Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Her train is late, way late. She lies languorously in waiting, for deliverence. The people she had known, what was her world, are all long gone. She stands alone in infinite desolation, a weary old woman. She does not not matter any more. She mattered in the context of what constituted her life. As that eroded away, she was dehumanized to a point of utter meaninglessness. Today you could insult her, humiliate her, it did not matter. She cried effortless tears without feeling too much. She made silly demands, spoke unheard words, sometimes stretched her fingers experimentally in rare fits of improved spirits. Mostly, she stared blankly, uncomprehendingly, at the faces of strangers in what used to be her home. Every sense of belonging has been snubbed out by repeated rebuffs and neglect. She cannot eat by herself, cannot walk by herself, cannot use the bathroom without assistance, cannot even turn on her own, on the dirty ricketty bed, which is where she lies by the shadowy daylight and the ghastly yellow light of the low power night bulb.

Sorit stared at his grandmother and wondered what she was thinking. His mother told him to go and at least touch her feet once after the pujas to seek her blessings. Grandmother would sometimes not even recognize who Sorit was. Sorit did not like to sit in this foul-smelling gloomy room. What was the point anyway.. Sorit would rather remember his grandmother from when he was younger, when his grandmother used to dote on him, always plying him with her home-made assortment of sweets and pickles. Everybody wanted to remember her from those days when she had light and soul and connection with their lives. Here she lay now, clearly no more than a stinking house guest. He shuddered to think how everyone was waiting for her to die.