On a beautiful Sunday morning —
the first one this March,
I sat down as usual at my desk at home
to type like I do on my keypad,
with my steaming teacup.
Barely had I taken from it a sip
when a woman barged in,
looking ghastly and petrified –
her eyes piercing into mine:
She announced, “Your Ma’s fallen”
A moment to process her words,
recalling Ma was out on her usual walk –
my world came crashing to my feet,
heart freezing first, and then my gut,
in recall of that familiar feeling of Baba’s loss.
I grabbed a shirt, and pants from my wardrobe—
for in my night gown I couldn’t go to a morgue,
as that’s where I envisioned Ma – if hit by a car
in manoeuvring at seventy-seven, the aggressive traffic
that didn’t give me time to find and gather her carcass.
I blindly ran on the street like a possessed woman
for I didn’t know exactly where I was headed,
as I desperately pleaded with God to give me a moment
to gather Ma up, even if she breathed her last in my arms –
I couldn’t bear to imagine her lying on the road unclaimed.
To my horror, I found her in a car at the end of my street,
a kindly man – to rush her to medical aid – had seated her in:
Ma looked at me with glazed eyes as if it was her final goodbye
the way Baba had the last time – her blood gushing as a stream
that was bursting out of the dupatta held tightly to her nose.
I rushed into the car, held her firmly from behind the seat
with my heart pounding like being thumped by wild bears,
as I repeatedly chanted: “Ma you’re going to be fine, don’t fear”—
while I directed the man at the wheels to find her a lifeline,
one I mentally swam towards with all my positive thinking might.
Having taken her just in time to the emergency unit—
I watched them execute their procedures with impatience,
Even as for hours the hospital ran a battery of tests
Starting with an injection to stop the bleeding, then a CT Scan
Till they handed her to my care – as ‘she will be fine’ they declared.
It’s fourty two hours since this accident that almost took my life,
the suddenness of it leaving me like in the aftermath of a hurricane;
With Ma recuperating in hospital to fix the injuries and fractures —
I’m back tonight at the desk and keypad I had left that morning
to leave a trail for others, to transcend my spiritual experience.
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” — Omar Khayyam
“We may not know what each day has in store for us. We could be gone tomorrow. Any minute could truly be our goodbye. But we do have this moment. This time. Today. Right now. It takes way more effort to shell out hate then it does to allow love to flow freely in our lives. After all, it’s what we were born to do.” — Grace Gealey
PS: Ma was wearing exactly what she is wearing in this photo in front of the Kaapaleshwar temple Chennai, at the time of the accident/fall in Calcutta, which drenched in her blood still stands testimony to my emotional state as I write this as if in a trance now…So please excuse me for the inability to go back and edit what I wrote now, into a work of art, till I can get over the enormity of my near loss.