That Sweet Lullaby

The mother held her baby in her arms as she rocked her gently. She sang that sweet lullaby in her soothing, gentle voice. Her dream of wanting to be a singer was fulfilled. She had an eager audience. Her daughter calmed down. Her breathing became regular. Her eyes heavy, until it was unbearable to keep them open anymore. She was finally asleep. But the mother continued to sing. Repeating the verses, enjoying the lyrics as she imagined dedicating each words to her daughter. Singing her emotions to her. Till the song slowly faded on her lips. Her eyes rested with the trailing verses. 

The day came to an end. Another battle won. All that mattered was her baby daughter in her arms.

Her Time Turner

She sat up staright, took his hand in hers and grasped them tight. She looked straight in his eyes and asked him with a hopeful tone, “Will you take me back? Will you remind me who I was? Will you help me find the pieces of myself? Will you help me remember? Everything we did and how we laughed…”

Her voice trailed away, wondering if he could understand the urgency in her voice. The unbearable loss of control over her memories. The slow decay of her essence. The first signs of Alzheimer’s beginning to show.

He pulled her close, and wrapped his arms around her tightly. And he began, “Remember that day we went to the beach, and you insisted on…”

“He can fix anything”, she thought with a smile as she closed her eyes and listened to her stories with him. His voice bringing out the faint memories. “Maybe, he can bring me back too.” 

He was her relaxant to her anxiety.

He helped her breathe.

That One Hug

They stood on the porch at four hours past midnight, as their paths awaited to be diverged again. Their adventure had come to an end. With time, the familiarity that the distance had deprived them of, was discovered in an unknown land. With time, the comfort of being themselves with each other had fallen in comfortably like that one missing puzzle of a jigsaw.

When it was time to say their goodbyes, he held his hand forward while she glared at his formality. She opened her arms timidly and he took a step forward and gave her a hug. This was not a drunken state of mind hug. This was a conscious hug. And his hug conveyed everything that maybe his words couldn’t for the last three years of knowing each other over long distance.

That one hug, opened up a box of suppressed emotions in her. But she hid her face in the dark as she saw him sit in the car and head towards the airport. She walked away towards the elevator before he could see her again from his car.

But that one hug…

The pretense icicles in her heart had melted. There was acceptance of deep attachment to another human being. She was overwhelmed and surprised with the enormity of the feelings she had for him.

She held back the dry tears that threatened to break from her eyes. She thought maybe sleep will make it easy to bear. Maybe sleep will make the ‘momentary’ feeling wash away, she thought. She went and slept on his freshly made bed.

The morning after dark was cloudy with light drizzles. The enormity of being able to feel so deeply had still successfully caught on with her as she boarded her cab towards the airport. She confided in her friend, who sat next to her with her arms on her shoulder, as she began to understand that she was simply missing him. She had gotten used to the unasked assurance from him. The unasked fulfilled promise of being by her side, no matter how, when she needed him the most. She had gotten used to his presence around her during their adventure together. As her friend held her, she let go of her pride and felt hot tears flow freely from her eyes.

It was finally the acceptance of a beautiful bond that they shared – friendship. It was a pure, unadulterated, unselfish, maybe a little selfish, friendship. It was the acceptance of letting go of her controlled boundaries and acknowledge the special place he held in her life. It was this acceptance that made her determine to make an attempt to show her emotions like he did with her all the time.

To be honest, she had taken a while to realize the emotions of his hug. Once the feeling of his arms around her shoulders was gone, only thing that remained was the warmth that he had left behind. Maybe this was their last goodbye after all.

10 Seconds Picture

One late summer morning, while walking down the street, I saw a man wearing turban, in his late 70s, squatting on the floor with a mirror in his hands. He gazed intently into the mirror, unaware of the public around him. The bangles and trinkets to be sold were lying around him, neatly organized.

Probably he was thinking of how his life has been till now. Probably thinking that whatever he did was worth every second of it. Or probably wondering if he should have given it a try, whatever it was for him. Probably that girl, probably that opportunity. Wondering how it would have been otherwise, or how perfect it has turned out now. Satisfied. Unsatisfied. Who knows?

Wish I had my camera with me then to capture his moment of emotion. He made me slow down and stop running away from anything and everything that is new and scary. Including emotions. Because when I look into the mirror when I’m 70, I’ll simply be happy and glad with everything.
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The Girl in Pink Scarf

A familiar face. She had that distinct look. A look of determination in her eyes, lips pleading. Brown brittle hair and bronze skin. She wore ghagra, but what caught my attention was her pink scarf thrown over her head and then draped across her neck. That 12 year old (guesstimate) brown eyed beauty went around asking everyone alms. A very persistent girl for her age. By the time I was there, the fruit juice in my hand was almost empty. I didn’t have the heart to give the almost empty carton. Nor did I have the desire to encourage begging.

My sister, softer than me, gave me a different idea. We can treat them with eatables than money. That makes them real happy too. I wonder how they are treated,  if the story of “begging is also a business” true. If not, I didn’t want to encourage it because I do believe that they are capable of working and eating with the earned money with dignity.  Some hope in me that their parents might just do that and send their kids off to school, rather than seeing those young hands as an extra hand to earn.

A rich person was not born rich. And I’m not talking about the sons and daughter of rich people mind you.

I remember when I was about 10-11 year old, I had a red rose in my hand. I had asked papa to buy me one. We were in Nagpur, visiting my sister. We were walking down somewhere, a girl of about my age then came up to me. She wasn’t begging. She simply wanted my rose. I didn’t want to give it up, because papa brought it for me and because I felt it was mine. The sense of possessiveness.

I refused to give it to her. I was a kid after all, and the candy was mine. She was persistent too. I looked up at Mumma. She asked me to give it away. I refused again. She had now started encroaching my personal space by poking me. I finally gave in. She happily ran away with my rose, while I was left with almost teary eyes. I didn’t cry. No.

Few years later when I was mature enough, when I remembered her happy face I realized that this is what they want, just like every kid. I felt happy about my (reluctant) gesture, and glad that I wasn’t arrogantly stubborn till the end.

And making a small bouquet of small pink flowers and giving it to a boy of same age when he approached and in return receive his huge smile and then watch him shyly run away.

I love innocence. It is sad they are losing it very quickly.

I have ideas in my head. I do want to make a change. But I do not want to be one of those who speak for the heck and do nothing. I will keep mum till I do significant something for them. Maybe teach, if posted to my birth state. Language was a barrier here. And I hate reasons.

This blog was for that girl in pink, who I seem to see everywhere. She brought up my other old argument in me, to give or not give, to help or not help dilemma. (Also reminded me of those two kids.) I’ll make my legs strong first, I guess then I’ll be able to comment.

The x problems seemed nothing compared to this.
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