Friday, 18 September 2015

Remembrance

When you've been blind too much and for too long you tend to forget certain images, certain portraits of life which a normal person wouldn't or couldn't forget. I still remember that day, a busy Monday morning when everyone around was frantically in pursuit to catch up with time, when I tripped over some misplaced furniture, sat up and forgot my mother's face. All throughout the day when Alice and the kids were away, I was in a desperate search through the vaults of my memory from where I hoped to retrieve fragments of my mother.

***

My mother called out to me, asking to watch how the bean seeds I kept in wet cotton opened its tiny little arms, stretched, grasped air, drank all the precipitation, took light and made life. I watched in awe at the origin of life, and absorbed the divinity of making it. Somewhere in between I would have looked at my mother's face and admired at how she created me as I created life. I could remember the seeds, but not my mother's face.

***

I climbed the stairs and felt the grumbling getting louder. The arguments were insignificant, it was the fact that they were arguing which mattered most. I remember how frail my mother's voice was becoming. 'Think about him', she was saying. 'Think about your kid!'. I could still perceive the smell of alcohol that hung around the room like an unwelcome guest. I could feel how my sweat mixed with my tears, I could hear the silence which partitioned us from each other. But I could not remember how red my mother's face was when she was in tears.

***

'God is love', she said to me. I could realize that she was right purely because her voice had an affirming tune which spread through my heart and mixed with my blood. She knew how I felt, she knew I was desperate. 'The girl you loved, perhaps she doesn't really deserve you or perhaps she loves someone as you love her. And when you love a person truly it is always a pact which you make with sacrifice. If you love her, let her go!'. I thought about the words, and felt a surge of emotion which catapulted into an inconsolable outflow of tears. My mother hugged me, I could feel her love wiping away my tears but I could not put into picture the tears she wiped away from her face behind my back.

***

Alice came into my life like a spasm, a twitch, a sudden overpowering story which shook me up. I was gradually losing my vision but then she came into my field of view and asked me to survive a bit longer. 'That girl will change your life!', mom used to say then. And indeed Alice was that vibrant and beautiful shower of color, the last you see before the beginning of dark. When I introduced her for the first time to my mother, she said, 'Alice, he will go blind within a year, and I am very well aware that you know it. Make sure he sees everything he wants by then!'. I am sure if there had been no Alice, my mother would let me watch things I always wanted to see, but could she show them now? Could she crawl her way through this veil of darkness and make me see her once again?

***

I remember the day when I saw a spider web drenched in morning dew. There were butterflies which cautiously avoided the web drawn by the masterful spider. I tried taking those dew drops out of the cobweb when my mother called me to come for breakfast. I remember how steam would rise from the morning porridge into heights which my imagination would fill in. 'Where will the steam reach, will it see us from the top?', I asked. 'It will see you, sweetheart. But it may not see this old lady!', she said as I watched the steam going further and further up.