Monday, October 24, 2011

The Next Time ...

“Virendra.. ”
Radha fumbled around with her fingers .
The cold heavy alarm clock , the half opened tablets , the glass with her dentures and finally her cold rimmed spectacles .

She held them gingerly , almost lovingly . Folded her legs and sat up , her hand weighing down the hard flat pillow .
She put them on . The entire world becoming clear .. almost clear . The left glass had cracked a few days back .
Mr.sharma had such a bad habit. He’d put his walking stick on the table , and this time it landed on her spectacles .

Never mind , she repeated her “Hare Rama Hare Rama” and got up from the bed .
Her knees were sore , thanks to arthritis .

Last time Virendra had come , they had gone to this doctor .
 Her family doctor in Shimla . He told her they’ll do some surgery something .. but then , if Virendra wasn’t there . Who’d be there to take care of her ?

She put the dentures in ..and quietly walked around the bed .
The view from the window was breath taking … at least that’s what anyone new would think .
To her , it were the same hills . The ones in Dehra , Shimla , Chamba .
But somehow Virendra had liked this room . So she stayed .
And the last time he came , he bought those blue curtains too .

Blue curtains .. blue skies . ‘Winters are approaching’ ,she thought .
And wrapped herself in a shawl .
At this age , it’s always winter .
The shawl smelt so faintly of Virendra . He had wrapped her in this when they came here last time .
And Jenny had given her this wool cap . Swiss , she had said .

It’s too cold to take a bath . She decided , as she settled down in front of the mini temple in her room .
The Krishna idol , Virendra loved it so much .
He and his father had bought it together .
Some simple village Janmashtami fair , he had fed Him laddoo for years .
And this time , when Jenny and he’ll come , she’ll make sure the chhotu feeds Krishna too .

Her hands on her knees and clutching the cupboard next to her , she finally got up.
Raising her hand to the top most shelf , she fumbled around till she found the old box .
It was not so tiny , actually Virendra’s painting box .
He used to keep his brush and paint and what not in it !
And so many prizes he’ll bring when he was In college .
‘I wonder , if he still paints ? I must ask him the  next time he comes ‘
Inside it , was an old painting brush , a “Mothers’ day” card , an old faded photograph of a small kid in the arms of his mother ( the black and white ones you take in old photo studios ) .
And a coloured photo of a tall 30s something Indian guy , a blonde and a baby in their arms .
She looked at it lovingly , running her fingers over it . As if touching it .
“I must learn this e-mail soon “ , she kept the box back .

The last time he had come , they had all gone out . And Jenny was talking , she couldn’t understand .
All the accent and the english , but Virendra kept translating .
He looked so tall . He looked like his father . If only he was there , he’d be so proud of his son .
He was talking about his company , and blooming business , and some estate . And Jenny wanted her to come too .

“Where will I go at this age ? You people go ahead .. anyways you’ll be coming back from time to time . “ , and Virendra had put her hand around her .

She shuffled forward , cane in hand .
It was time for breakfast , and curse these stupid broken spectacles , the world ahead looked unclear to her  .
As she entered the hallway of ‘Care Old Age Home’ ,she wiped the glasses one more time ,
“I’ll get them repaired for sure .The next time Virendra comes …”

1 comment:

  1. Aaaah!touching...the way you narrate it is just beautiful:)
    It's like you just put down whatever comes to your mind without editing any part of it...which is just brilliant!:)

    Keep writing!