“With every sigh of my weakened pulse, my will is gaining strength! I do not wish to die!”
Curiosity struck me hard! I have always revered how a single word can instil life into millions of latent ideas. So versatile that a mere change in the outlook, changes the consequences. As I read the above line, the first reflection was that of a mountaineer confronting the odds on the Everest; the second was that of the soldier wounded in the battlefield and the third, perhaps the most dramatic of these, was that of a Romeo fighting to earn a life with his love. A combination of mere words you see and the imagination takes off.
Three minutes and counting, and I were yet on the first line. As the chain of such vast exploration broke free, guilt embraced me for being non-solicitous. It was the funeral of my friends’ mother and the above line, that of the last letter of the lady I personally had met once or twice. Considering his eyes urging to read on, I continued.
“I am frightened of death, as I see it close. It leaves me sleepless, unsettled and all I crave then is for your love. The degrading body does not bother me, son, for the sand it is made of must return to its land someday. But what pricks this heart is the end of your childhood memories that have sustained me so long. I am a mother after all and the death of your memories is too much a burden to bear! ”
The aura so liberate till now became tensed. I was caught in a seam. No imagination, no expectations, it was an introduction to the unknown and my mind fell numb to the process.
“I wish to sleep in your lap, as you slept on mine as a child. Sing me some lullaby and no noise of surgery will scare me. Feed me with your hands and no death will consume me. You may scold me if I walk bare foot, for I will be your child then. And I will rain my tears in your love, on reaching heaven. Be with me, my child.”
Speechless I sat for a moment. As said, I had personally met her just once or twice. But the charisma of her persona was modest enough to reflect even then. She was a strong woman, a tigress I should say. So vigorously she fought her fate of being an orphan and a single-mother that the society could not but accept her worth. She was the one of her kind I had ever met. But what reduced her undaunted valour was the question left unanswered…
“Many-a-times it crosses my mind, whether guilt is what is maintaining the distance? If that is so, be satisfied. I don’t hate you for leaving me alone in the old-age home. You might have many prior duties I understand. At least you did not leave me on the streets, at least I am not begging for my bread! You are grown enough anyhow, to think good for both of us. You are my child, my blood, what you decide, I obey! Come back to me! And I wish no other possession. A mistake, is it?”
My eyes chased that of my friends’, certainly searching for the answer that lady had put forth. But what gripped me stronger was the truth that I was his partner-in-crime. The idea of starting a venture abroad was my brain-child and his empathy towards his mother implemented it. I surely did not drop any suggestion of abandoning that lady, but then I did not even stop him doing so. Had I considered it out of humanity than it being their personal matter, no mother would have borne such a brunt. What I am left with now is guilt to carry to my death-bed.
“My eyes would not stop nurturing hope, not until it closes for eternity. I wish to clear all doubts, I wish to make you believe that I still love you. Things can be normal again, probably better. Nothing has gone that worse if you believe. Lets give it a try, perhaps for one last time…
Despondence embraced me for long. By far it was too late. That soul had departed with the last wish in vain. Not only was I responsible for every tear of his mother, but I was guilty of not guiding him as a friend despite of being capable of. We exchanged glance, my friend and I, partially apologizing for it all.
Suddenly the cloud of silence busted and he uttered, “Do you think this last letter is enough to claim her property? That old woman never did tell me we have a land in the rural side. And since she was taken care of by the caretakers of the old-age home, they are claiming some financial gain out of it. So, what do you think?”
What I thought? I thought of how avaricious this son could be. I thought of that woman who deserved better than him. Above all, I thought of my ill fate of being his friend. At that very moment, my apology transfigured to anger but I could do no better than abandoning his company, as he did of his mother.
It was a time then that relations were bestowed precedence, it is a time now that materialistic gain encompasses the world. Human connections have become so vulnerable that no love can suffice. Irony, we call it the GOLDEN CENTURY!
About The Author
A writer by choice, I find solace in classics, music and painting. I believe that writing can speak louder than actions and so it has been the driving force ever since.