Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where the mind is lost and knowledge absent

She is very small now, almost the size of her great grand daughter. They have locked her up in a room, where she lays in her bed day and night, oblivious to the smell of her own feces. What is she thinking of? About the time she threw the plate full of food in her daughter-in-law's face because it didn't smell right? The only person who agreed to do this job walks in to clean her: "ennai kulipaata vandhirukkiya" she asks gleefully and is carried into the bathroom almost single-handedly. She goes in singing "maru kelaraa" loudly.

In the other bathroom her great grand daughter is also being bathed. The child was carried in wailing and crying and continues to cry as it is bathed. Meanwhile, she is having fun. She goes into high pitch with "O' raagavaaa..". Both are bathed, powdered, dressed and made to sit in a chair. The grandson is introduced and question is asked "yaar theriyarha sollu" ("do you know who this is "). The baby cries and looks away. When it is her turn, she says "theriyume. ennoda peran". And then asks "amerikkavula irukkiya nee". Upon receiving confirmation, she says "nalla iru". . The boy asks "eppadi irukke paati"? And she gives back a blank stare. She suddenly has no recollection of him. They give up after an hour of trying.

Two people are fed and tucked in their bed during daytime. Both have dodgy memories and won't remember the events of the day. They are waiting. One for life and the other death.

19 comments:

S. Krishnamoorthy said...

This blog containing "less than half page short story" should be hidden from the prying and roving eyes of the editorial staff of weekly Tamil magazines lest, they will reduce the one-page short story feature into a "araippakka chirukathai"!
Thanks for a pungent "chiru chiru chinnakkathai".

BongMan said...

Your blog has turned the corner from being angry rants to downright brilliant... loved the last few posts.

BTW nice Tagore reference... can't help feeling there is some reality to this story. This one was more hard hitting than the previous one.

Gradwolf said...

Nice one, I read the older part only now!

Vee Cee said...

same name?

rads said...

This reminded me of my last meeting with my grandma in bed. Exact same scenario, where I took my 8 month old to her so she could see, and then of course forget. I am so glad I made that trip today coz she passed away exactly a week later after I landed back home.

I know I didn't have to get into my story, but this struck home. Miss her.

R-ambam said...

the seventh stage .. sans eyes, sans teeth..

My God ! the older post dates 2007.

thepsychologic said...

that last one line !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

buddy said...

beautiful

vigneshjvn said...

Beautiful comparison for the wait for life and death. Reminds me of my grandmother - and about her daughters-in-law who took care of her before she passed away. I don't remember much of her, but thanks for helping me think of her again.

Hawkeye said...

vee cee,

would have been a nice touch. in certain sampradayams children aren't named after grandparents if the said grandparents are still alive.

p.s: this story has no connection to my life as both me and my mom came into the picture long after grandmother passed away.

Thatisthetruth said...

Well written story. Loved the Marukelara and Wailing comparison.

Ramachandran said...

Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

"Curious case of Benjamin Burton"

..

While one may be inclined to think that both are in the same state in some level of abstraction, but it is really the momentum of the past that differentiates the future for both.

good post ..

-sr

Casement said...

Awesome!:)

ms said...

in every beginning is its end.

Srikz said...

Good Lord! OK, enough sad sad. Time for some positive reinforcements. Somebody bring me a 'dude where's my car' DVD!

Shivanand Velmurugan said...

awesome! Great writing. Love the transliterated usage of tamil words. Makes me wanna write today! :)

Subhasri said...

Simplistic yet sensitive. The 'second stage of childishness' is captured very well. Good that memory fails at that point....
Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing!