Short Story: Apocryphal Samsara

Like a lone soul striving to congregate with the distant horizon, here I stand on the roof terrace and blankly stare at the settlements of the valley which, after an ablution in the heavy rain, germinates into a beautiful maiden looking askance at her beau. The street below is dotted with puddles, tantamount to the very sacred origin of it as the hallowed lake long ago. With not much to do, I gambol the time correlating nothingness with everything. Smothering with rage at own helplessness, I turn to the distinct sky on the backdrops of murky clouds – clouds, like always so intriguing with its fickleness very like an amoeba.

There’s one cruiser on an eastward voyage; also a lion just about to pounce. Aha! Now it is changing its shape, has become akin to Hanuman, and like the hulk, not with usual red face, bulged mouth, long tail or club on his shoulder. Obscurities of cloud lower.The Hanuman, encased all over the sky, comes too close and suddenly I discover he’s not Hanuman, he’s more like Unmatta Bhairav. He laughs the roar of an anointed being that would even mar the greatest gallantry of demons. He flares – big head, bigger crown, rosary of human skulls, tumid tummy, dark face and body, short and stout legs, and big phallus – a naked God. No fear, no reverence.He goes on laughing, flaring, outgrowing – and that’s that. He’s hovering just over the terrace; obscurity more profoundly keeps lowering. I don’t cringe for he’s not real but still abasement doesn’t apprehend. I don’t have veneration for the hulking God, his sexual omnipotence and the intense rage.

The monster like God laughs and his phallus, believed to be a symbol of fertility and youth, points at me. Astounded, I see him nearing, so close, almost feel his phallus touching my forehead. He stands naked – only too late, I realize, has come to be the real. Find lumps in the throat, strangled cry but can’t scamper; my feet seem glued. The naked monstrous God laughing – his phallus, not his appalling look, scares me. I imply mind and body and suddenly discern the synergetic upsurge inside. I run only to find my body, with only few seconds of impediment, tripped over the roof into the air. On the edge, I see his eerie face, quite devoid of its faculty of either sombreness or ecstasy!

No hint of pain as I bounce on the asphalt. Surprised, I open eyes retiring flat on the bed – ha, I’ve been dreaming! I prop on elbow to fathom the surrounding – a hospital’s general ward, what an awful place to be. I despise both the ward and the aisle,being here is like two hairy hands strangling your throat.Reek of ether causing suffocation, moaning and grinning, bandages and plasters, glucose and plasma, people in supine position – so very much nauseating and dizzying. But this time I am in the hospital and everything seems fine. My husband standing at the bedside smiles obsequiously. I too try to reciprocate with a smile but what’s this – a tube inserted in nose and bandage covers my forehead.

My husband inquires, “How you feeling, dear?”

“Going to die?” I remember myself falling from the roof.

“Of course not baby, one doesn’t die of such minor mishap.” He phlegmatically assures.

I feel my mouth stretching. “Would you help me, I want to see myself?”

“Drop it darling, I’ll call someone tomorrow to make you look beautiful.’’

Tomorrow? Why tomorrow? Why not now?  What if something happened right now? What if I give up the ghost, O! Death? What’s this really, what it coheres with a woman on the hospital bed – might embark anytime or never – its black, very black, a hollow. Apparently, almost half of the life has been an utter murk and are dark velvets of nights. Am I afraid or quizzed being cognizant of my end? What this ultimate departure means to a woman, the twilight? Major chunk of life has been a sheer purgatory; what after Death? Agony, suffering, senseless effort, emptiness, love-hate, anger-fear, at this juncture, elects no essence; like a void – everything unseen and no way out.  When I die as if this moment, on the hospital bed, after so long a futile treatment, what an ugly face I’d show off – swelled, bloodied and stained, mouth open, distraught of terror. Shrisha, I recollect, when killed herself, what a ghastly scene it was – tongue and eyes rolled out, swelled face daubed with saliva and tears, smudged with soil. When living she was gorgeous. Poor she! Killed herself few days before her nuptial and was going to live a life of repute but a paper published her unclad photos.The rumour has it, her professional life was a washout and she was constrained to strip to the buff, which she had to pay with her life.

