INTRODUCTION- A short tale about an aged sightless man, how his memories keep him alive but sometimes makes him sullen.
Shares a little part of his gloomy life.
DEDICATED TO MY SOLITUDE AND WHOM, I ADMIRE..
Pungent fragrances of dandelions, lilies, roses, different flowers, wet, green and tender grass, filled up my heart with happiness and joy. Sunset, sunrise, rain, day, night, trees, people’s face, all these small things to which people with sight barely lingered to look unto them. Although I was born sightless and never have a good sight of these wonders, I never knew how all these wonders looks, but you know when you lost or don’t have one sense, then your other senses became sharp and they got enhanced, in my case my blindness has enhanced my sense of smell and hearing and now at this tender, ripened old age, my sense of smell and hearing became so strong and get so much enhanced that all my memories which concerned to those sounds and scent got alive, which is auxiliary for my solitary but sometimes blood-runs down my wrinkled cheeks.
Being a birth blind can deeply and morally affect the way you spend your life, the way you interact with people and you have to face lots of and tons of problems in life.
I remember when I was in school, that school wasn’t any special school for the blind, it was just a regular daycare school. I was in my younger and vulnerable days, I was exclusive blind between fifty or sixty students. I barely remember the numbers it’s been a long time since I was in school but I’m quite sure that the boys were more than girls in our class, as in any regular school. My fellow classmates would play, laugh, fight, all day long and I just sat there on the last bench hearing their voices, voices that had energetic throw in them arguing with each other, I wanted to debate with those voices, wanted to argue with them, wanted to talk to them but no one was ever interested to talk with me. I had only one friend during my school days, called ” Shaun”. Shaun and I became friends when once Shaun forgot to bring his text along with him, so I gave him mine. Since that day we would share little-little things and feelings with each other. Along with those hard and young voices, there’s a voice by which my heart started to melts her sweet soothing voice entered straight to my heart. I fall in love with her voice. I asked my friend to write a letter as I said, he wrote it and handed it to her. After a week, she replied to my letter, “she wasn’t interested in me”. After that, I never proposed any girl.
My whole sixty five or sixty six years of life till now, has been in solitude and lonesome, I never had many friends because in my company they get bored and because of my disability, I can’t keep up with them, so slowly they all left me in solitude and left me alone. But now those, gloomy memories doesn’t bother me anymore, because of my tender old age. I tried to get rid of those memories but they just became a part of my life, a part of which I don’t want to live.
Most of my time is now passing in a garden nearby my house, every morning I have my breakfast, then move myself to this green heavenly garden. Initially, when I first discovered this garden, my wife took me to the garden, we both went there every morning and evening, but now she is no more and I have to sit alone on that wooden bench which is alone and broken just as me, where we used to sat and had long conversation. we talked about songs, books, atmosphere, and life, her name was “Neeta” she loved to listen and sing songs and sometimes we used to play Antakshari ( singing game).she was in love with Indian music of the era of 80’s and 90’s, but mainly she was addicted to 80’s music and Kishore Kumar and Mukesh were her favourite. she had a charming and a chatty personality, I remember when we use to sit every evening on the veranda enjoying the sunset with a cup of tea and an old recorder singing Kishore and Mukesh collection, she used to play their songs on an old recorder every morning, afternoon, evening, night, she listens to their songs while reading, chilling or working. she had a strong obsession with tea and music and sunset and these things deeply affected me that whenever I heard the music of her flavors while sitting on that unstable wooden bench, I feel her beside me singing and holding my unstable hands. The veranda, sunset, music, tea all these small things still fueling up her dead memories in mine mind.
My only companion in life now is this, garden, wooden stick( by which I can walk properly without any collision, because of my blindness) and this wooden bench. Every morning I found myself in the garden stick to that wooden bench as I said that my blindness has enhanced my sense of hearing, I can now recognize some of the voices, which are of the regular visitors here at the garden. Many different kinds of voices daily come across me, some have a very deep voice, some have huskiness in their voice, some speaks rapidly other’s are slow speakers, but one voice that has just struck in to mine heart is the voice of this little girl, she use to come to the garden every morning with her mother, I listen her crying, laughing, howling, singing, her voice has a soothing quality to it, just as Neeta had.
Although there’s a discrepancy between Neeta and that little girl’s voice, I don’t know why but her voice recollects back Neeta’s memories to me, so, I unknowingly get addicted to her voice.
We never had any child, we visited doctors and they told us that she will never bear children, we lived a very isolated life never visited any of the relatives or friends, as we don’t have any, but whenever we came across any couple with a child our parenthood called us.
One morning when she opened the door of our house to collect the daily newspaper, she found out a small white puppy just outside of the door with the newspaper. She picked the puppy up and bring him inside the house as it was the peak of winter, the puppy was shivering and also he was wet with his stomach. She handed me the puppy and I wrapped the puppy in the towel to make the puppy comfortable on that wintry day. I felt his soft hairy skin and wet nose and started guessing his breed,
“Pomeranian?”, I, asked.
Maybe, maybe not, she replied, his appearance and white hair seemed as “pom” she continues, I think we should go to a vet, and if he assured us that the puppy is healthy and safe to live with us, then the puppy can stay with us. We gave him a small bowl of warm milk which the puppy licked slowly and easily. Next day we went to vet and he confirmed that the puppy is Pomeranian, and healthy to live with humans. we named him “Tommy”, which was suitable for his appearance, short, timid, white in color and very enthusiastic.
We had a very good time with Tommy, we hadn’t many visitors but sometimes, some far distant relatives had come to visit, and they never dared to cross the threshold until Tommy welcomed them with his wet and slippery kiss. Normally Tommy was a well mannered and friendly dog, but if you trying to be hard on him or shout at him, he takes you as an enemy forever.
I remember the day, it was bloody that Sunday, early morning my wife went to the grocery store, which was only a mile away from our stay, she accompanied Tommy with her to the store.
She put on a belt around Tommy’s body and grabbed another end of the belt, she opened the door, and said, “goodbye dear”, in a loud voice and Tommy gave a quick small bark, they both waved to me and went out to the store, and that was the last time I heard their voices. After an hour later, a sharp buzzer, disturbed my nap. “It’s an Ambulance”, I murmured to myself.
The dead bodies of my wife and Tommy were on the floor, I cried, I cried and I cried all day long, my only companions of my lonesome life were dead and my heart got sunk into the dark isolated world. The officer said, that when your wife and dog were crossing the road, a drunk truck driver rashly rammed on to your family, knocked them down. As a result, they instantly died. Till three to four days after that incident, I locked myself in room, no music, food, fresh air, nothing but just tears, tears and tears.
“Memories have two sides, one which make you feel happy and which often accompany you in solitude and isolation, and the other dark side which you never ever want to recollect”.
Days follows weeks, weeks follows month, every second by second these memories have become so graphic and vivid, that I can’t even now differentiate between reality, dream flashback and hallucinations. Now I just sit back on the old bench in that garden, enjoying the company of flowers, voices, music; Although I am in total isolation now and living a life in total solitude, these things keep fueling my life and memories of the bad and the good times. Sitting under the blue sky, waiting for death to come unto me….
“MEMORIES NEVER DIES”