Friday, 18 July 2014

When the lines between past, present, dreams and reality blur

I woke up yesterday in the snug requiescence of the room I had spent a large part my childhood in mostly reading and drifting in and out of quixotic bubbles. The genial sound of the rain knocking against the windowpane and and the aroma of my grandmother's tea wafting from the kitchen added to the general repose. I woke up refreshed and sprightly sans my allergy. While I was rubbing my slumbersome eyes, for a fraction of a second I had a sense of momentousness, an urgency to rush and then it stuck me that I no longer have to catch my school bus. I took my time to wake up and sauntered my way to a petty shop to buy milk. This little tin structure has opened right next to where I had caught and missed my school bus many a times. I looked at the children dressed in greys and blues with their parents waiting for their bus. I remembered and could almost see my grandmother holding my hand and walking me to the school bus while smoothening a stray stand of hair that she had oiled and knitted into neat pigtails. The nostalgic recollection of unfinished homework, sloppily polished shoes and the guilt of uneaten lunchbox invaded my present. I gave myself a subliminal pat on my back for having crossed that intransigent bridge while unmindful of the deep waters that are in my way. One day was enough to make me ingest the reality pill.

My 84 year old grandfather who is recovering(and pretty well thanks to almighty and ingenious doctors) from a bout of illness wanted to drive to run some errands. He has been advised against driving but he would not hear of anything. Growing up to his strong volition bordering on stubbornness (and inheriting that in bits and parts) there was little I could do to convince him otherwise. A loud thud and our hearts(me and my grandmother's) missed a beat.The car rammed into a pole in the porch while he was reversing and got stuck. With tempers flying and nerves frayed all three of us after much planning and maneuvering managed to free the car. Goosebumps and palpitations gave way to relief and deliverance. I thought I could finally convince him to call a cab. But his propensity to redeem his driving skills proved stronger than our reasoning.

While we waited for him for lunch we were on tenderhooks precarious of every little sound outside. We heard the car in the driveway and I rushed out to help him. He just came to get my grandmother's signature and drove off again nonchalantly leaving us even more worried as he is diabetic and needs to eat on time. Finally he came back late for lunch. He told me to run to the nearby bank for some work. I rushed to the bank as fast as my rattling knees could carry only to find it was shutting down. A task unaccomplished and I came back home sweating and crestfallen like a vanquished athlete.

In the evening while returning home after buying grocery and medicines, I crossed a busy road steering my way into reckless traffic. It dawned upon me that I had forgotten the medicines at the counter. As I turned back to the busy street jostling through the crowd with my arms full of grocery I heard a cracking sound. The inevitable did happen. An egg broke. Ugh! What a mess. An egg breaking was hardly a calamity but I felt as if the crack was on my skull instead. Came back home, whipped up a dinner while my head was on a pounding and throbbing mission. The day seemed like a blur and I told my grandmother of my headache and my knees giving away. In my debilitation and weariness I heard her mention the car ramming into the pole, my grandfather driving off and then it stuck me it wasn't an egg breaking that got to me.

Today morning I woke up in the same room from dreams of school exams and my pen breaking. The lines between the dream and reality seem to blur as I prepare myself for the day when roles are reversed. The rapturous bubble has burst and I have tasks to finish.

Bus stop

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