I wouldn’t like people turned off, disgusted like they did with Shrisha. I must die beautiful. As I see Yamaraj come for me, I will try to say cheese…

White fluorescent tube is glowing inside the general ward, curtains pulled over the window – maybe its night. Since the admission here, I’m almost ignorant of days and nights, dates and months. Good God! Even the notion of year has been swept away. What’s going on? Is it dementia, however reluctantly must I admit, I have not been absent minded, but still, in the nick of time, everything inside the brain erased. Why admitted here, why? What’s my name – don’t know.What do I do – don’t imbibe. Where do I live – don’t discern. Who am I? What am I? A lunatic, am I? An insane woman, like that one moseying Putlisadak Street, old, shabby, smudged; making incoherent utterance and abrasive to each pedestrian.

Ha! The demented woman reminds who I am. Thank God, memories are at the right place. I was rushed to the maternity hospital yesterday when pangs of labour was incessant, doc hoped to be a girl. My child! Want to have a glance – is she very beautiful like me or grisly with the likes of her father. I must see my lump of muscle pocked out. Nine months of waiting for this piece of heart and rightly so, I want to cares and kiss.But where’s she – not here, not there. Where’s my child…where’s my baby…why can’t I utter words. What stops my voice…?  Why even deep inhalation is impossible…What’s happening, whose hands are here…It smells like…like…my husband’s…Good heavens! He’s my husband…why is he killing me. Help! Help…my husband is killing me. Help…please someone…

From the queer darkness, I see mother coming.“Don’t cry my baby, don’t cry”.

Mother! Mother!

“Alright my child, I won’t abandon you now, I’ll take you away from this suffering and pains. Come with me”

Mother! Mother! I can’t come with you.

The voice choked but I feel like mother is hearing every word. She pulls needle from wrist and assists in erecting my body. As I feel the cold floor, the sensation of elation surges. Her handaround my shoulder, strains me and I walk with her blithely towards the empire of the darkness.This must be aisle but its like a tunnel – very dark, at the end there’s a glimmer, must be the other world. Mother, too sombre, walks briskly, but so swift a movement I have. Here we are – but where has mother ushered me – a place of Devi Mata. She is young woman seated on a wooden platform between two girls; her unkempt hair, vermilion on forehead, garlands and rosaries draped on neck, reddened face and red cloths. Rice and flowers littered around, oil wicks and incense burning, “Goddess Durga bestowed her with her occult power.She can see through the past, the present and the future, and also can obliterate spirits,” Mother whispers. Durga is just an imagery; seeing into the time, only a bigotry; spirits, a sham – I remind myself. A woman who has invoked the Great Goddess in her – ha!

Everything – the rituals, the things, the woman and the girls make a pretext to look eerie; however, my mind elicits loathing. The girls, too demure and abased, look absurd. Thinking of an escape, I lurch towards the mother’s side. Pent up exasperation reins. I’m irked for she has left me on the hands of these bunches of morons. Involuntarily I watch the insanity – can’t say what has befallen here; a dim light from oil wick pitches a repulsive shadow. The woman and the girls are standing, shaking with their senseless utterance, ripping own cloths – now they stand uncovered. Everything so outlandish; I must get away from this disgust, walking briskly, swerving from the lunatics. Obscurity everywhere, can’t get a notion of way out, its almost like an abyss, albeit, my legs cover the distance – palpitation high, perspiring porously.

