If i were to believe anyone of the feel-good/badly designed inspirational quotes that go around cyberspace I would tell myself, the best things somehow always are.
When you see someone with his brains splattered across his hospital bed you don’t know what to think. You don’t think that it will be ok eventually or that you should be wailing or maybe throwing up. Especially since that someone happened to be my cousins husband. He was 32 and has two daughters too young and suddenly too old.
He was shot through the head. Killed for reasons that somehow fade to a pathetic whimper compared to his daughters dream of being a doctor and an actress at the same time when she is 20 and living New York. She is 9.
His wife and I grew up together doing everything possible to break rules and laugh when we managed to escape unscathed. We had laughed harder every time we got caught When she fell in love and decided to elope, she had the same half amused glint in her eyes. Another adventure that would cause both of us to bite our lips in the face of a disapproving, family grimace born out of sect, ethnic and several other words that are so hollow they keep on echoing.
Ten years later when I saw her husbands wounds, all I could think of was the clean starched sheets of the hospital bed. I wondered how long will it take for them to clean them again so that they are restored to an acid white. I had no recollection of ever laughing in my life.
The following performance put up by throngs of relatives, whispered intrigues and the usual circus acts took away any space that we may have had to grieve.
There was anger, followed by a numbness reserved for battles and incomprehension.
The attack on my work place made me wonder if I had somehow woken up in a nightmare. I kept on waiting for the proverbial straw that breaks your back. I was helping the doctor/actress get dressed at that time. The suddenly old eyes flashed at me when I pulled out a jacket for her.
She promptly replied how she finds my taste in fashion really agreeable and can I please reach out for a purple jacket because the color I had chosen would never suit her complexion.