Monday, May 2, 2016

A Post Inspired by the Picture # Friday Refelctions

I'm joining Friday Reflections on the prompt "Write a post inspired by the picture provided."

Write Tribe
I was reaching the end of the tether.  Like the three goats that I have seen in a dream. Three goats, tethered to one piece of  gnarled, dried, old log that was lying flat in a room.  The room was dark but the goats were visible in the light poking in its head around through the door ajar and though many chink on the roof. The goats wore on its body, thick coats of long shinning, sleek silky fur. One nanny goat and two billy goats. Their backward turning hones were in a brownish black shade. With big eyes beaming with innocence, that we find always in children.

Their tether too matched with the colour of their coat; silky white, made by twisting together strands of nylon.  All three were nibbling on things found on the floor, and were walking steadily, making kind of circular motion, so that their ropes never got tangled. It was interesting to watch how could they went on doing that regular routine! At times they stopped altogether lifting their heads upwards looking at the roof and baying. Their baying was marked with a sort of inherent sadness; sorrowful, grief stricken.  Can animals feel sorrow, and pain, like humans, the thought crept into to my mind and  haunted me. Animals have no mind I have heard, beyond that I had no elaborate notion whether it was true or not.

Then all of a sudden, in front of my eyes, they lost their rhythmic, mindful motion. It started with the billy got taking a sudden jerky break, stopping in hesitation, and walking in reverse direction. The other two, began baying in high pitch to caution him, but of no use. He did it; he started it with no going back. A caring, kind looking animal was suddenly turning aggressive. And in no time, the three nylon ropes got entangled. The three goats were tumbling over each other, and rolling on. Having nothing to stop on their way, they plunged into a deep gorge, in the side of the room that I noticed only then.  Their fearful collective baying exploded into the room like a big explosion, which slowly ebbed out.

As I was waking up from my dream, my mind was coming to the realization, that it wasn't a mere dream. It was a symbolic reminder of what was happening to my own life and of my family.  The innocence that I saw in the big eyes of the billy goat was what I saw in Mohit's eyes- my elder brother. He was ten, I was already seeing a leader. and a protector in him.

What I could remember clearly even now, was he counting numbers. We were playing hid and seek. We had instructions from Papa that outside the gate was out of boundary for children while we were alone.  But, he went outside.Burying his head into the cleavage between the two branching trunks of the old oak tree outside the gate, he was counting.  I was pushing Mikki. We were sealing our lips, tumbling over the lush garden, and looking for a place to hide. I heard him starting counting, and reaching 20, 21, 22. Then it stopped.  In a alarm alerted in my mind, I stopped for a second, but in my childhood innocence and playfulness, preferred to ignore it. After a long while, when I wasn't hearing any counting at all, and no call out form him to start the pay, I moved out of my hiding and went in search of him. Mikki was strolling after me. Poor Mikki, his brain wasn't able to respond to the stimulus from the surroundings like a normal child was able to do. It was an inborn condition, doctors had told.  I rushed to the gate leaving Mikki, and Mohit wasn't there. I called out for him until my throat broke, and my voice cracked into a lean cry.

Police found nothing.  The worst thing was, our Pappa was turning obsessed with Mikki's disappearance.  He wasn't able to sleep a single night, there after. He shouted the whole day and night finding fault with people, family, relatives and friends. Was he losing his mind or had he got a point? Who would know? One day, he began chasing a car. He saw Mohit in a speeding car, he was claiming. He called the police, but before they got to the scene, my Pappa had started the chase, and in that rush, his car was thrown off a bent on the road.

We got to see, only a charred lump of human flesh as his remaining.  Sometimes, I wondered, was it truly Pappa's body that arrived in that box, carried by people I never knew. Who were they? I would never know. Sometimes, such thoughts makes me heave and sigh. They persuade me to keep a belief that Pappa is somewhere living, like Mohit, or with Mohit, and the circumstances, whatever they were, were preventing them from reaching us. That believes gave me hope, even now it gives me hope.

Papa's body was cremated; I was fearful of that, but all his family insisted in doing that. Was it also pointing out so something ominous?  How could I easily loose faith in humans, and relatives to such a dangerous level, I wasn't able to explain. I was changing.

The tragedy continued its relentless attack on us. Very soon, Mamma got a brain stem stroke; she lost the ability to move her body parts. Numbness made the left side of her body useless. One good thing was Mikki was getting organised in his brain; he was now able to make right meanings to his own experiences. He could do a lot to help mother.  

For sixteen years, I was remaining trapped in our house in guilt and fear. I was afraid of reaching up to our gate, and going out. On many occasions, I was tempted to take a hatchet and cut down the huge oaks tree out side the gate, which according to me was the reason for Mohit's disappearing.

Now I'm 26.  Mamma persuaded me, and by the way, she has proven herself to be the best fighter against her own brain, to overcome  her advertises.  There were times I had thought, I had lost my mother too, but she was gaining strength in her mind and body. She forced me to have a look at the outside world to see how people were living their lives in happiness and unhappiness.

Finally, I got the courage to walk out through our gate, pass the oak tree, and walk along the street. On the street, I began to hear people's stories; sometimes a word uttered by them was a story. I could complete it into a beautiful story.  In doing that, I was entering their mind, and brain, and I became their close relatives and friends. I lived in them, without they knowing it, and they lived in me too.

I began to visit daily, the library closer to my home. Soon I was beginning to delve into the fascinating world of books.  One day, a girl of my age came to me, and hugged me. "You are Pinky, isn't it?, she asked, me. While I was paging through my memories to figure out her face, she said, "I was your classmate." She was with me, in standard one. There after, I haven't attended a regular school. Like that, I got a new friend, that too someone who knew all about my life.

She was so pleased to hear, I passed my grade 12 exam and that I joined a university through distant learning. She took me, one day, to her home, and straight to her room. The first thing I saw, when I stepped into her room was a framed picture on the wall. It made me drag my feet, as though I skipped a beat in my chest. The picture to me appeared, everything dark and depressing, materialized inside a picture frame.

"You want me to remove that?"she asked. I said "no." Then I looked at the picture with keen interest. The photograph of a desert rock,I assumed it was, I wasn't sure. A young girl was sitting on the curb of the culvert.  She was looking down at something in her hand that I couldn't make out clearly. She afforded me, only her side view. But that was enough to sense her inner turmoil. Slowly, I was getting used to that picture. It honestly showed a stage in my life, and similarly in many one's life. What's the point in denying that? What's the point in running away from that? Or putting it differently, in discriminating dark against the other. That dark was the point where I started to see the brightness. So, how would I see those two separate from one another? They form a whole only in pairing; one alone is incomplete.

"I love it." I said.

My friend was pleased to hear that.



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