• Writer's Collective

Ganesh Chaturthi: 2020

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

The man was asleep on the floor. He had spent a very unhappy night. Tossing. Turning. Weeping.

Anyone would. After travelling to six hospitals to check if they could accommodate his wife and she fearing for her life, he was tired, hungry and fearful. He had to appear strong for her and that taken a lot out of him.

The door opened.

It's as if it flew open. The man woke up with a start and stared at the open door. His hands folded in a "Namaste". A minute went by. The breeze through the door ceased in the meanwhile as if someone large was standing there. Then, the breeze restarted. The man crawled to the edge of the door and peeped out.

Had he seen a vision?

He knew he couldn't speak about it to anyone. No one would believe. No one would believe him if he said that the man with the large flapping ears had come in and said that his wife would be back and there was nothing to worry. He should keep doing his work and prepare a good home for her to be back in.

He couldn't even ask as to how so many neighbours and townspeople had gone and never come back. Was it different just for him? He couldn't ask anything.

He plunged back into his work. His daily work of being a cook at a restaurant had lapsed because of the pandemic. So, he had started doing plumbing repairs. He knew how to do that. Had learnt when he was a cook and had to do emergency repairs in the establishment he was in. Out of necessity. Because the owners never bothered to employ a plumber. And a freelance plumber took time to arrive. By then, the kitchen would either be inundated with dirty water or there would be no water at all. So he learnt.

He travelled the entire town that week and did over two hundred repairs in various households and residential complexes. Some households insisted that he wear a PPE suit and work. And so he had leave them alone. Otherwise, the numbers would have been up.

He had to work hard. His working hard would bring her back. That's what the man with the flapping ears said. Not because of his prayers. He had to do the good work. It had to benefit others. So, he was stacking up the numbers as best as he could.

Two weeks passed by.

She came back. He went with his plumbing bag to receive her. He wept when he saw her. She looked younger. A little less grey in her hair. Or maybe he now saw things with a different prism.

He told her about everything.

She folded her hands, closed her eyes and muttered, "Deva, Deva!"

He was still in front of her when she opened her eyes.

She thought she saw his large flapping ears turn pink.

- Indraneel Majumdar

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All