And then, light comes into sight; I walk with a gust. There, where there’s light, is the coupling – man on a supine position, woman prostrated over him.Naked and still, eyes closed, breathing very low, making face like, like…don’t quite discern what expression those faces render – not living but surely undead as well. More than the unison, their stillness fascinates me. Having no slightest idea, I ogle at the couple on the floor. I hear perplexing sound ascending, then discover them hurriedly entering. In the face of the woman, I see rancorous lust, libidinous body is red, wobbling sadistically. The bare girls with child like face are cavilling with the woman very like children with mother. There seem some demands to fulfil, still the woman with smug buoyancy, doesn’t look at them instead runs to stand upon the critical union. She is shimmering red, has a serpent and a garland of human skulls on her neck, ferocious to look at. Of sudden a sword appears on her hand, she rises and slain herself. She holds her head on her own palm, three blood springs rushes out from her decapitated neck – one into her mouth while other two into the mouths of girls. There’s exultation among the girls, the elation in the woman and the blessed are the couple. However, too panicked, I drop on the floor becoming a mound and before losing the consciousness, I have the revelation – she is Chhinamasta, the self decapitated Goddess.

I can’t capitulate how long my senses have gone but only when revive I come to apprehend, it was one of my nightmares playing tricks on me since I came to the hospital. When the eyes are open, Isee my husband, stretch over his forehead and perspiration, a feeding cup on his hand. No, no, I don’t want to drink milk, no milk, and no pills…

 “I’ll never take”

“What?”                    

“No milk, no pills; no milk, no pills…

I can’t say how long my fussing continues but then suddenly I feel like the world is reeling, and my stomach churning. Why is this gloom everywhere? Eyes are opened or closed? Is there no light in the room? I strain and screw eyes, I can see silhouettes.

Yes, I remember that lanky boy, the crush I had on him. I remember my younger days when I wetted my pillow, not being able pull up myself to spell out heart. He is here to see me, to say l love you, I’m still waiting for you. Or was that only one-sided attraction, I don’t remember, it was a long time ago.

You had come to live with your aunt in our neighborhood and had been living in the house next door for a while, but I did not notice you until I saw you in a store. I talked to your aunt this-that, all the time you were looking at me, your shallow eyes scanning my face. You were so ordinary kind that I could not decide I liked or disliked you. But then slowly your ordinariness became something special. Your lankiness that sometime I had pitied, I began to admire.

Whose hands are over my forehead, are those yours, my love?

Lo here’s Rangita. “What king of song?” she asks, in singsong voice, sparkle in her eyes, smile twirling. One can’t say she is very pretty, but her sensual mouth and lusty eyes make her appealing. If she had been a boy, certainly I’d have gone crazy for this nurse. Woman to woman, a forbidden act. But why can’t a woman fall for another woman, when emotions and sentiments for opposite sex vanish. Man and woman, from the time of antiquity, had been exploring or rather say discovering things. This thing, woman to woman or man to man, had always been present in every civilizations and religions, but why do they always tout for the so-called natural sex. Rangita! Come, let us make out, and find what a woman to woman like. My husband never tries to discern my desire, it matters only about releasing his pleasure. Every night he is in hurry, always leaving me famished. His eroticism is a crazy joke for me, every time the coupling raids my self-esteem, I’m haunted by his ejaculation. Good God! How did I spend all these years!

Ranjita reveals her full curves of breast and legs. I’m inhibited by desire. She eagerly bents forward, her fingers linger over my flesh. They are warm and moist. Her hungry eyes devour me ever so slowly. Our hearts are beating loud, we are breathing rapidly. Bound by erotic sentiments, our bodies seek comforts.

Barricades of endurance break. Our bodies intertwine and move deliriously. I swim towards her infinite depth, she towers my infinite heights.  We are afloat on emotions and passions. The inhibited desire gives me time to savor the new mouth, the new taste, the new teeth, the new tongue. It is all good.

A while later, our lips part, she throws her head back,I grip her tight. We surrender to the moment’s sudden succulence.Get in­to it hard­er.Our moist and warm flesh brings the secret juices welling from inside. I float, appreciating her every moves. Then we passto some kind of thresh­old. And screams and yelps and cries and squirts and moans and screams and yelps and cries and shouts. She expresses her pleasure as vocally as she can. I can see her hand squeezing hard on the pillows and sheets. She is looking for leverage of some sort, she is over-stimulated.

All too soon we are replete, exhausted. Our tale of love ends.

