Dangling on the chain was….
It was the winter in Missourie in the 1980s. At that time, I fought with Mom and Dad in Calcutta, crying and refusing to take food so that they give me the green signal to pursue my English Literature at the hill station. Finally, Mom relented after seeing me cry like a mad woman, thumping my chest in desperation. One fine day, Mom and Dad saw off as I waved to them at the railway station.
It’s been three months that I am studying at Missourie in the small hostel room, curled on the bed and holding tight the blanket that enveloped my body. I was reading a book and fell asleep. What I remember is the rains rattling on the window glass and tree branches shaking violently as the harbinger of something untoward happening. In my sleep, I was scared to death.
I woke up in fear and heard the violent storms, sea waves crashing against my bed. I froze and choked to death, fear paralysis engulfed me as I couldn’t utter a single word. I bend my gaze towards my feet to see blood seeping and I was standing on top of the cliff’s edge, inches away from crashing in the violent storm and sea waves deep down. As I looked around, longing for a soul to save my life, I was shaking with fear as I saw a shadow looming large on the tree branch, holding a shining object in his hand. Dangling in the chain was a miniature symbol of Lord Ganesha held by the mysterious, white faced human complexion. It was Nana-ji smiling and waving to me.
I yelled and shouted for my life. Two fisherman came, running towards me and they held my hand, ushering me away from the dangerous zone. They asked, ‘How you landed here?’ I was too shaken to speak and couldn’t understand how I reached the peak of the mountain, inches away from falling into the violent sea storm. I was taken to my room and it’s only later that I realized that I sleep walked in the violent storm, braving the Tsunami and traipsing on broken glass scattered on the alley that hurt my naked feet.
During the day, Mom called to tell that Nana-ji passed away during the night. But, I was too shocked to react or say anything. It’s an incident that nobody could explain how I walked on shards of glasses as I was drawn to the hill in the near death experiment to see the looming image of the departed soul.
Now, you sleep Subho and don’t worry Mom is with you. I held my three-year old, Subho tight to my chest and we slept as the rain keep falling outside our apartment in South Mumbai. I smile at Subho who slept in my arms and his tiny fingers holding the chain on his neck, dangling with the symbol of Lord Ganesha.
This post is written as part of Wednesday prompt, ‘Dangling on the chain was..’ hosted by Write Tribe. The story is inspired by an incident a friend narrated to me during the wee hours one day in our hostel at Marine Drive.
PS: Image downloaded on Google India and belongs to rightful owner.