Sunday, June 13, 2010


What do you remember of the old house?
The smell of it.
How did it smell?
I could find the old house by my impressions of it, even if contributed only by the perceptions of my nose and the storage corners of my mind. It's like they have assumed corners, and the odors have been neatly shelved- The smell from the kitchen grasping the dining area like in an aged, frail fist, while the kitchen smelled of mom (or was it mom who smelled of it before she'd wash away the clues of that lilting quality of clove and cardamom from her fingertips?). The smell of each of the bedrooms- smelling of it's owner- in rebellion, fiercely independent- of her very own separate dreams in a house meant to be a collective cloud. The store room- smelling like a heavy heart . The washroom- a strange cocktail of everyone's favorite toiletries.The smell of the terrace wild with the home-grown lilies, lazy breath of button roses and the sticky balm secretly emanating from the money-plant. The porch, always, inebriated. How the odors of the drawing room never remained the same- That was the only area frankly deceptive and confusing. Only that confused me of home.



Syed Mir Saheb.
Okay. [(typing) S-y-d-a-n S-a-h-e-b]. In-patient number: 56783


What's your name?
(Breaking voice) Syed Mir Saheb Doctor.
Okay. [(Writing) A male patient by name Syclan Saheb aged 67 years presented to the hospital at 3:04 a.m. Alleged to have sustained a fall from the bicycle while going to the fields on the outskirts of xxxxxxx.]


Doctor, could you pass the list of patients who need injections?
Here, doctor.
Where is Syclan Saheb?
In the post-op ward.

|Post-op ward|

(Calling out) Syclan Saheb?
[No answer]
(Calling out) Syclan Saheb?
Doctor, there is only Syed Mir Saheb here.
Oh, how did he get hurt?
He had a fall from the bicycle, doctor.
Oh, it is him then. Alright.

|Operation- theater|

Sydan Saheb, do you feel any tingling or numbness?
Yes, doctor. I can't feel my limbs.
Great! You will do just fine.
Doctor, can I just go out for a day?
For what?
I want to walk. I want to walk to anywhere. No, I will walk to my village and see my grandson once. I was cycling to the fields to get him some mangoes. I will give him those I'd gathered and I'll return for the operation and stay as long as you would advice me to.
But, you can't walk. Unless you are operated on, your legs can't support you. Please relax.
(Looking into a distance) Okay.

|Acute Surgical Care|

Doctor, he's deteriorating.
He was well until he was wheeled out. I had checked his vitals.
Yes, he was. When he was being wheeled out, he was good too. Right after we got him here into the room, he's started to deteriorate.
[Resuscication begins.]
We're sorry for your loss.


What's the patient's name?
Sydan Saheb, doctor.
(Relative) Doctor, his name was Syed Mir Saheb.
Oh but the entries show his name is this, Sydan Saheb. And the certificate will be issued in this name. I think there's been a mistake on our part. You must get the name changed. You will have to ask the MRO and present a arzi for change of name. You can claim the body now, though.
(Wife) That will take long. (Leaves.)

Until then, he might reach home to where his grandson is waiting. Wheeled on the stretcher, hurrying, thinking, he was indeed riding his rickety bicycle. Bringing home the season's last mangoes.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known."

-Chuck Palahniuk

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


What did you do?
Lots of things.
Tell me about them. Have you brought pictures?
Why not?
I couldn't. I couldn't pause to.
You should've stayed longer then..
Yes, I should have.
What will you eat? I think you should take a bath. Have you bought something? Why don't you empty? You should straighten up. When did you return, anyway?
Just some time ago.