It was absolutely a long day at the office today. I was returning back home with the aura of coffee brewing up the cup, already making my mind go crazy. I could do anything for a cup of coffee right now maybe even bray out like a donkey perhaps. But no I’m Joking I couldn’t do that it feels so wrong somehow…
Just a couple of houses now and then- home sweet home. My paces slowed down as I neared the footpath corner where I didn’t see the usual son and mother, staying in a heap huddled together. The mother always engrossed with tending the small son with a marasmic condition. Where are they? There were nothing but a big bundle of their rags?
It felt so wrong somehow..
30 mins later..
Even 3 cups of black coffee couldn’t soothe the alarming tension building up within myself. Since the last 15 minutes I tried to calm myself but it isnt enough. I cannot just take the dreadful feeling off my mind that shall bury me with the mountain of stressful thoughts. I cannot fathom what I am supposed to think or feel.
And it feels so wrong somehow..
Flashback- 30mins earlier..
I neared the corner looking up to left and right.. Noticing the slow eerieness of the atmosphere. It was 6 pm yet the daily hustle of the street was quiet.
It felt so wrong somehow.
The street remained in silence and I could hear the honking of cars far below and not the husky sound of the woman who kept chanting words of love to the son cradled in her arms always.
Some pennies were scattered on the floor haphazardly. It felt wrong that way for they used to always be in the stained metallic bowl in front of them. I didn’t see the bowl, perhaps it rolled off to the street below.
Still it felt so wrong somehow.
Nobody was around and I could hear my own steps echoing the pavement. I was nearing the heap of rags clutching my bag to myself. Something told me to stop, go no forward than this, just turn and go to your home. But something urged me on and it felt so wrong somehow.
And I did go.. A burning ache building up my heart. I don’t know what I had expected but the sight I glimpsed for hardly 60 seconds made my heart tear apart leaving my numb mind and body all aghast.
I was right to feel, it all felt so wrong somehow.
The sight of that strangled child, draped with the half torn saree of the woman I always saw. Not just the legs were bent abnormally today,,but the entire body itself was bent all raw.
Where was the woman today? Why wasn’t she cradling the child?
Then reality hit me hard for I knew why it felt so wrong somehow.
It all portrayed out open now with that veneer off my eyes. The child was never alive at all to now be so dead.
The woman was the one who kept chanting out loving words always. But the baby was always so unmoving to all that words his mother says. I had heard the gossip around that the woman was mad. But I never realized it might actually be true and it was that bad.
The air became so heavy and the wind came up too cold. I could feel the womans voice ringing my ears,with the words left untold.
I took a step back and another, fear radiating my body now.. I couldn’t help repeating to myself it felt so so wrong somehow…..
I was back on the sofa with the 5th cup of coffee in my hand. I couldn’t help feeling the scene in rewind again and again,making the ends of my hairs stand.
Was there anything I could have done then? I ask myself out here. Perhaps no, but the fact hit me equally dreadful for that sight I took a glimpse out there.
I didn’t listen to the neighbors that kept telling everyone not to near that woman up too close. Today I recall their warnings with a pang of regret for the decision I chose.
The truth had revealed to me and I know the harsh reality now. But I can’t help the feeling that since the beginning it all felt so wrong somehow..
It was all I could think of.. Each day I passed that corner I told myself.. No don’t look at it but I couldn’t help looking at it.. The ragged remains..
Nobody even had removed those from there and despite the fact that I knew the child was also still there.. I hadn’t the courage to walk up there and go take a look.. I just knew its there.. And it felt all so wrong.
I didn’t even come out of my home yesterday and told a lie to my office, calling in sick. What’s wrong I don’t know.. But I didn’t want to pass that corner where I knew the ragged pile still remained there.
Today I really felt I’m ill.. Where must the woman have gone? The woman, who always held him like a part of her own heart left the baby alone and dead?
I couldn’t sum up the fact for the reason she left her child strangled and stranded.. I need to find out where the woman went.. I’m sure the woman and I am connected somewhere but I can’t place it right thought the fact is just right there.
Pulling off the blankets off I get up,take a fast shower and head out. The cold air hit me slap! On the face making me realize how the temperature has dropped.. It feels so wrong somehow.
I look up the date on my new watch.. 2nd December the clocks in my mind triggering a memory.. What was it I can’t fathom right now but I force my legs to move forth ..there was the mossing woman I needed to find out..
My heart beat so fast, it could almost stop I assume anytime now.. Just a few more steps and I’ll reach the corner where it will all be there I’m sure.. Closed eyes.. One step and two and three and four. Eyes were still closed but I could sense I’ve reached the corner.. But something felt so wrong somehow..
I reluctantly open my eye lid.. Gone! Were the rags and the scattered pennies… I stared and stared for the place was all clear.. Like nothing was there before.. But I knew what there was and it felt so wrong somehow..
