Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An accident

This evening a strange thing happened.

 At the exact moment that I decided to push my plate of food away and lean on the wooden railing to gaze at the river and the old bridge, I heard a woman scream. A man had met with an accident. I just saw his dusty footwear and his shaking legs by a truck parked below the restaurant.

 When I ran down to the couple, the man was foaming at the mouth, shaking uncontrollably and a head wound was oozing blood. He was clutching the axe that was lying by his side. The truck was full of sand, and the man, a daily wager, apparently had an attack of epilepsy and fell head down from the truck on the traffic-packed road. The woman was sobbing hysterically and was cradling her man with a passionate urgency.

 As I went up to my food later, the first thought that came was a selfish one. I told myself that the insecurities that had occupied me for the past two days seemed atrociously superficial and criminal to worry about after what I saw. My mind remained clouded with the thoughts of the woman. I can still see how she held her man, how she held his hands tight, pressed his wound with her torn saree and dabbed her tears with the same cloth, touched his cheeks lightly with her fingers to get him to talk to her. I can't forget how the man looked back at her, defeated, tired and very scared. How effortlessly some people get love and how shamelessly some cling to it.


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