Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Visit

She enters the reception area, and there’s a hush…… or so it seems to her. She gets conscious of her being there…. ALONE...The air goes stifling, and she finds herself choking on her words. She is not able to mutter three simple words….. “Dr. A, Please!” She is given her visitor number and told to be seated.

She crosses the room full of some 30 odd couples, and drags her feet to the farthest of the bench. Sitting on the cold and hard chair, she wonders why doctors have the most uncomfortable pieces of furniture, in their lounge. These are so uninviting and so cold. She reflects that all these people have one thing in common- a shared dream; they have each other with them. But to her dismay, she doesn’t… She sees one or two furtive glances, hears whispers and tries to be indifferent, but she fails.

“ ‘Ibi’, you there……….I guess the doc would answer that…….. I believe today is not such a bad day after all. The sky is clear, the air is crisp and strangely sweet… but why is it sweet!...…. Is it a sign to let me know that you are finally here?........ There hasn’t been much to do in your absence… no booboos to kiss away… no friends to discuss… no swimming or piano lessons… no soccer matches to cheer…”

She warms me but her stance is a bit disturbing. She tries to be invisible, she tries to melt away in oblivion, but people can’t help but notice her. They can’t help: seeing her plight, her nervousness, her being alone and knowingly or unknowingly they make her shift in her seat. This is one perspective while the other holds true as I believe. They can’t help but notice: her confidence, her maturity, her level headedness, the way she conducts herself. This mindless subterfuge… seems to have a mind of its own.

She hears her name being called. She gets up and walks to the counter. The woman asks her to follow and she does. She’s told to get dressed in a generic mass produced blue paper gown. She gets dressed and then is told to lie down on the worktable. Lying down on the cold table she postulates on her theory of Doctors & the Uncomfortable pieces of seating fixtures.
“ ‘Ibi’, it seems your volition will outlive my own… The decision that you’ve contributed to makes no sense to me at all…” She sees the doctor enter. A few exchanges later, her body convulses, and she gears up for what has to follow. With her legs wide apart, and a probe inside her, she struggles with her breath. “… everything’s going to be ok… just don’t give up on me… let her tell me you’re here… let her”

She looks to and fro, doctor and the blip on the screen, anticipating a response. “I am prescribing some injections, you take them once daily for three days… and come and see me on the fourth day.” She nods her approval and gets dressed. She takes it as a positive sign of my arrival and heads towards the pharmacy. She buys her medicines and then walks towards the nurse’s bay.

“You’re back… she smiles …good news… she smiles again but her eyes tell a different story …Don’t worry your God will take care, How may I help you?" She hands over the doctor’s prescription and the meds to her. She’s taken to the administer room. She lies down on her side, with fists clenched and eyes tight shut…. She’s phobic of needles. How badly she wants somebody to be with her and hold her hand.

And there goes the first one, right in the small of her back. A tear rolls down her eyes…

She puts up a brave picture but her cold sweaty hands give her away. And there goes another one.

She gets up, thanks the nurse and walks out of the building. The visit wasn’t as hopeful as she wanted to be… but still she waits for another three days.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Dream

The night grows darker, every passing minute and the lights are going out one by one. The day has ended at a dreadful note and the night begins with a horrid jingle. The night creeps and the clouds fly on the moonless sky. Here she stands all amazed and excited that her love is on his way to meet her, he’ll be here any minute to take her to a safe haven where she will remain all her life, loved and cherished.

But neither does she know what lay in her future, nor is she aware what doom heads her way. She stands on this night of gloom, happy and loved. Her bosom heaves heavily with excitement, every passing moment she turns and tries to look for her lover through the dreadful recesses of the dark woods.

She stands frozen but still a candle of love rekindles her warmth inside. She waits for the moment to come but her wait outlasts her own self. Suddenly, she bends down doubled with pain, and she feels the warm blood under her hands. She looks up to see her silent slayer, but is stunned to find no one. She collapses suddenly, her legs giving in, but her hope still subsists.

Again, she looks up, to find someone looking at her writhing in pain, but all that she sees is DARKNESS embracing the woods.

She hears the distant church bells. She stands up and gathers her receding strength. She runs, she runs like never before, she runs with the laughter of the wind, she runs like the wind herself. Her bare feet bleed whilst she scourges through the thorn forest. Her dress a beautiful white, now clings tightly to her sweet perspiring body, and chokes the last breath out of soul.

She keeps running she doesn’t want to give up her last expectation; she doesn’t want to give up her faith in her lover’s promise.

She stops to regain her strength. She stops to clear her flooded eyes. Then the blow comes…and here she dies on this cold dark night.

