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Sunday, July 10, 2011


It was a regular day… no… it was a beautiful day, we are on the beach, we took off our footwear as soon as we stepped on the moist cold soft gravels of the beach, I tapped my sandals together, dust off some of the clinging sand and put them in a small bag.. did the same with the sandals she was wearing, nice white sleek looking pair. She always had a better taste for such things than I did …. and it has been long since she picked a new pair…

The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds, as if it knows I am on the beach and is egging me to play with it… I was tempted, had it been the time we were dating, she would have taken off and I would have been chasing her on the beach, when years rolled by we still used to have a quick run and chase routine as soon as we used to step on the beach.. and then took time to pick off the sand from between each other’s toes , tickle and have a laugh…... a gush of wind broke my train of thoughts, I looked at the hand I was holding.. and proceeded towards the two chairs. The two chairs were kept few feet from the rising tides, the chairs were kept within kissing distance of the tides, it was always her idea….. as if to challenge the incessant frothy waters…. “Here I am, if you want to get me, put some more effort ….”. With that thought I held her hand more tightly, but I made sure it was a snug hold, not too tight….. you know the kind of care you take during a pooja and cradle that freshly lit diya in your hand which is filled to the brim with oil, you may be an atheist but you somehow make sure that the oil is not be spilled and the wicker is not to be exhausted..

We moved over to the two seats, I made her sit on the right , she relaxed into the chair with a slight exhale. When I was sure she was snug in the chair I stepped back.. she looked straight at me… the sight was not of excitement, not of a knowing mischief , not of a surprise she had planned for me and certainly not the teary look which I must confess we had more than a few occasions in our married life… the sight was .. as if she was looking through me. I stepped aside and the evening sun fell on her face and made it glow.. she still looked beautiful…… she never liked too much jewelry , just a set of simple tops and a silver chain today … glistened in the sun, I stepped aside and sat down on the other chair.. the last time I saw tears in her eyes were when we lost our only son.. he was 16 and it was his birthday… I had gifted him his favorite motorbike…. He insisted to take it out immediately … as he moved few feet away from the house….a roaring truck just ran over him……. A kite took off right in front of me… the whiz in the wind snapped me back in the moment.. my eyes followed the red kite… which steadily rose against the sea breeze.. the color now turning black as it goes higher…. Something happens and string snaps…. the kite continued its trajectory for a few seconds unaware of the cord been snipped , few seconds later it was just floating in the air….. just like .. any other piece of paper….

I took her hand again and slowly caress it… she doesn’t take notice and still looks ahead to the rising tides… the sun is pretty close to the horizon , the sea now looks like its made of liquid gold…. I remember when we used to come to the beach earlier.. and when she used to look at the sea , we often used to argue that when we grow old will we still come to the beach , I used to say no I want to retire at a hill station, and she insisted close to beach.. we are over 60 now… and she did win… but I lost…. She doesn’t remember me anymore. She is suffering from Alzheimer, doctor says the loss of my son accelerated the deterioration.. I am alone despite her being next to me…

Note : There are 4 crore elders in India suffering from Alzheimer’s disease Hindu Post on Alzheimer in India