But Ranjita, why you still lying above me. You look slender, nevertheless, weigh heavy. Okay, I’m tired. Get off. O God! I remember now, I was admitted here for the child delivery. You’re pressing my tummy, get off. Please for God’s sake. Be reasonable, my child will die. My child, my unborn baby…

Whose hands are over my forehead, are those Ranjita’s? I open my eyes and find my husband’s slackened face. He is left aghast. “You were saying no milk, no pills, and suddenly fainted. Are you alright, honey?”

“Yeah.” I must not make him worry that I know very well.

“Want something else?”    

I shake my head and prop on the pillow, severe pain rolls over the body                                                     

“She seems too pasty, doc?”

“Weakness. She needs some more plasma.”

I see a nurse preparing an injection.

This injection intoxicates like a shot of tequila. I close my eyes, sniff air into the lungs and wait for the sting. I try to kick off. The rambling thoughts don’t go. Being alone and blank is what I crave for. What makes me so much distressed? What I want? Why my heart heavy and anguished? Why I look with an envy at passing bird and think of flying with it, not knowing where? Only it’d have to be far, far from here. I know I’m going to lose my sense anytime now, the injection works in couple of minutes. In the haze of delirium I see him, standing and talking to the doctor. Perhaps, he still worries for me. “What have you done to yourself?” He asks of me. Someday I had found this attitude too much preachy, but now I smile as if I had expected him to say something like this. He is standing right at the plasma stand.

Once I lived in your heart, your mind, etching complicated lines of our love. Memories whispered into ears, came out to live, with life that is slipping off hand. We exchanged skin and borrowed time. We had shared four years, the best part of our life. Did I think so when we were together? I can’t say, it happened long time ago.

You were Lily’s cousin and Lily was my best friend when I was in the High School. I remember that prom night when Lily introduced us. I sort of liked you. But it was not until the last day of our term-end-exam, three months later that, I actually liked you. What issues we had. I can’t remember right now, I’m losing my consciousness.

Involuntarily my eyes open, “Don’t be so anguished honey.” My husband kisses my forehead. This is my man who always says when you are in love pain is welcome. He has always reciprocated my love and devotion. I’m what I’m because he is there always holding me to his heart.

“She seems too pasty, doc?”

“Weakness. She needs some more plasma.”

I can’t take more. What a horrible pong! The man’s got an American ascent but surely he’s an Indian. Am I in an Indian hospital? I don’t remember, feels like slumber raising its hood, but don’t want to go to sleep for I’m scared of oblivion and those dreary dreams hitting my mind hard. I must ask for stay put pills. Or an awful din coming from other side might help me to let my consciousness intact. 

About a year ago, I was in this hospital for the test tube baby implant, albeit, it could have been done in Kathmandu. We went to the sperm bank and carried in-vitro. He says there must be confidentiality. Its preposterous, he doesn’t have the power to make a woman pregnant and calls himself a man.

Oh…what’s this? Why my cloth underneath so wet? What’s this sticky fluid all over my thighs…Let me see, is it what I’m thinking? Oh God! Blood! Blood there is in the garments, in the mattress, in the rug. Blood all over…Is my child surfacing? God, its painful, so painful. I need support to put up with this excruciating pain of childbirth, this agony…I can’t…I can’t help me…Help me to triumph over this aching trajectory. Part between my thighs is tearing, something poking through it…There is tingling taste of the blood in the mouth. God, save me, please save me. Affliction is unbreakable, can’t endure any longer…This suffering much worse than death. Husband demands for a child and wife goes through the pain. Man and woman enjoy the moment of intimacy but why only woman passes this relentless torture. Help me…Help me Lord.   

I feel hands caress my face – so cool, so soft. Whose hands are these? It is that of…my daughter. Oh my dearest! When did you turn up? Are you alright? Only too late, I realize utterances are voiceless.  Err…err…why this gloom everywhere. Eyes are opened or closed? Or there’s no light in the room. I strain and screw eyes, can see only slotted of human structures. One, two, three…no they’re many, I can’t count. Who’re they? One might be my daughter, one my husband, doctor, nurse. Who’re others? Yes that lanky boy, the crush I had on him, those younger days when I wetted my pillow, could not feign courage to spell out heart. He is here to see me, to say l love you, or was it all one-sided attraction of mine.

