Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Ailing Man

The ailing man by the bedside
Trying to reach for a glass of water
By the table.

The glass falls down
A loud sonorous noise
A thousand little pieces.

Standing by his doorway
She watches. 
Eyes cold, hands folded
She watches the man ail
For a little glass of water.

The ailing man is naked on the bed
He wears transparent tubes
His eyes are blind; his ears deaf
All he pines for is a little water.

Thirst, so humble, so basic
Yet so vital.
A glass of water- cool still water
Flowing down the throat.
Lips relish the drops
Tongue eagerly kisses the shy water.
The more you try to grasp her,
The more she slips away. 

The water slipping away
Life slipping away...
Standing by his doorway
She silently waits.

The cries, his cries become intense
Thirst of an ailing man
Thirst of a dying man.
Not a muscle in her face flinches.

A sudden cool breeze blows
From the window on the left.
The intimate smell 
Of bygone Bougainvilleas
Suddenly drives her to the past.

Hands holding the flowers
Strewing them in the air
Strewing them upon her
Her mother.

The fresh starch of her cotton sari.
The fragrance of her hair
The thousand lights of her laugh
The merry twinkle in her eye
And her cries.
And her tears.
And her pain.
Till one day she cut herself.

And the stone cold expression on her face since that day.

It's been a decade.

The wounds have healed
But the marks remained. 
Now he is on the same bed.
The perpetrator, the tyrant
Her father.

And down the doorway she stands
With folded hands.
And waits.

Doctors come, as do relatives.
Nurses come
Tone of sympathy
Fake concern.
Telling her not to lose hope.
Applauding her courage
Worrying over her health

In awe of her austerity.

She simply stands by the door
And watches the ailing man
Surrounded by well wishers.
The dying old man,

The blind weak man
The man on the bed
The murderer of her mother.
Her father.


Subhrashis Adhikari said...

i wondering till the very end...nice one..

Trisha said...

thanku thanku :))