Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wandering Moot Point

Two days without Henery passed with great uneasiness. April was mentally and physically drained. Though feeling low, handling the baby and the chores all by herself, she made a brave attempt to keep her spirits afloat. Oscillating between weal and woe April received a new lease of life when Mark paid a surprise visit one day.
Mark's arrival brought life back into her household. The moment he tenderly held June in his arms, he fell in love with her. But Henery...! There was no sign of him. Mark could sense something which wasn't right but preferred to stay tight lipped. He watched his sister with great pride...and why shouldn't he! Inspite of Henery's gnawing absence, which was breaking her from within, she refused to succumb. She had not a single complain. When Mark became inquisitive, she kept her doubts hidden behind a veil and cooked up convincing stories regarding Henery's where abouts, knowing in the heart of her hearts how unsure she was. Realising that he would be the cuckoo in the nest in his sister's house he alienated himself from the subject.

April was feeling the pressure and one day, she had even thought of going to the hospital to enquire about her husband but her feeble health held her back. Besides she didn't want her brother Mark to have any inkling of her agony. She waited for the right time.

In the evening when Mark took June out in a pram for a gentle stroll, she found the opportunity to call the hospital. 
"Hi Steffini!"It's April here. How are you?" she asked.
"Oh Hi! Congrates April for the baby. What a lovely surprise...you called. I'm quite fine. Any thing you want!!"she replied.
"Yah, just called to know if Henery was any where around?" she asked.
"Oh, he's in the surgery at the trauma centre. In case I chance a glance upon him I'll let him know that you had called. By the way, any problem April! Steffini asked as a friend.

"Oh no Steffini! Thanks. The mother and daughter duo is doing perfectly fine. Please don't disturb him. You know how it is when the baby arrives! You lack sleep...just wanted to know if he was coming home early tonight 'coz I wished to sleep. But poor thing, Henery himself needs sound sleep after 72hour's of back breaking schedule." she answered. Will call you again Steffini!" with a friendly chit-chat she hung it, cursing and regretting her devilish thoughts.
"How could I doubt! How could I! How mean of me! Oh poor Henery! He's on 72hour's roll!...and here I sit all day hallucinating! Oh god...help me! Polish my heart and fill it with the light of your mercy, compassion and warmth!"
A deep sense of guilt consumed her. Holding her head in both arms she dropped on the bed and let endless tears roll down as if she wished to wash away all the muck inside.
Just when she began to feel lighter and a lot better, the doorbell rang. April hurridly wiped her tears, brushed a stroke or two and clicked and pinched her cheeks lightly, for the glow to return. When the door opened ...outside stood Henery...exhausted. 

Harbingers Of Hope

Storms are harbingers of hope of some sort. April was making efforts to be resilent. She saw Henery engrossed with their baby. He refused to leave her side.
"Oh my darling June! What a beautiful name! Isn't it!" he fondly talked to the baby to which baby June smiled and jerked her legs in the air with great gusto. This playful moment of father and daughter was cut short when Aril sent that piercing question,
"Where had you been Henery? Couldn't find you when I needed you the most!"
"Got syuck April!" Said Henery, casually, without looking up.
"Got stuck! What do you mean Got Stuck!" she shot back.
"Yes, Got Stuck. How can I explain! Now ..wait a second, why should I explain, don't you trust my words!" Henery showed signs of frustration and his tone reflected his irritation to such dumb questions.
"What can one do! How could I tackle that moment!" he said.
"Is there anything wrong! Oh how stupid of me...of course there is something terribly wrong. Can I be of any help Henery!" answered April, with a regretful voice. " Tell me!' she insisted.
"Nothing in particular. I'm on a tough duty. Got to go now. Please take care of yourself and the baby." He got up from his chair and prepared to leave.
"Where are you off to now!" asked April.
"To the hospital right now but don't forget to call me after an hour. At five I'll fix up a meeting with Mr. Reed and then visit him by this evening." he said. 
Henery left almost immediately.
Physically weak April felt helpless.
"What's wrong with him! I must find out what happened on saturday that my poor Henery is so disturbed!" she thought to ease her taut nerves.
Bewildered April spent her days anxiously, two days passed and there was no sign of Henery.