The woman was gone.. Now the child too.. Who took away the child?? I don’t really know.. There was no trace left to show what I had seen there before. Everything just finished with just a day to know.
“Hello dear? Is anything wrong , you look ill…”she said,and i felt the warmth of the calloused hands of Granma cover my own but I didn’t feel the warmth at all. I looked at the wrinkled face of my landlady contorted with concern for me.. She was a mother once but her son was also now dead as could be. It again felt so wrong somehow to me.
“Where did the woman go granma, tell me do you know?”
” Tell me granma was the child thrown away.. Where did it go??”
Silence.. I could hear the soft crunch of gravel under my foot that was backing up itself slowly, leaving the warmth of Granma’s hand covering mine so well.
“It was years ago dear, and nobody asked till now, forget it dear its not a good topic to talk about” the voiced sounded distant yet familiar to hear about.. And it all felt so wrong somehow..
“Forget it dear..” The words kept ringing out again and again.. I had heard this being said often before but couldn’t place it just when.. I looked at the calloused face, the concerned brown eyes, staring intently at me… I saw the same brown eyes standing amongst the crowd when the woman came back back shouting for her child..
That same brown eyes, with the same concern , telling the woman ..her baby was gone.. That same brown eyes that showed the woman the reality making her heart ruin to shreds and hopes all torn…
“Are you alright dear?” The raspy withering voice rang in my ears.. But it was unmistakably the same voice that had consoled the woman who came back for her child, recalling back in that years..
I could see what haapened back then in my mind..Crystal clear….
What had happened when the woman came back?.. The was no child, none of her ragged piles left about here and there… The woman had gone to buy the food her son never seemed to want to have.. That was her mistake to leave the dead child there and travel a bit too far away for days, out somewhere… The decision that made her lose the only hope she had..
Just 5 days and the rags along with the dead son in it was taken away into a garbage site.. Everyone stood there staring and just staring as the last remaines were taken away assuming they wasnt any reason to leave it stranded.. The woman was gone for good forever.. Perhaps finally realizing that its no use singing lullabies to the son that had already been lulled to a deep deep sleep…
But the woman did return! The woman came along a week with joy filled in her face.. The zeal of putting a sugary lump in her sons mouth to see him smile and respond to her words.. Her hopes and dreams to watch her son smile and move in her lap and hear the words… Mummy I love you escape his small lips.. She couldn’t help the warmth building up in her heart already.. Now just a few more steps and she will be there beside her son again.. She sang to herself an unknown yet happy tune.. Approaching to where she always had been..
Slowly the tune she sang went fading.. Her steps altering the pace she held… The heart turned cold with a pang of fear.. The feeling of happiness fading along now.. She no longer recognized the empty corner where she lived… She felt it was all so wrong somehow..
Dropped did her packages of sugar.. Crushed did her hopes of joy.. Running towards the one corner she called home.. She searched frantically for the son she had left behind .. No where was her son.. No where were her piles of rugs.. Nowhere was her only bowl of hope ,nowhere her piece of bliss..
Something was wrong and it shouldn’t have been she knew.. Everything was gone and the place was turned to something all new…
Nobody came around …there was nobody to ask for… Her son had vanished and so were the things she had as a whole… Neither came the tears nor came the relief.. She was all alone there lamenting with her fears.. She hadn’t any idea where everything was gone now… Only she knew everything is wrong somehow..
Slam! I shut the door behind me, granmas voice echoing through the closed door even so.. I couldn’t understand how I knew all this about the woman who went missing years ago..
The woman had sat there weeping all alone.. Granma reached there not so old as she was now .. A look of sympathy and concern enlightening her face… she consoled the woman who felt she was all alone out there…Asking again and again why everything did change..? The woman wept into the lap of granma I just met.. I can hear that words granma spoke so clear,” Don’t cry now you have to move on well from here..”
Questions were asked further … But No answers were given… The woman understood there was nothing left to ask more and stood up just like that.. Tears streaming down her tired face.. She allowed herself to be led into her new home together with granma with the thankfulness left unsaid..
I stand forth the huge mirror that reflects a woman.. Independent and standing successful.. There was no comparison to be made between the woman in rags at the corner and this woman whose eyes stared back through the mirror.. The woman in rags had gone along with the son ages ago.. Now the woman is someone new staring right back at you..
With a real home, a real place to live in, good food to eat and loads of similar bowls of pennies to fill in.. I was a woman who shouldn’t dwell in the past, I got a new present and it was time I moved on.. Since last 5 years.. This time aroused the same memories of the woman back in the corner with her dead son clapsed as her ray of hope.. The son that was the result of early mistakes and confused mind.. The broken girl of 19 left along alone in the streets with the broken heart and a small child.. The blurriness of evil turns of life couldn’t tell her how the time slowly took away the childs life.. Yet the woman lived making the son her only hope… Yet the woman survived the streets with the heartbreak only she could cope.