It is a Sunday morning and folks are huddled up in sheets. The protesting whine of autos whisking the unwilling souls to their workplaces has been lulled for the interregnum. The birds are a riot of notes and I am trying to savour the unique melody of each in isolation. Some warblings are perennial and pervasive like a finely falling drizzle. Some murmur and rustle like winds through the dancing mass of leaves. Some hit the cochlear organs loud and sudden like a trumpet in sodden air. Crows are raucous and random, cynical and abrasive in their reports.
My thoughts return to my mother-in-law who refused to emerge from a jungle of emotions while she lived. Hankering for a house full of noisy children constantly in need of pampering, she felt robbed when her chicks grew up and took off like migratory birds. She was forever scheming to have them all under the same roof on one pretext or the other and did succeed occasionally. Her world would be restored with the prattling and pandemonium of her grandchildren and of course, her own, who’d regress to their olden ways. Sadly, for such a loving woman, her two sons who stayed with her had a relentless drought of babies. And when they were visited by a sapling at long last, my father-in-law went the way of all flesh without much of a goodbye. The magic of little ones frittered away as her world crumbled around her into meaningless heaps of gravel. Not to be undone, she lifted herself on her tiny wings and vanished into skies of oblivion on the world sparrow day.
Twice after that, I have dreamt of a child being born hither or thither in bustling households. And although three fourth an atheist of Hindu scriptures, I wish her to be installed into a crowded family in her rebirth.
I am still to buy the Ferrari that I can sell to become a monk. Meanwhile, I have contemplated selling off my old Samurai bike but I am not sure what it would make out of me. You may attribute the desire to the usual fit of blues to those in the professions of banking and blogging simultaneously. This bike though, officially died sometime in 2012, having completed the fifteen years of life granted to it by the gods of road transport. It is technically eligible for a rebirth of another five years but considering that its siblings have all become extinct, I feel lesser and lesser inclined to intrude on its coma. Again, it being a cadaver, having a dead bike rolling on the roads may attract steep penalties. The insurance companies won’t touch it with a bargepole. The transport companies won’t touch it without an insurance scroll. And the desert state that can grant it life lies more than eight hundred miles up north.
Before you marvel at my callousness, remember that unlike the previous pair of wheels I had, it hardly invokes good memories. It broke down the very day I rolled it down the showroom’s ramp. I suspect the world outside proved too much for it and many unpleasant skirmishes it had with the others of the species only confirms my doubts. Worse, I was often let down when my newly discovered conjugal bliss would be riding pillion. Eventually, it ditched me decidedly on a highway and it shames me to state how the culprit was a lowly scooter. The incident tweaked my metatarsal bones forever, not to speak of the irreparable mauling of my ego. But then it had dragged me clear off a speeding lorry before its engine died.
So, dear mother-in-law, I truly don’t understand what happens to people when they move beyond the thresholds of this world. And since no one has ever returned to scare or regale the sagging souls left behind, I will set free this motorbike by rolling it down the landfill at a nearby creek. And it will be my prayer to the powers that be, to grant you both a much happier afterlife.