An old lady who dies a silent death…..
Peer Faizan Bashir
As I strolled a few steps away my home, a very old woman, infirm and frizzled, appears before my very eyes, going to and fro in the midst of road. Her ‘senility’ is clearly seen, the ‘tattered’ cloak down to the toe, but these are hardly understood by people.
Everyone is busy doing his mean business. Some talking vigorously to other, whilst the rest engaged in reckless and tempestuous affray. The lady keep on watching them with eyes brimmed by tears so pathetic that even a worst human wouldn’t turn his eyes off her. But, a sense of pity is nowhere to be seen!
A core part of humanity the empathy is lost! It feels that ‘happiness’ will be a mere memory! Even after her falling off and hitting the torrid asphalt doesn’t shake humans’ conscience! It is going to be a very bad experience for me seeing her in such a state of being.
Meanwhile, I came closer to her and vent out the volcano hidden inside me. Is there something that bothers you, I asked her. But, it seemed as though she was deaf. While the reality was as such. However, with much fortitude, I accompanied her to my home for tea. But, she made no sip out of it. Oh! God, Almighty! How would I ever be able to forget that melancholic face of hers? I talked much to her, but no word came out of her mouth. She seemed to have been dejected and broken deeply by something. But, unfortunately, I knew nought of her.
Thoughts upon thoughts sprouted in my mind. Of all, I came to the point of taking her outside- perchance, any of her relatives could pass through and take her to home. However, all else failed. And, dusk was about to set. Nothing whatsoever. Meantime, I heard a voice so swiftly thrown at me that I was able to remember nothing but ‘Chirghar Mohalla’. The ‘Mohalla’ which was some 3–4–5 kilometers away from my home, and I was relieved.
I was gladdened. I was invigorated. At least, I was left with hope for a better end. In no time, I got up and shouldered her to the ‘Rickshawala’, to whom I asked for accompanying us to the mentioned place.
But, a most shocking reply he would utter that ‘Rickshaw’ is not for ‘old dolts’ and ran away hurriedly. It had put so heavy a weight on my heart. Cold sweat started oozing out of my face. My legs shivered for the mess. Anyway, I stood up and managed taking her step-by-step to another ‘Rickshaw’- to our fortune – who agreed taking us onto our destination. And, I felt better than before.
As we arrived at the place, the most difficult job for me was to find her belongings- her home. Questions of here- there started coming to my mind. Suddenly, a heavy ‘dooph’ echoed inside our ‘Rickshaw’, and it saw that she had dozed off. Normally I stepped out of vehicle to ask one of the open shopkeeper ssomething of her.
But, his reply seemed like this, “Again this ‘old-imbecilic-freaky lady’ by our door…..”
I was quite confused by the farrago of freaky thoughts. The thoughts that had big interrogative marks on them- where is humanity? Where has it gone? Somehow, I controlled myself and tried to wake the lady up.
But, no movement was shown on her side. I tested every way to wake her up, but nothing happened. Meanwhile, her children turned up, and a huge crowd gathered all around, so I got a bit serious now for the reason the same people might blame for something nasty done by me; and I left the place with the hope that her children are now there to take care of her.
As I was exhausted now, I walked towards a tranquil spot, nearby the ‘Mohalla’, where I rested myself for few minutes. Eventually, on my way to home, I came across two young men having exchanges of talk sand what struck and shocked me the most—
“You know the lady who was ‘disregarded’ by her children?”asked other the man,
“Which lady,” the other said,
“That — who is seeking alms off street nearest to the shop,” said the mananxiously.
“Got it! the shopkeeper who often ‘abuses’ her,” said other.
“Yes, I’ve heard it on grapevine that she has ‘passed away’ !” said other the man.
And, I left the place disappointedly!
(The writer is a student and hails from Old City)