Do you know, last night I was with you, your eyes were closed, breathing deeply. Yes, you were sleeping, and didn’t know I was there. I was very close to you, very close, I could feel your pulse, your breathing, you were calm and quiet, I was restless. My fingers ran over your flesh, it was so soft, so gentle, couldn’t help, kissed your forehead, eyes, cheeks, lips…Nothing remains here, your beauty will wither, elegance will vanish. And I won’t be here to be lost in you. You won’t exist forever, or I.

I went inside you – in your heart, your mind – to etch complicated lines. Memories whispered into ears, came out to live, with life that is slipping off hand. I exchanged skin and borrowed time, slowly…slowly…I entered your heart, reached the infinite depth. Is this the Pacific Ocean? Or have I gone millions feet deeper than the Pacific. I floated in your blood, travelled through veins in the chambers of the heart. Right to left. In and out. I was within the thick sticky fluid, its warmth. Then with the gushing blood I was inside your mind. Good heavens! Your mind is so profound, much profounder than the universe. I wandered losing myself in its infinity, everything I found in the world outside was there. I was there, you were there, and our love was there.

Last night, I was with you, within you. You were sleeping and didn’t know I was inside you, outside you. Lost inside, found outside. In the deep silence of yours, I went in your conscience through the outer existence. Yes, you really don’t know, last night I was pretty deep in you. You were asleep but I was awake travelling in your eternal world.

As I peer to catch every nuances of the lanky boy, I hear voices.

“How’s Kabitaji?”    

“Well she’s sleeping. You can talk to her when she wakes up.”

“We want to know about our celebrity’s health…”

What is it all about? There’re talking about cinema. By celebrity, do they mean me? And when did I become the celebrity sort? Who Am I? I don’t have down pat. Everything washed; nothing is in the mind, no remembrance, very blank – a white paper, pure white. What’s happening? I want to sleep, want to go to oblivion, only deathlike silence, and absolute solitary, and no more nerve-racking nightmares.

Life – means what to me? What was it earlier, what now? While painting an image on the canvas, a strong wind hauls, colour is glossed over the image making it dim. And of sudden, the voice evolves up from the depth of the heart stressing upon the fact of the life, the facsimile of the abstract painting which, likewise, remains as the partial painting of the soul with the colours of heart – incomplete dreams, incomplete desires. Is this what a life is all about? I believed, life means rising up. Life, like broken pieces of glass glittering, is not viable to blending again. Or life is like an onion, when you peel up a layer, layers follow the layer, layers upon layers until its existence becomes a fable.Stench and stink, tears it brings, but at last, the nothingness. Or life is a saga of success and failure – what did I do, what I achieved, what is left on my hands, what’re my earnings?

I was a high-flyer; with such propensity I shot for Cyber Sansar, it made me popular. My bawdy exposure people liked; I participated in the beauty contest, people admired; I was illustrious, newsworthy prototype painting the town red and highly talked looking back. Now I’m Kabita Singh, the grossly paid actress feathering her own nest. Even so, I know what I had lost and gained?  I look at my reflection in the mirror and say out loud, I’m out and out prominent, I have merited obscene wealth; however, the satisfaction that I urge still is a distant flash of light.

I have come a long way, from the photographer to the musician, atrocities and abuse, affairs and sex, the slanders, to this pedestal of success. I’ve married an old musician and have a daughter. While discussing about our ambitious home production, excited, I laughed and hopped, and fell off the balcony breaking my left leg. But how’s it, oh it seems okay.  I’ll be alright in few days to return to my normal self – films, revelries, drinks and enjoyment – ha…ha…ha…

Involuntarily my eyes open, I see no one in the room save a nurse preparing an injection. This injection intoxicates like an alcoholic drink. I close eyes, sniff the air to fill the lungs and wait for the sting. I try to kick off. The rambling thoughts don’t go. Being alone and blank is what I crave for. What makes me so much distressed?Why are the days perplexed and night at nerves? What I want? Why my heart heavy and anguished? Why I look with an envy at passing bird and think of flying with it, not knowing where? Only it’d have to be far, far from here. Heavy hands seem to weigh upon. It is as if I’m behind the wall and its about to tumble down. Why? If only someone tells me what must I do. Is it not enough to have a kind heart, do good, think good – yes, that’s what matters in life. But how am I to do it? If only I could control myself.

