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Through the Clouds

It's getting bright again.

They are watching me, as they always do, their eyes crawling to the back of their heads, waiting for me to slip up, waiting to help. I wish they'd stop. I am 83; at most I have a few years left. I want to spend those years at home, not in one.

I've started forgetting, they tell me. But they speak in such a hurry, how do they expect me to remember?

"It'll be safer. These people know how to help you."

I try not giving them a reason. It's very tiring, this fight, like walking into a tide; the constant tug and pull have made my muscles slushy.

"Maaji! Your chai, did you forget? I'll re-heat it. " She has that look - triumph and relief. I must hurry, hurry.

I flail through the mist, pushing my mind forward. The pressure builds in the sides of my head, just above my ears. It hurts but the room becomes sharper, like her eyes.

"Nai beta." Is my voice too shrill? "Why will I forget? It's this heat. It gets worse every year." This is better. I need to keep going. "I was just waiting for the cup to cool. I don't really like cold tea, but in this weather what can one do? "

She looks uncertain. I have to keep smiling.

"Alright, Maaji." Her voice is muffled, but see is walking away. The clouds come wafting back and I let my mind float away with them.

*Maaji - Mother

*Beta - Child

Story by:

Neha Puntambekar

submitted at 8:03am

5 April 2011

Neha Puntambekar's web: