Friday, 15 June 2012

Flash Fiction 2012 Longlist, Shivaja Prabod

This Life And Beyond

She smiled. They were aghast.
 She smiled again, unmindful of the prying eyes, oblivious of her surroundings, the crowd of people around her. Her eyes riveted on his serene face, as he lay there.
 
He looked so calm as always. She could even see the unseen smile that played around his lips just like he smiled the first time when she met him years back.  “How can you apply Pythagoras theorem here. It is not a right angle!”  Her words trailed off as she saw the smile that hovered on his lips. She looked back into her notes and realized her mistake. He had just uttered one word “tangent”. Yes! A tangent to a circle forms a right angle with the circle’s radius at the point of contact of the tangent, how did she overlook that?

 She smiled again. They were dumbfounded.
 She smiled again, unmindful of the prying eyes, oblivious of her surroundings, the crowd of people around her. Her eyes riveted on his serene face, as he lay there.
 
She looked at his moustache, the right side slightly twirled up and smiled.
 It was just after their marriage, on a lazy Sunday morning.  He was fast asleep and she had woken up early as usual. She had twirled up his moustache on both sides and applied some Fevicol at the edges.  She loved to see that look.  He had tweaked her ears as she cried “ayyoooo, sorry “and went on to shave off the entire moustache. How she had giggled every time she looked at that face, till he grew it back.

 She smiled again. Now she could hear a few of them whispering.
 She smiled again, unmindful of the prying eyes, oblivious of her surroundings, the crowd of people around her. Her eyes riveted on his serene face, as he lay there.
 She wanted to hug him, snuggle up to him, just as she did on those cold winter mornings, burying her head inside the blanket to grab a few minutes of  extra sleep. She could almost feel the rhythmic breathing of his chest against her ears.

  She smiled again. Now she could hear snatches of conversations….poor thing…..mental imbalance……not weeping…..
 She smiled again, unmindful of the prying eyes, oblivious of her surroundings, the crowd of people around her. Her eyes riveted on his serene face, as he lay there.
 
 The light from the ceremonial lamp created a halo around his serene face.  Some elder from the crowd was directing a young girl to pour oil into the lamp.  The strains of Ramayana recital filled the air along with the heavy scent of burning incense sticks.
 “Vahni lohasthambu binduna marthyajanmam kshanabhanguram…”
 (Life is ephemeral like a drop of water on heated metal)

 “Oh poor thing, she has not cried a wee bit” she heard someone whisper in the crowd. She almost expected them to keep a baby on her lap like the nurse in Tennyson’s poem “Home they brought her warrior dead”. But alas she didn’t have any to call her own.  He was her child and she, his. They had each other to care for and now he was gone leaving her alone.

 All alone.
She got up, he was gone, his mortal body. But she could feel his presence everywhere. She walked all around their home, the home they built up from scratch, the home they built with their love, the home they spent almost 20 years together.

Tears flowed.
She wept.
She wept to her heart’s content.
All her pent up grief came tumbling down.

 Only they knew the depth of their love, to her it was not something to be exhibited to others.
 She wept, yet she felt a slow confidence and resignation.
A resignation to the wait till she and he would be one again.

Again they would be one. She was sure--- As was he.


No comments:

Post a comment