“Huh!...... what… ohhh…… it’s ok!. I’m Ok !!! I am fine.” She wakes up drenched in her own sweat………. and blood. She stifles a scream, rushes to the washroom, and checks herself. She wants to yell, but whimpers ; she wants to scream, but breaks down instead. “Not Again, Not Again, this couldn’t be.”

She comes out, and rummages around frantically for her phone. She rings her husband, who’s out of town. The phone is not answered, and she keeps on trying his phone maniacally, till it is answered. “Heavens Girl!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IS IT!!!. What are you doing up at this hour…..”, “I’ve Lost it….”, “ THANK GOD, YOU ACKNOWLEDGED, yes, you’ve lost it. Now go to sleep and we’ll talk in the morning….” “NOOOOOOOOO…. We’ve lost it….” and she disconnects.

He calls her back. He is calling her again. She doesn’t take his calls, switches her phone off, and breaks down into cold sweat. With her head into her knees, she tries to cocoon herself from the ruthless reality of her life, of what just happened...... of what has been happening to her. She has many questions but no one to answer them...

Her dream has ended THE ONE DREAM, she had.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Wait

I see her standing in the doorway to the terrace with a warmed look. Following her gaze I see right across the road, into the terrace of another apartment. I see a toddler, playing with his mum and the dog. She looks down onto ‘Raven’ nuzzling up at her feet and realises what’s missing… ME.

To Raven’s utmost surprise and mine, she gets up with a fierce determination. She gets to her phone and a few calls later I see a smile making its way on her face. She then gets dressed, picks up her bag, tugs on Raven’s leash and out she goes. With her dog safely on the rear seat, she gets into the car and pulls out of the society.

A couple of minutes, she pulls in front of a florist, pick some flowers and drives away.

What I can only make of a reason for this sudden disruption of her routine is a RENDEZVOUS, but of what kind I still can’t figure out. For much I’ve known her these three years, this sudden disruption doesn’t seem in accord with her demeanour. But I anxiously wait to see what’s about to happen.

A good half hour drive later, she parks in front of a beautifully landscaped garden. She gets out with her bag deposited onto her left shoulder, flowers in one hand and leash in another. With a huge grin on her face and her dog beside her she walks right into the garden. She knows where to go, she doesn’t stop at location board… and she walks with a determined stride towards a bench. She sits and waits, and she waits.

She can see people walking on the pavement; can see children playing in their designated area; can feel the very heavy air pregnant with reluctance which comes with every stare, every look thrown towards her. But she waits.

Looking over to the children, she reminisces of her own childhood. She sees a mother of three pulling her boy away from a playground bully, and is reminded of her mum. I’ve met her mum only twice in these three years, only when she pulls her out of her scrapbook and kisses her with warm lips and anoints her with her tears. I know from where she gets her stance, from her mother of course. I must say she was a looker, a very beautiful and graceful woman in prime of her youth. I wonder how she would’ve looked now, had she not died.

Her phone’s buzzing in the bag, but she’s lost in her own world... moments later she realises and fishes for her phone in her bag. A battle won… a battle lost. The moment she scoops her phone out of the bag, the call’s missed. She wonders, for how long would she miss out: on things, on opportunities, on her life.

She calls the missed caller. “Where have you been sweetie ! I’ve been waiting here for you for last one hour. Dying to meet you and your li’l one…………………………….. ohhkkkay… …….. I surely understand….. Don’t worry…… some other time may be……. bye.” She disconnects.

She sits, pulls her sunglasses over her eyes and gets up. She, then decides not to let go of the moment, she walks Raven, plays Frisbee with the kids and rolls in the sandpit. I’ve not seen her like this... ever. She drives back home and waits twitchily for husband to return and tell him about her day minus the ‘stood up’, minus the 'wait'.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Sleep

“ Ibrahim! - that’s what I’ll call you if you are a boy, because that’s what you’ll be the father of multitude... not literally but yes I know you’ll be the best at anything and everything you’ll do. Moreover, it’s also your great grandfather’s name which also happens to be close to your father’s heart.” “And if a girl then I’ll name you Ibtihal – prayer because you’ll be an answer to countless of those and you’ll bring hope to many.”

I keep on hearing her monologue and wonder why does she need me? Why this urgency! Is it to prove a point? …to have peace at last? …to have a family? have someone who makes her feel alive? …to make her complete? Or am I just an agenda, another KRA to be met in a life of a confident young woman? And the last thought leaves me ashamed.

Have I never known her or have I turned blind just like everyone else around her!