“Don’t be so anguished honey”. My husband kisses my forehead. 

I find my lips smiling. He, looking unreasonably unsightly while assuring, propping me on the frame of the bed, strokes my hair. I feel pity on this man, never knew he loved me so much.Someone has rightly said you know how much your man loves only when you’re ill. He pulls rug to my neck and says, “Pain killing you baby? All right I will tell the doctor. Darling you’ll be fine.”

I’m about to say something, but then I hear a terrified voice. “Please, don’t shoot, I want to live. Take my bills, take my ring, take my necklace, take everything. Please for God’s sake don’t kill me, please leave me alone, don’t come near, please…

Looks like the voice is coming just across the room, it is very clear. However, suddenly I hear no more. Someone stopped, or perhaps my ears are against me, I see the four walls whirling. I travel time. From the hospital’s bed I reach a small town, a place never known, and I’m a little girl, fourteen years, very sweet, very elegant, really nice girl. I walk across the narrow path that I have never walked, I see men coming towards me, the faces that I’ve never seen. Must I avoid them or ask what this place is called. Why are they whispering and smiling lasciviously. They are hogging my path. Hey! What’s this nonsense. They are touching me. Stop, stop it. They are pulling my skirt down. They have poked their hands inside my blouse. Don’t, don’t do such things. Help! Help! A lonely country road and a little girl in trouble, no other person seems to be present here. Go away, go away. Please don’t strip me naked. God! Save me from these rascals, these bastards, save me from these devils…I can make no move…One, two, three they mount me, can do nothing except wait for their warm droppings between my thighs…

My thighs and stomach…all covered with blood, the part between legs burning. I can’t even collect my clothes and cover my nakedness, I can’t move my hands and legs, I can’t breathe, I don’t hear my pulse. Maybe this is what people call dying. Or am I dead already? How long I remain in this state, I can’t tell, but I see a silhouette, maybe this is Yamaraj, but where’s noose, where’s his water buffalo?

“You seem to be gaining strength,” he says. What is he talking. “Today, you look lovely.”

So?

“I’m always for you, in thick and thin,” this is my husband, always assuring, always showing a glimmer of hope.

As absurd as he may seem, I wish to ask what can he do but lips remain sealed. I’m let down; however, the expression of my face, with all the evidence, reveals the contrary. May be, it comes of the reason that I live alone. There’s no hand to pull me through this abyss. I spurn those coming to me and the ones I long for are nowhere to be seen; just like puff of the dust. I wonder what has become of me. On this hospital bed I feel down in the dumps. I don’t make out the insider motivating me; feels like I were slowly being put to death, I cry inside, unable to rein an upsurge of emotions in.What good is my life? What do I live for? What good is my soul when everything falls apart? Is this all due to the fact, my being on this bed, I may die shortly or is my life leaving off my hand? What’s all – these feelings, these thoughts.   

“You’re not going to die,”a voice says thunderously. “I know your affliction.” Who is he, where on earth he sprang from? “Its your love for me.” Flabbergasted I stare him; quaintly dressed stranger with impish smile. “How you feel looking at this statue and that palace.” Stature? Palace? What’s he talking about, I see nothing save him. “This is my statue. That palace was built by me.” Tch-tch, poor fellow, he’s lost his brain; always feel pity for such dud. “You love me, don’t you? No? They all did, those women. Why?” What’s so special about him? “I’m Chandra Shumsher! Don’t laugh, I can order you to be slimed, killing spree, I have done abound. Atrocities you may call it but I’d the decree to rule – to kill men, to make woman curtsy to titillate my hankering for a flesh. I hear people call me despotic Prime Minister but I tell you, that holy tree was planted by me. It was just a little plant when I took it to the Great Britain for my daily worship; I couldn’t eat without my prayers. I’d also taken cows; you think I could drink milk from those cows of cow eater. After all, I’m a devout man.”

