“Why can’t I get the retaining wall built here?” thought Leela. “ The soil of that area erodes a lot in heavy rains. It plunges into the paddy field.”
She,my sister Leela had gone to her indigenous village on a vacation. She visited her land obtained in legacy. Quickly she made arrangements for assigning the work to some labourers.
She stood there enjoying the swinging of spades, shovels etc in the hands of workers. The earth moved and moved and stuck on the construction wall. Then suddenly a small uneasiness-we can’t call it a pain-loomed as an unsought guest in her right arm-pit. She neglected it as if the result of straining after her objective.
Since it was not given its deserving attention, it made its presence more felt. She pulled on till the tag end of her motive. She couldn't help seeking advice from a doctor; she had to fly to her present habitat in Delhi. Tests and examinations revealed a growth inside. Her hay days had been exhausting. Hospital-home, home-hospital she travelled intensely. Surgery, injections, biopsy, chemo, medicines and all such usual events mercilessly rode on her body.
Due information reached the nearest and dearest. I, her sister, started dragging a pull-over of emotions and feelings on my mind. She, my sister was no doubt loving and lovable, simple and straight and efficient and self-reliant. Humbleness and humility was her masterpiece in behavior. She could hurt none through her talks or actions. Helping others in need never had any tint of reluctance. Volition was the title of all her deeds.
She was a capable cook, an expert tailor and a proficient housekeeper of her own domicile. She felt gleeful in the company of kith and kin and served them opulent food. But she never allowed others to come home to her at the fullest.
In our childhood days we had a good many amusements which the diminutives experience in general and village kids in particular. She used to iron the garbs of both of us, since I had no hesitation to wear them creased. We, the children dawdled in the vast and natural garden and orchard, plucking flowers and picking fruit.
My obstinacy and tenacity invited rigorous punishment from elders which soaked her little heart. She consoled me with soothes and strokes of affection abundant. Delay to the school due to my doggedness earned her also, punishment from teachers. My beloved acca(elder sister) never frowned or mopped at me. Unlike the sluggishness dwelt in me, she used up her childhood in the upkeep of the house and households. I don’t claim that she was an angel with no untoward behavior. She had the innate flaws and faults, but the degree measurement was very meagre.
“When will you come to Delhi? September-October disposes a suitable climate and we can have long pilgrimages,” she used to persuade us.
“We will be there to visit you one day,” the response.
Yes, we visited her no doubt, not in October, but in November on a mere phone-call. One day a phone-call whispered that unfavorable, unpromising news in our ears. We saw her lying on the hospital-bed, completely cut-off from the environs. She lay there surrounded by tubes, aided by ventilator and assisted by the medical corps. Then into a corpse she turned within minutes as her last breath had bidden adieu to her.She had that pilgrimage now.
Yes, she is my sister now lying here with fingers tied, toes fastened, mouth closed and nose plugged with cotton.
O! What a fate? She was quite healthy. Never had she displayed any symptom of any ailment. Rivulets and streams emerge out of my eyes and nose. Heart is gaining weight of glum and gloom, body is expressing inability to stand. Sobs and sighs do not stay inside. My mind is crying, literally crying, it is not heeding to any console or solace.
“Oh! God, why are you after healthy humans, when there are numerous very old ones awaiting your proximity? Fatal ailments in plenty are triumphant over innocent energetic people, may they be young or old.
“Ha! But I should thank you because you granted her to have the journey to the infinite, in a very calm and painless way. So thank God! Thanks! Thanks!”