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The Winter Winds from the West — Chapter 02

My real problem.
The winter winds are seeping through my skin like silk worms crawling up on a dry branch. Like a thorthumundu (white bath towel) dipped in the Kalpathy river water and spread for drying on a rock on its bank, a silver cloud is hugging the huge palm tree in the back yard ; Like the tears of a hapless woman, droplets of water drip silently from it towards the earth.
I am awake lying on a soft cotton mattress surrounded by soft cotton pillows pushing my torso deep inside a velvety blanket, enjoying the lavishness of the lush green grass bed bordered by oaks and palm trees, seen through the adjoining window. There is absolute silence in and around and I can hear the beats of my heart.I am certain that I am awake but then how do I clearly see the slim silhouette of my Ratnam approaching from the grove of pines! Now she extends her slender hand through the window and prompts me to go out. But how do I get out of this mess of cables and books and dvds and decorative pieces spread all over my bed room ? I now realize that even if manage to exit, I have no wings and I well not be able to fly along with her.
“‘Shall I call Aparna?” She is vocal when she is silent and I can follow the words which
never comes out of her mouth.
‘No” I tell her . My words float in the air and echoes back into my room.”Let the poor thing enjoy her X mas holidays”
“‘But You longed me to call her name at least once, before.”
Yes, I did and this is what happened.
A couple of weeks after my daughter Aparna was born, her mother had to undergo a minor surgery to remove the puss formation on her chest. While recovering from the influence of the sedative, lying on a table in the hospital,she half-opened her eyes and muttered, ‘Aparna”. I was pained and jealous that this woman for whom I have given everything and am prepared to sacrifice even my life, remembers even in her sub conscious mind only the name of her daughter born just a few days ago and not mine!
Later, when I mentioned about this incident to her, she smiled and wiped her moist eyes.
Years rolled by. Aparna was admitted in a maternity home and I was waiting anxiously outside, pacing the long corridor, praying silently for her safe delivery . Unable to bear her cries calling her mother, I begged,prayed and pleaded to my wife to call her name once, just once ,so that my dear little one will forget her pain.
I begged, prayed and pleaded, but she did not call her daughter’s name,even once..
Or could it be that she did call but the gigantic clouds in between did not allow the call to pass through?
Despite their high position, they were perhaps, as jealous as I were in the recovery room of a surgery theater,long ago.
‘Sadyotham prapadhyami’ mantram accompanied by the metallic sound of the pooja bell gush through and I open my eyes and wonder how could I hear my own voice emanating from a land far, far away from Ocala, where I lie down on a silky mattress adjoining a window opening to a lush green lawn?
It takes some time for me to realise that sleep was a reality and my thoughts were unreal.
This has been always my problem- To distinguish the real from the unreal.
Love and regards,
Dec 21  2009

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