How can I question her love for me! It’s as unconditional as it gets. She loves me without even knowing me, without even knowing whether what and how I’ll be. Her life revolves around me, even when I don't exist anywhere except in her, she doesn't know of my existence, yet she has been brought into this world for me. And yet, I question the very purpose of her existence.

“…don’t want to stifle you, nor your freedom… I want you to grow into a beautiful human being first and then anything else later. I can’t promise you riches but all the love and respect that’s priceless, I won’t mother you… but on the second thoughts I won’t let you have your way…”

She continues in her own reverie, and I wish her to sleep. She has a whole new day tomorrow, and she should rest, God knows she hasn’t had one for many days. I can hear that leap in her rhythmostat, in that soft thud of her heart whenever she sighs, and silently a tear rolls down her eyes. Though it is dark, I see those glistening eyes. During the days they hold a chuckle, and in nights a deluge of sorrows. I have too much to learn from her. I have too much to stand up to.

Her husband rolls over, and notices her awake. He pulls her over to him and embraces her. She relaxes, seems to melt away in that caressing moment and shuts her eyes. She finally sleeps in nine nights.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Beginning

…Sitting in a rocking chair, nestled under a warm throw, she snuggles up with a book in her hand and coffee in the other. I had never seen a woman so blissfully ignorant of all the odd hands of the deck dealt to her. Or is she? I never had this proverbial dull ache when the heart plunges for another…..

She had a quiet morning today, and she’s in no rush. She’s given up her job so that she can run after me, so that she can catch hold of me before I vanish again. After going through her chores, she laid down herself in a warm tub and left her worries behind. A good soak has always proven to be strangely therapeutic for her; but, somehow she needs more than a soak today. Her fears and her insecurities of losing me have been looming so much over her that I wish I could hold her and tell her that I’m here to stay. But I CAN’T.

She gets out of the tub, goes to the shower and braves the cold trickle on her warmed skin. And I see her breaking down. Kneeling down, with her head on her knees and her arms around her, I can see her crying. Her cascade of tears have now reduced to sporadic sobs and gradually, she gets up rubs herself dry and steps out with a smile on her face and a new promise within her spirit.

She dresses herself and then steps out in the sun… she’s always love to do so… the reason that I fail to understand… has it been more of a habit… I fail to reckon so but I firmly believe, that’s the time when she recharges herself with that infectious and ever embracing and ever engulfing warmth.

Sitting in a rocking chair, nestled under a warm throw, she snuggles up with a book in her hand and coffee in the other. I had never seen a woman so blissfully ignorant of all the odd hands of the deck dealt to her. Or is she? I never had this proverbial dull ache when the heart plunges for another. I wish this time as badly as she does to be conceived by her… I want to be given birth… I want to be her anchor…


Life can play cruel, and has been playing nasty especially with the people who never give up on her. What sadistic pleasures does she derive out of it, completely eludes me. But the question is why the people who cherish her the most are subjected to this unlamented torture at her hands???

I woke up to a silent whimper and to a rhythm which wasn't alien to me. But strangely enough, it unnerved me so much so, that I floated quietly taking extra precautions for not letting my presence felt, as she has loved me and has wanted me for so long that it even ached me to leave her.

Oddly enough, I am not her lover, her husband, or even alive. I am her Child who was NEVER BORN. I am a hope which I am sure would last the dying eyes, but I truly wish, she must give up on me. I've been with her throughout but only to leave her when she wants to be sure of my existence.

All these years, I'd been the only one who accompanies her to the doctor... the only one who knows how she tries to smile even when she is crying inside... the one who has been witness to her many moods (tranquil when reading, blissful while making love, unnerving while waiting in savage anticipation, outraged when test returns negative and composed while breaking the news)... I’d been the only one to know she cries herself to sleep when the world dozes off to la la land... the only one who knows HOW BADLY SHE WANTS ME...

Yet I leave her, still, I am not a dream, not at all far from her reach. She doesn't know anything about me, but yet she calls me Ibrahim - the father of multitude or many nations, and sometimes Ibtihal - the prayer, the invocation. She dreams of me, where she sees herself nursing me while playing with my hair. And I can feel the glow emanating from her. The self embracing, all pervasive warmth that engulfs everyone who touches her, the love she exudes, the promises that she brings into others' lives but only to be left cold and lonesome one night. And here I am today, a witness to her clawing herself to remind of her the pain which shakes her like an earthquake to be followed by a sudden burst of lava from the deep recesses, annihilating everything that it touches and reducing it to ashes... even this hurt and betrayal.

I see her under the shower trying to clean my last remnants off her but I can still taste the salt of her tears... I don't know for how long she will cry over me in these five days, but I know I'll be beckoned with an ever promising hope.