Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Even after death

It was dark. But not so dark that you can’t see. He gets up from his bed and moves towards the window and lifts the curtain to peek around. Slowly. Very slowly.

Would she be here today? Will she dance like she did the other time? wondered Rue.

It was totally accidental. There was a power cut and Rue couldn’t sleep that night. The hot air combined with the musky smell that lingers long after the cleaning lady leaves makes the room unimaginable without the constant drone of the ceiling fan. He had got up to open the windows and let the sea breeze in. Little had he known what awaited him the other side of the window. And he was hooked after that.

It became a ritual, power cut or otherwise. He would wake up at 12 every night and move towards the window. Slowly lift the pretty hand stitched curtains that were once his mom’s pride and gaze down at the garden. Some days she is there and some others she is not. On the days that he finds her, she usually dances around the bushes picking the flowers or fruits that had fallen on the ground and stacks them in the corner.

Papa always thinks it’s the work of the musk-scented lady and uses it as an opportunity to talk to her, thank her and of course touch her. He thinks Rue does not notice but Rue does. Rue can very well see that his papa’s damp hands on the cleaning lady’s shoulders actually wish they were a little lower. He had seen Papa staring at the lady’s chest on many occasions. Even when mom was around. Mom had not minded. Rue had. He does. He hates the cleaning lady.

On this particular night, she is not there. In fact, Rue had almost given up hoping to see her again ever since last month’s incident. On that day, Rue had been foolish enough to call out to her. One look at Rue and she just vanished. Vanished into thin air. Rue wished he hadn’t done that. But he had been so sad and so delighted - both at the same time. He had wanted to feel her arms around him once again. Have her kiss him one last time. Snuggle against her breasts and feel like a baby again. Oh, if only…

Stepping up his courage, Rue moves away from the window towards the door. Should he go down to the garden? Maybe she is hiding somewhere waiting for him to find her. That had been their favorite game after all. Playing hide & seek around the banyan trees.

The garden at this hour does not seem to be a friendly place. It hardly resembles the bright cheerful place of his memories. There are dark corners that seem to be arbouring evil things. The wind moving in and out of the banyan roots create a strange symphony almost like distant human whispers.

Rue picks up his nerve and steps into the middle of the yard. He calls out. Once, twice more. Nobody responds. He turns away dejectedly. He better go to sleep – he has a maths test to give tomorrow morning.

Wait. Was that his name? Is somebody calling his name? Nah. Imagination. He climbs the final steps into the house and closes the door quietly. After reaching his room, all he is able to do is fall on the bed and sleep which is weird. One would have expected him to cry. Cry like only a ten year old can. For his mom. But strangely Rue feels good. He nods off with a silly smile on his face.

Below, unseen by Rue, she dances. She smiles and she knows that she will always be there for Rue. Even if he can’t see her. Moms have an intense love towards their children and a fierce need to protect them at all times. Sometimes even after death.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Six months down the lane....

I am going to quit regular work.
Setup an office for myself at home complete with broadband, hi-fi laptop, refreshments, and such.
Start my own freelance sales support services business to be named "blah blah services" (am kidding! about the name!)
Browse the Internet all day long without any restrictions.
Participate more actively in social events (including photowalks, unconferences, barcamps, etc, etc.)
Live life my way which means sleep when I want, go out when I want, play with kid when I want. Like right in the middle of a Monday.


And the reason am articulating it here is obvious - I want to commit it to myself. I want to crystallize the thoughts and give them the energy that only belongs to the written word.

"Oh, ye Intention of mine
Written you are now
No escapes, no blaming lunacy
Like it or not, you are stuck
So you better materialize"

Friday, September 5, 2008


(Continuation of "Waiting for pain")

My first impressions of the room were of its brightness and tidiness. I felt like a queen of the olden days - being transported in a royal carriage. Only, the royal carriage has changed now but everything else remained the same. I still was the chief guest here. And the people in the room were waiting for me expectantly.

As soon as I was carried in, everybody rose including the all in white lady in the corner. She seemed to be one who was most looking forward to see me. The white clad lady came near and told me un-assuringly, "if only you had got the pain earlier". I became confused. What did that have to do with anything? And for heaven's sake, how long should I endure? Can't they get it over with as soon as possible? All that mattered now is the pain. Nothing else. Not the baby. Not my life. Just pain. Get it over with. Period.

"Nope! not possible. The other players of the game are out doing god knows what but we can't begin till they are here. Please wait", says the lady in white.

What seemed like a million years passed but in reality was just a few minutes. Then....

"Good Morning there, how are you doing today", came the booming voice of another white clad male form.

What a dolt. What a seriously stupid idiotic dolt. How does he think I should be doing? Please....... I have no patience. Will you get on with whatever you came in here to do?

"Sure, alright now curl up like a baby and turn over to your side, will you?.... ya, nice and slow.... good..... no, no, curl more, come on you can do it...your knees should touch your chest..."

