Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Ark of life...
A gush of wind blew in the direction of the boat and I hurried over to cup my hands around the boat, lest it destroys the joys of my little one. ‘Mamma, I got scared my boat would crash’ she hugged me. ‘Nothing will happen as long as I am here baby’ I replied and drove away her fears. But what about the fears that dwell in my heart… I went away, unable to look into her innocent eyes anymore.
I sat at a distance and began to contemplate on the events which changed our lives… ‘We are very sorry to inform you that your child is suffering with blood cancer’ the doctors announced. I refused to believe what I was listening. ‘This can’t be true’ I told my husband. But deep within my heart I knew it was true. I had lost my eldest son to leukemia one year back and now… Palak. Darkness invaded my life before I could come out of one tragedy.
When life was better: ‘Mamma, Palak is pulling my hair’ Varun complained. The new entry to the family, Palak was naughty. ‘Beta, she is your little sister. Don’t mind her naughtiness’ his father consoled him. And Varun came running to me and asked ‘Will you not love me anymore?’ I smiled and hugged him. ‘I will always love you.’ I could hear my own voice, it echoed inside my head. I looked towards the direction where we buried Varun 6 months back. Tears rolled down my cheeks at the thought of his death. Palak brought a small pen cap and placed it in the boat. She pretended that the pen cap is her child. ‘Now, go to school in this boat. Don’t fight with anyone there. Don’t lie.’ She kissed the pen cap and pushed the boat along. I went inside the hut, I can’t take it anymore.
Death seemed to invade my home. I could feel it in every corner inside the small hut. I looked around, ‘You think you can take her away from me?’ I asked death. ‘I won’t let go off her. I will win her; I won’t give up this time.’ I began shouting. My voice must have disturbed Palak, ‘Mamma, what happened? Did anybody beat you?’ she asked looking around the empty hut. I wiped my tears and smiled and said I have a headache. She knew I was thinking about Varun. I would constantly remember him and cry but Palak always knew. ‘You were thinking about Varun Bhaiyya. Don’t worry he will come back’ she replied, trying to console me. I controlled my tears and fought against my emotions. And she picked up my hand and led me outside.
‘What happened to your boat and your child?’ I asked her. ‘They drowned mamma, why were you not there to save it this time. The wind blew it away’ she said with a depressed voice. And sat down and began to sob. Death seemed to mock at me, I could hear him say ‘Look what happens when you challenge death. So don’t be a fool and accept your fate.’ I decided that minute that I will dictate the turn of events this time. I am not going to surrender to fate. I will not let my daughter die with tubes attached to every part of her body. I am her mother. I will save her. No, I will kill her. I will… Oh God, what am I thinking. I am a devil, I am no mother. I broke down next to the pile of clothes. ‘Make me another one, Please mamma’ Palak begged. ‘Not now Palak, go play with your dolls.’ I drove her away.
‘Mamma, don’t cry’ I was astonished to hear Varun’s voice. I looked around shocked. I must have lost my mind. My mind must be playing games, why am I hearing my dead son’s voice. The voice didn’t seem distant. It was somewhere near… It came from the well. I looked into the well. There was no one there. It must have been an illusion, I thought. ‘You can’t win death. Give up’ I heard my beloved son’s voice yet again. It ringed in my ears for a long time. My feet remained rooted to the ground. My mind invariably travelled to visit Varun on his death bed.
‘Mamma, I am scared. Pappa don’t leave me. I don’t want to die’ he had cried endlessly. But death was swift, and in a few moments he robbed us off our son. I was helpless. I couldn’t save him. I ran to Palak. I looked into her eyes for a long time. She had stopped crying over the crushed boat and had begun to play with her dolls. She understood something important was going to happen. Her smile faded away. ‘Varun Bhaiyya has come Palak, just like you said.’ I lied shamelessly. He wants us to go with him. ‘But where is he Mamma?’ she asked with a wide smile, her eyes searching the whole place. ‘He’s hiding inside the well dear.’ I looked away from her eyes and wiped her face clean with the end of my sari. ‘Let’s go Mamma…’ I hugged her and kissed her lovely face. ‘My darling, my baby… I will always be with you’ I whispered into her ears ‘even on the path of death’. We walked hand in hand towards the well, laughing loudly at the thought of being free. We chose death over life happily!
Posted by Medhini