Thursday, March 19

6th March' 07

I am not suicidal.
Nor do I endorse death
Of any kind.
Not the one
That happened in
The ICU.
And left behind
The perfect widow
A dutiful son
And two deviant daughters.
But that death was simple
Also hurried,
Not one for goodbyes,
Not one for niceties
He left, without guidelines
On how to mourn.
So it is confusing
And we do our own thing.
Every time,
Death in the ICU
Haunts us.

We keep the good memories
Like an old pickle bottle
That grows tangy
With familiarity
We unscrew the cap
Take a whiff
Smile, content
And keep it back safe.
To pass on
Children who will be born
Probably, may be.

We remember the laughter
The abandon to ridicule
All things
Mundane and ridiculous
The languid morning tea
The quoted and over quoted editorials
And that heart that throbbed
On all political occasions
Nostrils that flared at
Mandal & kamandal
Indira’s emergency
Rajiv’s infancy

We rejected all that didn’t conform
The whisky nights, the afternoon beers
The untouched food
The constant absenteeism
From life’s major occasion
Nephews and nieces born sans joy
Brothers and cousins who died unwept

It’s the grey memories
That I wonder mostly about
That mute spectator of life
Was it detachment?
A slow unobserved fading away
At loggerheads with his bed
Where he shrunk
And eroded
While the bed grew
Strong and triumphant

How do you remember?
Someone who had withdrawn long ago?
Make the best of food
That may go untouched
For taste didn’t matter
Feed the poor for someone
Who thought poverty was really
About economics and politics
Of nations.
Not about starving kids,
And kids were anyways
Much nuisance.
Or you go to a temple
“Really… that’s insane!
“Temples have bells.
“Never been there much myself”
So how do you remember?
Death in an ICU ?

To resolve,
This million dollar dilemma,
I dreamt of him again.
And forced him to eat my,
Banana walnut B’Day cake.

Cakes have eggs!!!
Shrieked the mother,
Not for a pious occasion,
“His rules, you see”
I shrugged.
“Let him have it in peace
Now that he is gone”
And we laughed,
Over the man,
We hated and loved in turns.
But never really understood.

And what’s wrong with a suicide?
It’s just another way to die.

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