Reverbrating Echoes

 April turned in bed with a warm smile. Together with Henery every thing reverbrated the joys of her heart. All looked so wonderful. The mornings were anxiously awaited and so were those glorious evenings! There was no love lost between them. Amidst that season of hope, they thought of tying the knot. Their final semester was over and their friends too rejoiced. The atmosphere was electric.
The wedding took place in a simple manner. Friends gorged on delicious food and had loads of fun. The two together looked a happy couple, absolutely dedicated. Soon a life began to take shape which had a multiplier effect on their joy. Their respective families back home sent them greetings. Mark in particular decided to add a comforting touch and announced his arrival for a month on vaccation. April was happy but Henery...!The flow of letters for Henery dropped and finally ceased. It disturbed him. April became irregular at Medical College due to her advanced stage which made her stay back quite often. It was one such day when a visitor dropped in search of Henery.
"When will he be back?" he asked
"It'll be late today, he is handling surgery this week." replied April
The man asked her to drop in a word from his side when he returned and then contemplating something he suddenly asked for some paper and a pen. April obliged. The man held it against the wall and wrote down something. Handing it over to April he said " Please don't forget to give him this."
April answered "Oh sure! I won't. Please drop in when ever you can." she said warmly.
The man said "Thank You!" and left.
April opened the folds and read "Visit us at 45 Bewly Road, West Midlands."
On his return after he read it, Henery decided to meet the man that same weekend.  April would stay back and rest. The week passed contemplating their trip back home and early that saturday morning Henery left to meet the unknown man.


April was distressed. All alone, she felt nervous  and called her doctor, who advised immidiate hospitalisation. She had no means of informing Henery. With great effort she called the ambulance and left a note with her compassionate neighbours before leaving for Maple Hospital. Henery didn't visit her there till the next day. She grew anxious and her blood pressure shot up. It was a difficult time and April fought it all alone...all by herself. Soon the baby shifted it's position and came to occipito posterior position. An alarming position especially when it's neck gets entwined in the curls of nourishing placenta. C.S had to be done. With no one beside April trembled anticipating the pain, fear and that huge monetary burden. She had no one to turn to. Henery quietly abstained from the scene.

The baby arrived amidst these challenging moments. When April reurned from her deep slumber under the effects of anesthesia, she found Henery sitting beside with her hands tightly held in his. The pain returned but she felt light in her head ...all that stress vanished, simply by looking at Henery's face.

The brightness of her tiny round face made Henery name her June. He would always say, " My April turns to June." 


The rest of the day, the two stayed together. Their laughter reverbrated in the air of Green Gate.
" It is so nice to see them together." thought Gearu Ram, as he came out into the lush green lawn and asked "Shall I get you some tea... and snacks for Baby?" April and June nodded together, with grand smiles. Gearu smiled back and went in to fetch them something to munch as they talked. Together they hugged their silvery shiny oak and kissed it tightly. Still holding the tree in their strong embrace they shared their unfathomable eternal joys. It was real fun.

"June, why are you so scared to enter Mark's room?' April asked. Ramilla fell silent.
"What happened! Answer me! Baby!"she poked her again.
"In that room Daddy left you and me ...and went away...never to return. I hate that room, I hate it." answered Ramilla with loud gestures.

The smiles and laughter died yet again. Ramilla had stepped on the most painful nerve .

"After he left and after I stopped crying I noticed a face on one of it's walls." Ramilla added."It is ugly and scary"

All of a sudden April remembered how June would scream if ever she let her in that room and the day of her passing away too became vivid before her.
"I floated away from that room...don't you remember Mama!' said Ramilla quietly.
April simply sprang up and held Ramilla tightly and said "Today... you're back from that long journey to nowhere...you were always with me...and so shaii you be!' said April strongly.
Gearu Ram brought their tea and cookies and a glass of milk for Ramilla. Diving into the platefull of cookies Ramilla asked "Tell me about Daddy Mama! What happened ...  that he had to leave us/"

April too thought that it the time was fast approaching to speak her heart out to her Baby but she needed to compile her thoughts well which meant some more time, so she said 'Sure, I will...  but not today...someday later"

That night as April lay in bed, Henery's face became vivid and live before her. Ever since he left, she had thought of him every passing day. She had complete information and knew how he was and what sort of life he was leading! Today she wanted to visit that bygone era and listen to those moments of vanished beats. Ramilla's question had to be answered...and answered well.

It had been pleasant and happy times, when she first approached Henery on her first day at The Royal College of Medicine, England. She had lost her way to the class, after their anatomy lab. Henery was passing by and on approaching him he asked her to come along. From strangers they turned into pleasant acquaintances. Neither of the two had any clue of their destined path. Regular greetings with  slight nods of familiarity in no time turned into friendship. The process of inter personal relationship is exciting but strange! It catches on like the wild forest fire. Soon their hearts were caught in the  passionate blaze of love. It spread like flu, from one to the other. Henery unable to hold on to that passion, on his own, silently, gave in and had actually gone up to April and proposed. And the ever shy April accepted it.
"Out of so many why did they had to come together!" April thought. She was trying to figure out the will of the lord. Now it was simple to understand.

Both had their roots in India.

Consuming Aches

 Ramilla was taken aback. April's words pierced her, through and through. She felt the jolt and numb all over.
"What happened! Why is Mama so troubled! Does she want to test me more! Is my real test not over yet!" confused Ramilla wondered. She had to find out and so she too bent her steps towards the hospital, in her favourite green chiffon frock.

