Lonely Afternoons

Note: If you cannot stand meaningless posts, then you must stop right now! 🙂 You have been warned!

I decided to defeat my fears today. As I peeped in from the kitchen window, I could hear my tormentor’s voice over the din of the cars from below. How could I miss it? His was the voice that I was scared of since time immemorial. Those red eyes, how often had I hoped that I wouldn’t spot them when moving in the house alone in the afternoon? But they’d find me. Yes, he always knew when I was alone, and when it was likely that I would step into the kitchen.

Sometimes he’d wait for me there, and then take to his flight, like a ninja assassin ready to strike at the slightest move of the target. At other times, I would deliberately make noises and be ready with my arms to attack him. But today, alone, I decided, it was enough; I’d had enough of these mind games. My tormentor was worse than a person; he didn’t even need words to rattle the bones off me.

I took two tentative steps towards the kitchen, knowing for sure, he’d be there waiting for me. Like those numerous times when I was alone in the house, unarmed and scared. I mentally marked his usual spots, and the way I would tackle him at each one. With a steely grip on the stick, and a mental framework which I hoped was strong enough to face him, I decided to step in. Sure as hell, he was there, at his usual spot. On the kitchen counter.

I don’t really remember when was the first time I saw him there, staring like I had stepped into his home. Claiming my food and my space for him. But yes, he was there for as long as I could remember. Once I even came close to removing him from the kitchen, failed at the last step. He wouldn’t budge. With talons of steel, and a stare that’s burn the best soul, he’d remained the subject of my nightmares. Often I’d see him wait for me, like a stalker marking his obsession. Other times he’d just wait for me, knowing that sooner or later I would be there, to face him.

The evil soul that he was, he didn’t need anything that I possessed. But somehow, taking away my mental peace gave him some sort of sadistic pleasure. Be assured, he not so much as ever touched me, or harmed me physically; but often made it clear that if he chose to, I’d stand no chance. My fear fuelled from the fact that he was the one in control; he was the one who decided what I would look like that day. A bruised enemy, or a forsaken one.

As I walked into the kitchen, staring at him, his red pupils looking back at me; I thought of the numerous times my family had come to my rescue. None being scared of him as much as I was. How knowing that they would come to my rescue, my tormentor chose the time carefully. He always knew! And what did I know about him? Nothing apart from the fact that he was my tormentor.

I should have pushed those thoughts out of my head then, but I didn’t. Suddenly, my mind didn’t seem so strong when I saw him sitting there unperturbed. Seemingly undisturbed by the change in me, or did I change at all?

I spread my hands in front of me, my palms stretching out as if to push him away.

“Shoo!” I said.

He looked at me.

What was I thinking? Would that scare him!? HIM? Uncertain, but desperate, I tried again.

“Shoo?”

He sat there, clearly not bothered about what  I was doing. His legs tucked neatly under his body, his vajrasan would have made my mom proud.

Realising that it was again a one sided battle, he stretched his legs out, as though readying them for action. I stepped back. He stood as I moved back towards the kitchen door. He steadied his body bit by bit as I moved steadily into the hallway.

Whooooosh!

I knew the devil had taken his flight now, but then.

Twaaaaaaaaang!

He’d just landed closer to the door, as though challenging me to come get him. I knew I had lost the battle then. Something I should have realised long back. By now, whatever Jhaansi ki Rani feelings I had in me, were long abandoned, I just wanted him to leave. I’d curl up in peace then.

Just then; the bell rung. And he heard it too, I am sure. He came to the kitchen door, gave me a look that chided me. Obviously, the battle was not over. He was not done yet. As I moved tentatively to open the door, he opened his wings and flew out from the window. Knowing the exact spot where he wouldn’t get stuck, and knowing that I was still an easy prey for him.

And me? Well, I guess there is always a tomorrow to face my tormentor and kick him out of my life. Till then, I guess reinforcing the window grills with an anti-pigeon wire mesh would be wise.
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Hospitality

For all those who didn’t know, I was operated on Friday. A small surgery to remove a small bothering part from my neck; the entire thing took just one day. But being my first “admission” in a hospital and first surgery, everything was new to me, and thus, new experiences. Below are a few funny incidences, situations, and some that made me feel like a nutcase!
1.       A week before the surgery I was given a dosage of a supposedly strong medicine Augmentin. Explaining the gravity to me, my dad said, “Augmentin pata hain kya karta hain?” And I very nonchalantly said, “Wand se paani laata hain!” (Ref: Harry Potter series, the spell for water is “Aguamenti!”)
2.       Obviously I told my friends in college that I would be away for a while. So one smart alec asked me, obviously referring to the hospital, (after I had mentioned a dozen times) “So, where will you be operated?” I pointed to my neck and said, “Here!”
3.       The hospital itself was not less-funny. When I was being “wheeled in” to the Operation Theatre (weird! Since I could obviously walk), everyone from the adjoining beds peeped from their curtains. Some even unabashedly stared as the nurse pushed my chair. But the best were obviously a pair of aunties – one waved at me with a huge smile as though I was on a ride in a fair, while the other said “All the best!” Umm…what was that?
4.       The operation theatre was a rather weird place. I was waiting outside the OT for a good 45 minutes till being actually taken into the room. In that period every doctor/nurse/anaesthetist, stared at me with a sympathetic expression. I smiled back till one nurse wiped her nose on the hem of her gown. Wait, weren’t those supposed to be sterilised?!
5.       Along came the doctor and his junior I gathered.
Doc (turning my head to the extreme right): See that? Over there? We need to make a cut there.
Assistant (turning my head to the left): Yes. Yes. I see it.
Doc (turning my head to the extreme right again): I think I see one more.
Assistant (turning my head to the left again): Yes I think I see one more too.
Doc (turning my head to the extreme right again): I can even feel it here.
Assistant (turning my head to the left again): Yes yes. I think even I can feel it.
Doc (turning my head to the extreme right again!): Do you have a marker? We’ll mark the incision spot.
Assistant moves out, doc continues to move head again and again. Assistant comes in, doc marks; both leave without speaking to me. Not even a word!
6.       Along came a middle aged nurse/doctor who asked me if I could walk, I said I could and gladly got of the bed. She then dragged me, no literally pulled me; two corridors into the OT. Post this she couldn’t lower the OT bed to my level, so she asked, “Can you jump?” Well, yes, I jumped onto the bed on which I was to be operated on; reminding me of the way I sit on the railings on bus stops.
7.       Nevertheless, I thought this is it! Now the surgery will start and I will be unconscious. When she asked me what my age was. I said “20!”. She looked at me like I had suddenly transformed into daisy duck and asked, “Sure?” What to say? She then proceeded to check my medical file for my age, and then said “Just checking, you see?” Yes. Right.
8.       The operation was done and I came into consciousness in the “post recovery room.” One room in the hospital where people scream at the top of the voices, since all the inhabitants are obviously under the effect of anaesthesia. I raised my hand to attract the attention of the nurse on duty. She came, lifted my oxygen mask, and proceeded to push me out of the room back to my ward. Obviously, my stay was done.
9.       Back to my ward, I suddenly thought of a discussion my mom and sister were having about someone’s dead pet dog the previous night when I was already half asleep. Don’t really know how it came to my head, so I asked my parents, “Kiska kutta mar gaya?” Thinking I was still under the anaesthetic effect they both said together, “Mary miss ka!”
That was my hospital stay, though a lot of other things happened, these were some things that irked me and yes are memorable.  J Happy Navratri!