Monday, July 16, 2007

The Departed

On that Thursday morng ( Jul 5th), as I was busy running around to get things ready before the boys went to school and DH to the office, the door bell rang insistently a couple of times. I usually tend to get frazzled at such times, but I realised that this was an emergency. And it was- it was Saira- the DIL from the opposite flat. I immediately guessed what had happened, because it had been expected. The ‘Bhai’ – Saira’s FIL must’ve collapsed. Saira’s husband- Bhai’s son Afsal had informed us that the doctors had warned them that the end could come at any moment- and there was no need to come running to the hospital anymore. We had been expecting the inevitable and now it was unwinding right before our eyes. Incidentally, Afsal was in the shop through out the night trying to catch up with pending work and Saira and her MIL were all alone at home. DH rushed into their flat upon being informed…saw that “Bhai’ was lying on the floor – his eyes open but unseeing. His breaths came out in gasps and Saira’s MIL was screaming: “Kuchh karo- kuchh karo- unko theek karo”…but now the frail chest was no longer heaving…the warmth was already depleting…

What followed was heart rending- Saira’s MIL- a soft spoken woman who hardly spoke was now lamenting loudly- She was screaming “Allah” incessantly- asking to be taken away along – the neighbours started coming in from the near by flats…and as we tried to calm the woman- yet again, I had the feeling of stepping outside the scene rather than in it. Initially, I wasn’t able to hold back my tears when I first hugged the bereaved woman as she sobbed, my eyes later when completely dry as I performed the required actions in reflex like a zombie.

The departed had been a good old man and a wonderful father. His son Afsal who had by now arrived was devastated and was at a loss as to how to pacify his inconsolable mother. She kept mumbling that if Afsal had been home, his Abba would not have gone. The look in Afsal’s eyes at that moment shall remain etched in my minds eye for a long time.

2 comments:

Full2 Faltu said...

"She kept mumbling that if Afsal had been home, his Abba would not have gone. The look in Afsal’s eyes at that moment shall remain etched in my minds eye for a long time."

They do remain etched for a long time and continue to haunt you for years to come. They hurt!

-Punds

Vas Vasudevan said...

Sorry for Afsal and his family. May Bhai's soul rest in peice.