The sunlight on his face . Harsh and brutal, filtering through the glass pane above his head. No one seems to care. He’s on the move.

The driver, oblivious to his irrational pains, takes a right.

That night ,cooped inside our attic. Her breath on me. My scent on her..

The car is brought to a sudden halt. He is lowered to the ground. Glass panes no longer binding him. She is kneeling by his side,cautious, holding his hand, careful not to smear his white garb with the blood pooling around her wrists.

“Pa, do you think you can make it to school tomorrow? I’ll be opening the batting on our side.”

“Sure thing, champ, but did you arrange a ringside view for us to watch you from? No? No can do then,” I smiled.

“Your father and I need to be at the doctor’s tomorrow, Anik. His doses are to be upped..also it’s been over a month since we last paid him a visit.”

She was asked to drape the sari over her head. Someone dabbed at her eyes with a soft cloth.

The cloth came off, betraying no trace of moisture. It remained parched. She watched him being hoisted in the air. They exchanged smiles.

Soon Anik was not allowed inside my room any more. My friends were. They came in a single file, wrinkling their noses, quickly adjusting their facial contours into lines of concern. I sympathise. My brain mirrors their actions. My body refuses to cooperate.

 I drool over the pillows, my bedclothes. She wipes them clean ,talks me into blissful numbness..

The doctor bottom lined it for them. Three months. He let it go, with a month still left to spare.

She saw him being shoved gently inside an orange-hued chamber. Time heals. She tried threading the sunlight through her fingers.

Tried to feel the warm glow that’s coursing through his body even as she looked on at the chamber..

The Ganges. Wind in her hair. Him in her hands. An urn.

Suparna Paul

incompetent, inarticulate

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