What the heck. What the heck man? Am I training for some curl up contest here? I am more than ten months long and my tummy resembled a mini elephant and this dolt expects me to curl up so that the knees touch my chest. What a seriously idiotic dolt. Really.

He didn't wait. For my knees to touch my chest. Before I knew it, there was a blur of activity, and a needle which I can only imagine to be the size of a hose pipe was poked into the center of my spinal cord.

"COME ON, MOVE. MOVE. Lie down straight. Turn back. Come on. Quick. Quick. Quick."

Man, what has got into him now? If he wanted me to turn back so quickly, why have me trying for a knee chest fusion? I didn't know how to react. The most obvious would have been of course to turn. But the brain does tend to go into a freeze in the face of such high power commands. Especially if comes from a towering white masked face. A second passed. And another.


This time the command was not directed at me. The three nursing/medical students around me got into action and before I knew it, I was on my back again. And all of this must have taken five or a maximum of six seconds. In all this excitement, I had forgotten the pain. The damn pain. Oh, there it is agai.........

Bliss. Oh man, I didn't know bliss felt like this. oh........

"You could have done this earlier", I muttered deliriously. The anesthetist just smiled back in answer. Now don't ask me if I can see thru his mask. I just knew he smiled. And if he didn't, he should have.

"Hi there", came a gentle voice.

"This is the pediatrician" introduced the friendly giant dolt.

I don't know why but suddenly I started thinking of him as my friend. Not everybody on earth can give you bliss. This one did to me and now he is a friend. Just like that. I smiled back at him hoping to get back into his good books. Can anesthetist read the minds of the people they anesthetize? Or worse yet, do the anesthetized start blabbering all their thoughts? I hope not…

I continued floating in the realm of white clouds and pleasure with but just a dull awareness of the present.

And then I started blabbering.

But the docs didn't seem to be paying attention. Another white lady joined the group and everybody rubbed their hands in anticipation. Probably they list abdomen cutting as part of their hobbies. Good for me.

What felt like a cold swab of alcohol rubbed against somebody's rubberized skin. Oh, no, not somebody else, it must be mine. But I don't feel it. Then how come I know it…? Whatever. Don't' ask too many questions.

I opened my eyes a little deciding to discover the world outside bliss. A nurse put up a plastic curtain between me and the ladies standing by my hips.

"Don't. Don't do that. I want to see it.", I said.

"It is just to protect you. You know, all that blood splashing on your face will not be nice", came the reply.

Oh ya, I wouldn't want the first thing my baby sees to be my bloody face.

My eyes moved here and there as if they are not attached to their sockets. They decided to linger on the high-beam focus lights on the top providing illumination to the people cutting the abdomen below.

Hey. Hold on. Hold on. I can see it. Yuuuuuuu…….. I can see the docs cutting the abdomen below reflected in the side polished mirror surface of the lights. Wow! How cool is that? I can watch myself getting operated. Wow!

Should I? What if I faint or something? Come on, that is ridiculous. I can't faint. Not with anesthesia. In fact, it's downright impossible to faint if you have been given anesthesia and partially kept awake. Ok, that's solved then. And I am also not the puking time (Did I tell you that I puked all of 3 times during the ten months pregnancy? And those 3 times were because either I overate or I ate very less. Not because of pregnancy related nausea!). Which all means I can watch it. Yo! It would be oh so cool to tell the others that I watched my abdomen being cut open and the baby being taken out. Wow! I just can't get over it.

Hey, wait. Hey eyeballs of mine, wait. WTH. What do u think you are doing? Are you my eyes or somebody else's? Who is the master here? I said who is the master here? Stop roaming around and get back to those lights NOW. Stop it….

The rebellious eyes didn't listen. They just closed down. Can you believe that? Your own eyes not listening to you?

I could hear the docs talking somewhere inside a drum. A drum that must have been kept 10 kilometers away. Then I remembered something. Oops, I better tell them now before I forget.

"Docs, can you please show the baby as is to me? Fresh from my womb with the blood, vernix and all, please. No washing", I commanded.

I think they agreed. Because the next thing I know is the doc saying "Ha, there it is".

I had to ask it. Though I knew it would be a boy. "Which one is it doc, boy or girl?"


What?????????? WOWWWWWWWWW. Amazing.

I was the happiest person on earth at that moment. Believe me you. And I don't think I will ever be happier than that in my life. Ever.

It was such a wonderful surprise to get a girl baby after ten months of believing it to be a boy. Don't ask me why I thought it will be a boy. Just suffice it to old wives tales.

The sweet Pediatrician got her close to me, and we kissed. Not the pd and me, dolt! The baby and me.

He had her give me a kiss right on my lips. J I tasted salt and I tasted what will turn out to be a million more happy moments in life after that. My baby was finally here. Healthy and unaffected after all those struggles in the womb.

"Why do all women cry when they see their baby for the first time", murmured the pd. I couldn't murmur back anything in reply.


Edited to add: First two parts here and here.