The sound, slippers, and the lost sleep

PROLOGUE:

“Amma illiyaa??”, came a feeble sound from the thin line on her face that could be barely recognised as her mouth. Standing in front of me was a very short figure of a woman, so worn out, carrying a rucksack on her shoulder which was of the same colour as her and equally dirty.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It was a hot Saturday afternoon and I was on my usual schedule of multitasking sleep and TV. We had just finished lunch and mom was in the kitchen putting the curries back in the fridge. My sister was sitting on another chair in the hall following the same schedule as me. Everything outside was visibly burning in the heat of the afternoon sun. It was that time of the day when everything around you is at rest. Somewhere very far, I could hear a crow crowing out loud as if she was relishing her afternoon meal. Through the window, I could see the leaves standing still as if they were asleep. The world around me was all at rest. But who knew that there was this fragile woman walking into this silent moment of my day to make a hole in my heart??? I was drifting away into a nap when I heard footsteps from the gate. It would be wrong if I called the sound ‘footstep’. The sound was that of two little feet being dragged through the dusty ground. I raised my head slightly to see who it was, my body still refusing to give up the coziness it was in. From the corner of my eye, I could see this old silhouette and something in me made me get up. “Oh, it is her”, I said to myself with the frustration of losing my comfortable position.  It was this familiar beggar, an old granny, who used to come to our home atleast once in a month till some time before. Wondering out of the corner of my mind where she was for so long, I reached my hand into the little porcelain bowl in which we keep coins. I took a five rupee coin and went towards her. Seeing the dirty condition she was in, I paid particular interest not to touch her hand while placing the coin there; and like a priest dropping the ‘prasadam’ into ones hand, I dropped the coin into her hand where it fell silently. I almost turned back to fall back back into the nap which was inviting me with immense power when I realised that she was not going. I stood there for a few more seconds wishing with all my mind that she would leave. It was then she asked that question. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Amma illiyaa??” , she asked in a very feeble sound. I almost laughed hearing that and going inside, called out to my mom, “Amma, your friend wants to see you.” My mom came out and was surprised to see the person whom I referred to as her friend. Without any interest, she asked ‘her friend’ what she wanted. The old lady pointed towards her feet and said “amma thanthathilliya? Athu poachu” (didn’t you give me this? Its all gone). I looked at her feet and saw the reminiscence of what once was a pair of slippers. There were two strings of cloth which secured them to her feet. Only the blue band and a small part of the sole remained. Her feet was wounded and had a nasty mark around the ankle. She was possibly a leper. My mom took an old pair of slippers and handed it over to her. From the size of them, I thought she could use them as beds. She slid them slowly into her bag and turned away when my mom asked, “if its not for you, then why take it?” . She turned around again and with that same innocent, cracked voice, said, “kettanaum” (have to tie). “Oh, amma, she has to convert it to her size na?” , I asked. My mom smiled and turned around to go back to her chores. The woman also turned and dragged on. I watched her till she became a small round blur again at a distance. Even as I turned and went back to the sofa, I had lost my sleep. There was no longer any tinge of sleep pulling at me invitingly. I had lost my sleep to a strange feeling of serenity.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ?

EPILOGUE: Even when we live in a totality of luxury, there are still some creations of God, some like this woman I just spoke of, living with the sky as their roof, earth as their floor; and cherishing the little things in which we might find no value or sense. And when sometimes; ‘some strange times’, when I am not lost in the hustle of this busy world, and I am myself, I find myself thinking, “If only life were that simple.”…………

Advertisements

Published by

unnivarma007

Perfectionist, OCD-ic, Judgemental, Arrogant, Honest, Skeptical, Sarcastic, Ambivert.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s