Posted by: akilamoni | June 22, 2007

She lay on her bed with her head turned towards the door.All around her there were beeping gizmos.
What would happen, if one of them stopped beeping she had often wondered.
Someone opened the door.
It was the nurse with the surgical mask on.She came in every few hours to check on her. Why does she have to wear a mask she asked herself for the third time in the day, though she knew the answer to her own question.
“No visitors allowed”- a board screamed outside her room. Too many visitors could bring barrage of infection along with them, her sister had informed her. But that didnt seem to affect the number of visitors who came in everyday. Some friends, lots of relatives.
Just another obligation to fulfill amidst their busy day of shopping, bridge and badminton, she thought to herself. There were very few people whose presence made her feel happy.
Her family was used to the sympathetic tone of most of her visitors.
They posed questions to which no one had answers to and some questions which everyone had answers to.
“Why did this have to happen to her?” “She must be under lot of pain.”
What bothered her more than these questions was the tone. It was a tone which her daughter used to imitate really well in a moment of jest. It was high pitched tone which reeked of sympathy and yet was so impersonal.
There were times when she was accompanied by just her son or her daughter. She cherished those moments the most. In those days they had gotten to talk what was normally often shoved under the carpet. Her daughter who was reluctant to get married, her son who had just started shouldering responsibilites both at work and home opened up and spoke to her.
A group of visitors had just walked out of her room. She could hear them standing outside the room chattering about the date when they would visit the Kanchipuram saree showroom which was running a sale.
As she lay sedated in the night, there was feeling as though someone was waiting outside the door.
She watched the shadows of nurses who tended to the patients who were admitted in the rooms on the same corridor. Most of them had gone under the knife for a CABg- Cabbage as the doctors put it, bypass as the rest of them addressed it. She had seen two men being wheeled off to surgery on consecutive days. Both of them were now walking.The door moved slightly and she turned. It was her favourite night nurse. She had a smile on always which was comforting. The nurse asked her why she wasnt sleeping for which she could just manage to smile. If she had had the strength she might have replied, “I want to soak in as much as I can even if it just the scenes on this corridor.”
She urged her to try and catch a few winks and assured her she would check on her in a little while.
The nurse closed the door silently behind her. This time heeding the nurses advice, she closed her eyes not long before she was disturbed.
This time, she saw the hospital attender standing next to her. She gave him a weak smile.
She opened her mouth mustering all her strength and said, ” I knew it would be you- the harbinger of bad news”.
He bent down and asked her,” So you knew it was going to be me?”
His sandalwood namam( religious symbol which Krishna devotees wear on the forehead) had always caught her attention.
“So are you ready?”
“Well I dont think I ever will be but today has been a good day. My sister was around and so were my kids. We even had a meal together” ,she said pointing towards the room in which her son lay sleeping.
“But you are so unlike what I had imagined you to be. Shouldnt you be in your white robes or maybe black?”
“Ya, thats what movie directors make me out to be.I am just normal. Just another human being. Just that….”
“So what happens now? Do I rise up in a cloud of smoke while my body lies here? What happens to me after this?”
“Hmmmm… too many movies huh??! Nothing. You will have to endure some pain. Nothing more than the ones you already have”, he said indicating towards her short crop of hair thanks to her chemo sessions.
“And?”
“And. It will all be over”
“And what happens after that? What about my kids? Will they be ok?”
“Nobody ever is okie in matters such as these . But this too shall pass- a little slowly but it will for sure”
“So you have conveniently not answered my first question”
He chuckled.
“It will all be okie right?”
“It will all be okie. Count on me”
Now she chuckled back.
He went out of the room, closing the door silently behind him.
She felt the pain rise in her stomach.

This morning as I opened the newspaper, I noticed an obituary column for a lady who was admitted two rooms away from my fathers hospital room. All the characters mentioned here are those whom I encountered in the hospital but the events are completely fictional.

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Responses

  1. Great post…Nice detail…

  2. hey Pensive
    Thanks…

  3. evocative…

  4. @anon:

    🙂 thanks..

  5. Writing such good stuff means you give us more!

    Updates! more blog posts !

  6. Hey A,

    Love this one..keep up the good work!

    -R

  7. @R:

    hey thankssss!!!!!!


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