Been doing a lot of things at the wrong time these days. Like watching Masoom while packing up the things in my room. Or like reading a novel that's about death and an instantaneous, unexpected one at that while I'm trying hard to let go.
Just before dinner, I stood in the kitchen, feeling my eyes become heavy and had to fight really hard to keep them dry. Inhale, exhale. Repeat. I succeeded and sat through a mostly silent dinner with the mother, missing some of my favouritest people. Add to that numerous discussions on my moving to K which will be causing quite an upheaval in the family, Mom being left alone and what not.
Went back to the book after dinner. It's called Map of the World by Jane Hamilton. Some book I picked up for twenty bucks while buying magazines for CAT. I don't know what exactly the title has got to do with the story, but the story is about a woman in whose house, her neighbour's daughter happens to die by drowning in a swimming pool. This woman then is sent to jail under afalse accusation. The story by itself is not original, but I love it when a book is in the first person, all thoughts detailed. Its quite a depressing book, with the mother of the dead child wondering when she will realize that he daughter is never going to come back again. And how when people ask her how many kids she has, she cannot bring herself to say one.
A Muslim is supposed to remind himself of his/her inevitable death so that he realizes that he will have to account for all his deeds one day. Yet, death and instant ones at that scare me to no end. The inevitability of it and its complete irreversibility.
While all these thoughts were floating around my subconscious, Mom called me to the kitchen and told me that I hadn't emptied the rice bowl completely. Realizing my usual absent mindedness, I started emptying the rice into another container when I got a rude shock from the stove. I yelled and Mom, startled, turned around. Apparently, the stove had been acting up from quite some time and this was in spite of the fact that it was unplugged. I inexplicably felt hurt. Mom asked me to wear slippers and come into the kitchen, then offered to do the emptying herself. I couldn't find them, so I came back and began the task again.
I couldn't get the pain out of my mind. My finger still seemed to throb, it was the strongest shock I'd ever felt and I told Mom that. While she was still wondering about it, I tilted the bowl again, holding it with two hands. I always wish we could have a third perspective to events, the audience's perspective (like when I lost my mobile from a moving auto ... in a movie they'd have frozen the scene and shown the protagonist's obliviousness while the mobile fell out in slow motion) . I too should have been shown the slow, narrowing gap between the bowl and the stove. This time I cried. Out loud. The shock went right upto my right elbow which I when I think I let go of the bowl. This time I felt anger too and a completely irrational fear of the stove. Like it was trying to hurt me, make me feel pain.
Mom led me out of the kitchen. I sat at the table, my head on my arms, unable to move, left hand clasped tightly around my right elbow. Many thoughts ran through my head, of a little boy who had been electrocuted during the kite flying season, I was trying to imagine his pain. Or the inevitability they call life.
Guess my lachrymal glands just needed a reason. I hate goodbyes.
And letting go.
(And in case you're wondering, no, nobody died.)