Thursday, May 15, 2008

Writing stupid articles means a little self-sufficiency during the beginning of each month. And sometimes, that random book for bhai or that pretty little cell-phone-pouch for didimoni.

The old house, however, is practically coming apart at the seams. The two old people cling to each other, and cling to the house, and cling to the past which is so dead, that it crumbles if you touch. And steadfastly, they refuse to move. So they get to see bhai and maa and me a few times a week. And the days we don't go, they get to see the past which comes for a quick visit and a cup of tea, but stays forever as an unwelcome guest.

So, this week, I get them icecream. One snowy haired face grins in toothless glee, while another pair of short sighted eyes gleam at the butterscotch. And so they smile, and they eat. And I sit there, as they gulp it down. Ask if they want second helpings. And didimoni, at last, manages to convey that she hadn't had icecream in over a year. The children provide the fish and the rice. And the medicines and the daily routine phonecalls. And the sarees and the vests. And the fridges and the airconditioners. And the caretakers and the drivers. But no one remembers the Banchharamer lyangcha or the piping hot Amriti which came in their dreams. There is no one to read aloud Sharatchandra to dadumoni any more. People don't care. Or remember. And I am being completely hypocritical here because for a few days, neither did I.

I give her the second scoop of icecream and watch her gulp it down as if it would disappear. And as I see her scrape in the last spoonful in a shadowy room with 3 people and 300 ghosts from the past, the bloody lump-in-throat wouldn't go away.

Screw the snazzy lights. I am going back home.

9 comments:

The none said...

dhusshala! dili to mejaj choTke! :(

Opaline said...

I miss my grandfather very much. You're a very good kid, you know that? I never did anything like this for him, said I would but never did. Keno likhli?

Elendil said...

This is beautiful. And life is so sad, in a larger perspective.

mojo said...

'"Writing stupid articles means a little self-sufficiency during the beginning of each month. And sometimes, that random book for bhai or that pretty little cell-phone-pouch for didimoni."

and the occasional rum and coke surely?

ahona said...

Shit Bimbo,thakurma stays at home all day and stays at home all day and I curse the mindless soaps that she watches and I frown when she tries to wash her own clothes and I shout when she tries to indulge in food that is poison for diabetics...
And I see her smile when I slip into her bed at night and ask her to tell me a story, share a ghost of the past...
I love thakurma.
But don't think I can write about it. Ever.Not ready yet.Scared.

Heathcliff Ranting... said...

* just speechless *

Dreamcatcher said...

You made me teary. Very, very beautiful, this.

The Mad Girl said...

So nicely written dear.*HUG*. Leaves me quite speechless.

March Hare said...

@the none - ekhon toh kolkatay. ekhon kichutei mejaj chotkabe na.

@srin - na re. i am not a good kid. not really. one icecream does not compensate for what they are going through. old age terrifies me.

@prayag - heh!

@mojo - all that and more comes under 'self sufficiency'.

@ahona - i get it. really.

@heathu, dc and mad girl - :)