Dying is not a choice available to her. Living is not an option she wants to choose. Her eroding health and the limited movement are not, the only reasons for a parched heart. Aging years and a vulnerable mind has also given up on the hope of happiness. Her only solace was in her sleep which too didn’t come often.
She looked fragile and tired as well. Her sharp striking features still peeped out behind her wrinkled face and the intermittent frowns. She tried to untangle Maya’s arms that wrapped her tight. She pushed her lean body and squirmed with all the force she had to set herself free. Only alternative against the strength of Maya was to give up.
Her eyes teetered across the terrace and her body loosened with neck hung down. After ten minutes, Maya eased her grip on her mother-in-law and offered her the lunch.
Laxmi Devi has been bedridden for almost a year now, a time enough for frustrations to rub on to her soul. Adding to her woes was her unsolicited stay at her youngest son’s home with the most far apart daughter-in-law.
Maya lay the lunch out on their green terrace that had been tended well. The little colourful lanterns hung on the shelves, the jazzy metallic round table with oversize grey comfy cushions always made ambience for a hearty meal.
She squinted at the food laid out with many galling thoughts raging her mind. She turned her back on to it and looked through the window. The jitters made way for peace and warmth in inchmeals. The lines between her brows faded away into glowing tinkles of smiles. The emotional outbursts shaped into silence and content with the touch of joy and care.
Maya sighed relief to see her hug could at least make Laxmi suffer less. Days went into months and that afternoon set a new ritual for both Laxmi & Maya.
Laxmi opened her foggy eyes and peered into the sunlight streaming in from the open window. The tender skin strokes drew her attention to the three babies sleeping next to her.
‘Didn’t I have only two sons? Who’s the third one?’ she wondered to herself.
She scrambled the covers to take a look of the third child. ‘Oh! That’s Maya’.
She twitched and lay alike with only eyes wide open.