Love to Bits – Part Two
After the Morning Prayer, I, along with Mother Josephine and other kids moved to the common hall to have breakfast. I stole a look through all the windows on our way, to see if Rahim uncle had arrived but all I saw was a picker grinning at me, shaking a coconut near his ears and throwing it into a pile. I acted very much out of ordinary in the command of anticipation, and when I caught sight of the envied looks on me, I knew that I wasn’t the only one to be aware of that. Little did they know that, deep within, I was tracking down a cosy nest of delight from the very thought of family, and was keenly expecting a divine closure.
“Sarah, why aren’t you eating?” Mother asked me, before the moment I realised that I was drawing patterns on the plate, dipping the piece of idli in sambar.
She walked off before I could think of any answer, and I saw her talking to someone standing at the doorway though I couldn’t see the person. I craned my neck to see the same, but it left me with no luck.
I was worried when I saw her moving the rosary beads with her thumb and forefinger in an unusual way and I recognized the person on the other side when she glanced at me, motioning with her hands to follow.
She made me sit on her lap while Rahim sat opposite to us. He was slouching down on the chair and tapping on the table with his fingers; I wondered why he was avoiding an eye contact. My eyes traced over the streaks of grey in his hair, the sheen of the sweat drops stuck onto his forehead and lumps moving like a wave on his throat; I prayed for somebody to break the ice.
“Rahim, my child, I want you to speak to me in the presence of Sarah,”she said, holding me closer to her heaving chest. An unknown agony moved stealthily within me; I wanted to cry, my temples ached.
“Mother…I’m afraid that Sarah…Mother…Zee…Zeenath isn’t well,”he said, gasping in between each word and leaving us puzzled.
I knew Zeenath as much as Rahim. Zeenath, his wife was suffering from an illness that was gorging upon her memory. Rahim used to say, how sometimes she behaved just like me.
“It was a miraculous change that had happened last week. She asked me about my job, she cooked for me…Moreover, she was happy when I told her about the adoption..,”his lips quivering as he spoke.
“Today, she asked me.. who I was,”he said, puffing hard and burying his face in his palms.
My mind’s eyes closed at a snail’s pace, leaving traces of my imagination to moisten my cheeks. He rose from the folding chair and knelt before me, lingering his eyes on mine.
No sooner had he cuddled me tighter, than he ranted the words of remorse for sowing the seeds of hope. When he hugged me, I felt as if I was wrapped in a cloak weaved out of an eternal love of his fatherhood and as he mouthed to speak, I closed it with my palm; for I knew those words that were etched onto my heart.
‘Someday,’ I knew!
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