My name is Ayesha and I do not want to complicate it with surname. That day Ammi, arrived for Afsa’s second birthday and there was a the big fight between, Afjal and Banu, my twins both wanted to play with soft bunny Aka bought for Afsa. I was Ayesha to these names during my lifetime. My eldest one, 10 years old Karim doesn’t speak much. He too would have liked to caress it, the toy, but yeah, we do not get it all dear! The eight little feet kicked in me all active alive like fresh catch fishes in a span of short eight years.
They were all vivacious, silly, amusing, envious, dreamy but mostly cranky. Presence of Ammi made things easier and also tougher. Few days later as soon as I heard him off the gate I picked my purse and left all five together. Afsa’s gripping, precarious look from the window panes was dreadful. I closed the gate behind and moved away.
I cannot comprehend how could I do that? What drove in me like a Shaitan? Ah that Shaitan!
I took an auto rickshaw from the main road and asked him to take me to Saira Park. Saira Park was far, very far like forty- forty five minutes from my home,I do not understand kilometers. The old driver glanced at me and said-”Chaliye”! He took me for a ride. I had bent to move in and you cannot believe the space I noticed while I entered in, the whole seat was mine! I had spread my hands over the back support. I never felt that way before I never had so much space for myself ever since I do not know when. It’s hard to think If I felt that way before. How much I loved it! I could feel the gentle breeze over my face as the auto took over the flyover.
It was so gratifying, the moving me and the feel of air over my cheeks cold and still. I never felt so relaxed not even at the parlours or after a good night sleep. My nerves loosened and my limbs moved outward. I was so absorbed, oblivious to the world, I was not holding anywhere. I did not cover my face. The pollution, traffic,honking nothing could reach me. I had let myself to the seat. I looked out and saw those University girls with bags and books, walking alone.
I was oddly calm and loosely freeing my frame. Perhaps half asleep or may be hallucinating, my mind reposed, my eyes witnessing the way the world moves. How easy it was to just to give in, to just disconnect, detach and breath as if the seat was a house on wheels or a small room carrying me alone. I was losing track of my wallet as it skidded towards the end of the seat. I had never travelled with so much time in my hands. I reached Saira Park, perhaps in trial to remain on the ride forever I had to drag my body with heavy moves, towards the Peepal tree at the corner, the grasses had dried, I sat down. The wind still around. I looked at my hands. The wrinkles and hard palms, flour glued to the corner of the nails. I heard a brown stray dog lying and growling near a old tattered park bench, I gazed at the darkness of its eyes and moist tear stains. It somehow needed to survive for no reason, does his presence makes any difference, to anyone? anything ? The uncertain, indeterminate, transitory existence- I thought. It was so pathetic and cruel to think of its sudden absence from that very place. Another sound that reached me was the coarse peepal leaves hustling, moving glittery coins. A dry leaf dropped near my dry toes, the apex completing it. The day was rising, sun taking toll but the sea inside me rippled and sparkled, it was deep like Afsa closing her eyes. It was the first time I had not spoken for so long, my mouth felt dry. The luminous sense of quietness was so unique. Assigned to blabber I thought. I whispered to hear myself, my voice was coarse and dragging. Do people who live alone lose their voice? I felt hungry, a slight hint from inside. How I failed to notice it, after years of eating leftovers and sticky weight of slowly formed layers under my skin. The park seemed so serene, expansive and as if the space engulfed me, the leaf in my hands, the moist eyes of the stray dog, the aging bench all like a pebble in a sea. The sun was wide awake and I was lying on my back the arms open towards the sky. If the earth was to break open, the very moment I would have easily relinquished. It was really long I had looked at the sky, clear, expansive, so spacious, my eyes couldn’t cohere it. It covered me the way I hold Afsa. The very moment I felt a thud, bang something broke open and suddenly a part of me released from within, leaving me, looping itself to the infinitude of the vast, smoky sky. I stopped breathing. They were really far Afsa, Afjal, Banu, Karim and Ammi. I was moving away from them and they too seemed like floating away from me. Far, very far I was unable to see them anymore, perhaps they dissipated out of my vision or was I losing my sight (sigh)? Ah! The last thing I felt was a moist touch, was It the dog sniffing at my fingers?
Omi Pandey Anish lives near Sabarmati River, adores words and records moments with the blink of her eyes. She is raising two beautiful stars and loses herself in empty rooms.
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