It could be right to reprimand this harebrained but there’s nothing wrong listening to his comical talking. “This statue beneath this tree and that palace, I have but a special bond. Do you think I could forget my Simha Durbar, which I built from the government’s money and sold it to the country and lived there?” Time is walking backward, history is appearing before me.“Well actually, I was the government, I was the country. Now it has become offices of ministers. I will tell you the truth – Prime Ministers are my successors, only they don’t discern my clout over them. How could they obliterate themselves from my rein while working there? From there I controlled the whole country, let thrones be it at Humandokha palace or Narayanhiti.

“Once at Narayanhiti there used to be my uncle’s palace; we killed him and got the Prime Minister’s post, and the power to rule. New palace was erected in midst of the shambles, do you think those hovering spirits would peter out. I saw them one night and the entire family massacred, the patricide, the matricide and the regicide they say but even more believe, the man who sat on the throne after the royal massacre had designed to kill his brother’s family. Craps!  You wretches made it look like a plug. It was nothing compared to what our uncles did; only we didn’t kill kings and queens. After all, it wasn’t necessary; they pecked on our leftover. Kings meant nothing to us then and still mean nothing to those Prime Ministers, do they? They sit in my palace and rule the country; all I could see is blood over their hands smudging on their clothes.

“I don’t imbibe why I’m telling you this; may be, I love you. Has anyone told you? You’ve a sensual mouth. Would you let me kiss? Just a kiss. I’m old; don’t feel desire for woman flesh. Just a kiss. Never been a great kisser, do you think de facto king could place his mouth over his subjects. You won’t let me kiss, huh. How dare you offend His Majesty’s Right Honourable Maharaja of Nepal General Chandra Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana. You deserve only death.”

A sword penetrates into my chest tearing it asunder, its like hot red iron poked into.  There’s something burning inside my body, feel like my chest is under a boulder, I think of smashing my head against the wall to flee of this misery – the woe is me. Irrational flood of blood vessels make me insensible to the environment around, it has brought sweating, nausea, dizziness.A debility seeming to stretch the very limits of endurance. No one dies of pain; nonetheless, it could be far below death. Someone kisses my forehead but I’m too cold to accept it. Terror of severe pain torments and typhoon of pain makes me wild. There’s no way out, only to concentrate and see when will be left apart.I wish for ice cubes to freeze the pain or rather morphine will do. Let me sleep and not remember everything.

Cool and fresh breeze touches me. I think someone pulled the curtains, I open eyes in a hospital cabin, flat on the bed. My son, standing by my side, tenderly touches my cheeks. His hands always remind me of my husband; he died two years ago but I’ve always thought he’s lived in my son, my only child.

 “How are you mom, 15 hours are damn long time.”

I hold his hand. There’s severe pain in my chest. My son has the semblance of his father – his voice, his appearance.Father and son were like birds of a feather,only my husband was an army officer and my son hates army life.

 “Flowers for you grandma.”

 Me and I too, kiss her. I try to stretch myself, my son props me to the pillow.There on the edge I see my daughter-in-law, blazing in her frivolity of bearing a child.

“How’re you mom,” she cajoles and strokes my feet.

“Alright, when to be discharged?”

“Doc says, you’ve to go through chemo”, my son answers.

I’m elated and excited, alive amongst my family; they’ve solicitude for me. My son is a manager in a bank and daughter-in-law, a fashion designer. I’ve a lovely granddaughter, she’s 8 years old. There is another child in the making. I myself used to be a teacher. I’m lucky woman. God’s given me everything – a caring family, handsome fortune and life of repute. I admire my family; I love this life, this world, these people and myself. Its happier place to live in. This perception and sensation of happiness always make me go wild; I don’t want to allot, want in entirety. Life is so beautiful. I’m satisfied. Now there’s nothing I lust for; got everything. Yeah,its a happier place to live not with what you want but what you have.

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