused.
He could see himself lying upon their bed. Lifeless.
He looked at himself. He was puzzled. He thought he was dreaming.
He felt something hit him again. He cried out in pain.
He felt himself being hurled up into the air. A powerful force propelled him into the sky.
He was sure he was dreaming.
He could see his inanimate body. It was still on their bed, far, far below.
He started screaming.
Air rushed past him. He was moving against gravity...and at break neck speed.
He remembered when he had dreams about this as a kid. He would wake up screaming. He would be sweaty and scared.
He wanted to wake up so badly.

She reached the supermarket and parked at a convenient spot.
She dashed in.
Multi Grain Bread...
Her cell phone rang out.
It was her son.
“Ma. Come quick. Somethings happened to Pa.”

He started to fall towards the ground.
He could feel a searing pain rip through his body. He did not know where it originated.
He did not know what it was.
He prayed for her to jump upon him and wake him up. Like she did every morning.
He prayed for her to do it right now.
He prayed in vain.
As he came close to terra firma, he braced himself for the fall.
He landed with an uncomfortable thud.
It was dark.
A chill ran down his spine.
The intensity of the pain multiplied manifold.
He couldn’t help screaming out aloud.
The only word that erupted from his mouth was her name.

She drove as fast as she could.
She could not understand what the problem was. Why didn’t her son just tell her what was happening.
Suddenly she realised it was all a joke.
He had probably woken up and was playing a prank on her.
She would scream at him.
She would teach him a lesson.
She wouldn’t wish him at all.
She would just sit in anger and let him make things up to her all day.
She still drove as fast as she could.
She let out a silent prayer.

He was engulfed in darkness.
He could not breathe.
He was in severe pain.
He wanted to wake up.
Suddenly something started eating into him.
His body was dissolving into the mud.
He was turning to dust.

She entered the house.
She was livid.
She saw her son’s face.
It was pale. He looked like he had seen a ghost.
She felt her worst fears coming to life.
Something had happened to him for real.
She ran into their room.
He was lying dead on their bed.
She screamed his name out aloud.
She was on the bed in no time.
She called out his name.
She pulled his hair.
She slapped his face.
She beat his chest.
She shouted.
She screamed.
Tears fell from her eyes.
She should have woken him up that morning.
She remembered a promise she had made to him a long time ago...
She picked his head off the pillow and took it in her arms.
She bent lower and covered his face with her hair.

Suddenly, almost as if by magic, a ray of light pierced the darkness and fell on the ground around him. Almost immediately another followed. And then another.
As the sun’s rays hit the muddy ground, he saw flowers blooming.
As the rays travelled towards him, warmth returned to him. The pain reduced.
Soon it was bright and sunny.
Birds chirped around him.
Flowers bloomed wherever the eye could see.
He could hear chortles of laughter.
He could feel his body parts. He could move.
His body lifted off the ground.
He opened his eyes...
He was in her arms! Her hair covering his face...

“You remembered your promise!” he said with all his strength.
“How could I forget?” she said smiling.
“I have to go."
“I won’t let you go.”
He smiled. His face looked so happy.
“Don’t keep me waiting....”
He shut his eyes for one last time.

1 comment:

Sambit said...

hmmm... lil queasy for me :) but breaking the whole thing into parts was creative