April was on her usual daily rounds of the wards where she wasn't allowed. So, she waited for her in April's chamber. It wasn't a long wait though, but Ramilla with her head on the table softly placed within the folds of her arms, had dozed off to sleep. On finishing her rounds, April returned to her chamberand sawher little one sleeping silently, unaware of the high tides of her heart. She lovingly ran her hand through Ramilla's hair and said "My baby...oh my baby!" Ramilla stayed unperturbed. Finally sitting down on her chair April stretched and pushed her head back gently to let it lie on the back rest of her chair. With legs strtched out in front, under the table, it was a relaxed pose...but  a strange impatience consumed her. It appeared as if she was in a dream. She tried hard to get out of it but in vain! She couldn't resist the elements of her dream and felt strongly drawn towards it gradually. The poignancy of each moment pushed her deeper into those painful memories and soon she became a dream within a dream. Her resistance towards them made her utter"Go Away!" again and again, in quite loud cries.

Ramilla suddenly returned back from her doze and saw April again in that troubled state.Through her closed eyes, Ramilla saw the tears trickling down. She was disturbed and got up from her place to come closer to April. Then noticing the pain on her face, she tried to shake her up from her sleep. Crying her self Ramilla said "What is it Mama...see I'm here ...with you now! Open your eyes and see me....take my hand and feel me..Mama!"
April got up with a jerk and embraced Ramilla tightly and said "Don't cry baby! Don't. These tears are too precious for me. Moreover, I promise, I won't shed them ever again for I've done it enough....now no more. Fine!" April's smile returned with a pledge and Ramilla trusted with her whole heart.

But, what would April do with her memories of Henery....they kept on returning in flashes.

Seasons Of The Past

 "No I'm not hungry. I want to be with you." said June.
"Fine then. I'll wait downstairs till you are finished with your studies and then we can be together and talk and laugh our lungs out." answered April, "Oh by the way! I'll be on my rounds in the ward...so take your time."
April was the witness of the mysticity of life. Celebrating her reunion silently, she was in her state of euphoria and ecstacy. In spite of this sudden excitment she couldn't forget to thank the lord and said a silent prayer in her heart. Returning to the silvery oak, she held it in her tight embrace and kissed it with all her might. The oak too understood and rejoiced...and the moments of life chimed away with brilliant radiant hope.The silver shine on the back of the otherwise green oak leaves sparkled in full glory, as if acknowledging the joys of her heart, which were full of pain and yearning till yesterday.

Every moment comes as a complete package deal of garbs and gifts. With so much of happiness came along the thoughts of Henery, flooding her heart mind and soul completely. April fought back yet again. She desperately tried to jerk them away. Just then, June came out of the house, dressed in a green smoked chiffon frock and heard April say "Go away!...just leave me alone...Go away,...will you! Then she hurriedly rushed towards the hospital.

The Intersection Of Times

With a heavy heart, Ramilla goes upstairs, holding her precious books close to her bossom. Near the stairways is the room she dreads to enter.
"Thank God it's locked today! Uncle Todd must be out of town!"she thinks.
She passes by Todd's room , without glancing through as she fears to enter it for some strange reason known to her alone.Through the corridor, after passing that locked bottle green burma teak almirah, she stops at the threshhold of April's room which is her own too. As she looks through the door she finds April wipping her tears while sitting on an old study table holding a  photoframe. April looks up and says "Come in Ramilla!"
Ramilla enters. The room is dark. The slight glow is caused by the lighted table lamp placed beside April's desk. Ramilla stops at the threshhold of April's room with her gaze fixed at April.
"Come on Ramilla, come to me!" April calls her gently.
Ramilla moves closer to her and looks at the picture frame, which is placed right side down on the desk top table.
"An old frame must be holding an old photograph" she thinks
"Do you want to see the picture?" asks April as she looks up, Ramilla nods. April slowly turns the frame.
"Oh, it's Henery, you and me! It's before he left us. Do you remember!" tells Ramilla excitedly
"Yes I do! But do you know when and where was it taken ?" asks April to quiz her.
"Yes of course, I do!" answers Ramilla. "It was when we went to visit Aunt Eileen with Daddy. He showed us Stratford, the birth place of Shakespare, on our way to Cardiff in England".
April holds Ramilla's arms and draws her closer to her.
"why did you leave me alone! Why June!" April tugs her in tight embrace accepting the mysticity of their times.
"I shouldn't have...I know....for you were left alone...but couldn't help! That day the fever was just unbearable. I couldn't hold on Mama!" wipping April's tears she said.
" But cheer up I've come back to you again. This time I won't leave that early! she said.
"Stay with me here June" said April
"I will Mama!" came a loving answer as Ramilla jumps to kiss April.
April switches on the light and Ramilla sits with her books on the seat vaccated by April.
"All my search ends here with Mama. I have no wish to move further on." thinks Ramilla.
"Wait I'll get you something to eat while you study!" says April as she turns towards her way out.