An ode to the Fallen Soldier

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My mother is no more the same she used to be. The urgency to attend an errand is taken over by a strange passiveness. The usual reluctance to talk and the hurriedness to avoid an acquaintance has made place for an enthusiasm to strike new friendships form new groups. The usual excuses to let go gatherings  and invitations  has been displaced by  an eagerness to go out  ,see some more place  and promises to visit again.

Her roaring mornings now as silent as the peaceful sky after a heavy shower and her sleepy afternoons filled with activities that I have never seen  before,she takes an orange after a bath sits under the sun and carefully relishes every bit while the world whines, laments and moans away.

There has been even greater changes which appear so vehemently visible if she is sitting quietly and waiting for the moment to pass but otherwise remains buried within the broken verses of our conversations or wrapped within the leftover pieces of rotting vegetables. Her withered skin more sagging near the eyes or every time when she laughs over the phone more prominent on her forehead.

Her front tooth that slightly broke  makes it unsightly every time she smiles. Her thinning hair loosely held in a bun carelessly caressing the nape of her neck as she leans against the wash basin to clean the nights dishes while the thin stream of water flowing from the tap makes a puddle at the mouth of sink making a hissing sound in an otherwise silent home.

She looks tired yet gathered, composed but lively and uncannily resembling my grandmother as she neared her end. She complains of an aching leg if made an extra dish , snores heavily while sleep and doesn't respond until u raise your   voice and speak on her right ear  which is suffering from a chronic infection and her fingers a deep  yellow.

All her debilitating details on my finger tips. Details I watch everyday, Details that scare me everytime when  pause in the middle of a conversation to  look at her intently and details that I'm often ashamed of or irritated about  yet im as helpless as her to do anything about it . We often speak about her in her presence knowing that she either won't understand or listen. Father keeps telling her about the embarrasement she gives him when he takes her out.  Just keeps me guessing how  proud was he  to flaunt the beautiful bride when she first came and made home. How embarrassed was she when I came back home in pants full of shit from school, how much did it irritate her when I always did everything what she asked not to how much did it pain her when I failed in an exam yet she said nothing about it. Or may be how difficult it was her to face everyone when my father returned home drunk at night. How digusting would it be for her to wash my under  garments when I entered my puberty and hit menarche.

Everything she did or bore  with ease was  is indeed difficult. Is she a fool or we  too pratical to call her one. Oh no she was the Mother. A mother is supposed to be someone else definitely not any other woman.

I shudder at the answer when I think about the question myself. I am frightened even more when I Know I'll go through this phase , this isolation everything myself one day my children embarrassed and angry, yet I uncomplaining and reticent happily peeling oranges under the bright yellow midday sky.

I know  I can't hold you this way forever. All the details of your diminishing body would also one day escape my mind. You will never be remembered in busy days. The last vestiges of your presence would remain closed in the album of mine I keep above the cupboard. Nothing between us will remain alive. Only an unyielding distance. I'll go  very far where you cannot see me anymore. Yet I'll maintain this record I have written today always thinking it will help me when I'll grow old like u. I wish you had been a bit smarter like me to avoid pitfalls that bring embarrassment to kids when they make their own life. somewhere else. I never wanted my life to be like you always hated it but aren't u not seeing your life and mine though different terribly resembling each other  at very strange intersections.

Arent we both  like Browning’s Patriot "It was roses, roses, all the way,With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:T

Thus I entered and Thus  I Go".

What will become of you   and what will remain of me will always be unheard only captured here between you and me.

Whatever happens or however we try the narrow thread that holds us would one day eventually snap. You can't hold on to it what I'll remember is that you still eat alone while we sleep, u still wash the plates after I eat to loosen the grime and u still say how difficult your  life has been while I listen to music. 

Your wants in life too frugal. Independent educated daughters who will work in office one day and speak English. And another to eat fish bones while no one disturbs.You have  lived to selflessly and may be this would be your punishment.

 Nothing of this will not bring any difference because neither you know the language nor the patience to hear this while you wash dishes.


Position: Freelancer

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