The alarm clock beeped. 11 ‘o clock, it said. Again I pushed the snooze button and went off to sleep- for the 6th time today. Yesterday it was 5, I recounted. Is it foreboding, something I dread? Shunning my thoughts as just another nightmare, I finally shrugged the slumber and sprang out of bed.
“Sprang -an overstatement? Whatever!”
On the table lying in front of the bed, I wriggled my hands aimlessly. Then a tap on the surface, another on the paperweight, a nudge to the glass of water posited by the side- Something fell with a cracking sound, I thought I spilled water again – for the third time in last two weeks. Moving my fingers more cautiously now, I got a touch of the glass. “Oh, it’s still okay, safely lying there, at the same place.”
Moments later, I discovered it was reason to panic more. I just stepped on my pair of spectacles which lay on the floor. My stomp cracked it even more. I bowed down to collect the broken pieces, my eyes still looking straight at nowhere, as if transfixed at an object that did not exist or existed beyond my blurred vision.
Finally, I caught hold of my broken specs. The twisted frame and cracked glasses were not things to be happy for- somewhere even I knew this truth. Yet I was chuffed, happy for some unknown reason, I guess just because I could see the light.
I cat footed towards the sink, as if I would disturb family members who resided in this house yet did not. With my frail and now squinted vision, I peeked at the mirror, a hazy one. I cleared the mist with the opposite of my palm, “Oh I so hate it!” Yet there was a time when I used to love it. Loved the mist I created on the glass surface with my breath. Those were days, my younger days. Days spent running up and down the staircase, I dread now. In fact, I have stopped walking out, at all, since the last time I fell down.
“My knees ache now.” “No they don’t!” I muttered braving my beliefs, Disbeliefs? Half-believing I was still active; half-believing I was passé. Gradually as I moved from one such thought to another, I realized how life has changed. All who had been part of my living; all who seemed to have perpetual existence now seemed lost. The crow used to stand there, right there in front of the window. I have been trying to find it since the past few years. But it doesn’t, just doesn’t come; even if I leave my own food by the window.
Helen lies there, smiling at me- every morning, every night, throughout the day. She no more cribs for petty things, no more scowls at silly mistakes of mine. Her face shows the same emotion, is it the adhesive I used on her, the last time she, the picture fell off the hook?
There lies the hourglass on top of the shelf, this one gift of Helen’s I treasure the most. I take it on my hand and hold it upside down and watch the sand grains dripping down, wishing if life could go back again and bring back whatever and whoever I have lost.
Then sudden realizations on the reflection I see- the wrinkled cheeks, the hands like twigs, the strands of grey, the creased eyebrows- all signs of time and that of age. Yet it brings smile not gloom, I consider them signs of life not doom. Hale and hearty, I might not say, yet I have woken up to see another day. Long live, me!
Image Source: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobaliciouslondon/4951912801/]