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"Without my Bespectacled Eyes"

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

A short story by Zaoliya.

First posted October 2, 2017

One never exhausts oneself in their attempt on unraveling the mystery of the nights. I however, prefer to brood on my misgivings and failures of the past. On the other hand, my friends like to make the most of it, even moulding the night to suit their own business. I, in contrast, create my own.

"Jianw jathwng bhaigo mwjang gothoa befwrao gwsw gwia.

("Whatever be, I'm glad he has no interest in such activities"), I had overheard Mom say one night a long time ago.

Mom's activities create a chilling unease within me. She never misses any of her prayers and devotedly performs the act five times a day, I counted. These unnerves my own unbelief in the existence of a creator.

What is he like?

I am certain there was an absence of a divine intervention to be a cause that shaped my character. Mom thought otherwise and so did other people around my home. I felt cornered.

It was a dreamless night. I was woken up by my mother's concerned call to bid adieu to the night before.

I struggled to wake but remembered that I have to catch a bus to Guwahati at 6:10 this morning. My Moto pointed out that I would be late if I did not hurry for it was already 5:40. It's a decent phone and has been with me serving me for about a year. I cannot however mask my infidelity any longer towards Him. I am lusting over another.

Should I 'have the talk' about my paramour with Him?...Maybe I should not. If only my finances were managed better!

Eyes still closed, I took the toothbrush and with a short zigzag motion rinsed and then showered. I took the black tea Mom had prepared for me.

"Khwitayao thangw bus aa?"

("At what time is the bus?") I asked mom.

"Soita swao fayw, BSTC aa losw kharnw hagwo dinwi"

("At around 6, only BSTC bus will travel the route today."), said mom. There were only three direct buses to Guwahati on that route and the route changes at different places.

As I was chewing on a few grains of cooked rice, Dad shouted,

"Gari gabdwng, jwldi khalam"

("Sound of a vehicle, hurry up").

At the beginning I was not alarmed, but then I began to realize the urgency of the situation. I scooped down a handful of grains into my mouth. The grains were soft and warm. As I chewed, I tasted the umami tasting starch and the potato mixed with roasted chillies. Did I just bite on those chillies?

Pandora's box. Hey I could now hear the grumbling old bus 'po-po' its horn while screeching and turning in order to avoid the cratered potholes. It had rained last night. Somebody shouted back at the driver,

"Osoibho! Gari solainw rwngabla solainw nanga. Lantha Balonda".

The driver had years of experience handling such a situation. As he grinned, the betel stained teeth showed signs of overuse. Oh look! He had missed a tooth few months back over a drunken brawl.

Sultan's ears grew alert. In the two years that I have known him, he has served well as a pet. He is my parents' companion. We have been ruthless to him though. We snipped his canine-hood and ruined his party life. Maybe we will be forgiven someday. He loves me though. He greets me with unrestrained welcome every time I arrive home.

I decide for the dogs, I made myself believe.

"I can't help but I have to move to the city Mom", I had said.

"I shall get a job soon."

I do not know if that promise is ever going to be a reality. Growing up and nearing 30 life isn't what a nineteen year old had dreamed of.

'It has been like a sparkling light until now Mom, some dimming some still bright', I said to myself suddenly feeling possessed by Dementors. The food in my mouth felt extra moist. It was time for it to make its journey too.

'How lucky you are food, you just need a push!'

'So do you.'

I thought they replied.

The break of a new dawn had filled the air with freshness and cool. The frantic movements of my hurrying body had generated its own whirlwind trying to soothe me.

"I'll call you Mom".

My Motorola had only charged 20%. It wouldn't matter cause conversations has dwindled.

'I will get it recharged later', I consoled myself.

Perhaps a recharge is what I need!

My 'cute' little blue backpack sat snugly behind my back. It was a gift from a friend. My friend who bought it online was shy to carry a tiny little bag behind his back. This is how I acquired the bag.

"I am huge. This bag will double that", he would quip about himself.

He had mis-judged the size of the bag through an online shopping site. Blue, the colour of the sky, unbeknownst to me had become my favourite colour. My friend reminded me once that this was because I love the colour. Did I? If the sky is blue and sky is about freedom, does that mean freedom is what I hope? I did not have the answer.

"Have you carried everything?"

"Yes", I said as I raced towards the gate.

My Mom raced behind me. Luckily, the driver was negotiating with the now severely soaked jogger. "Don't stay without calling like last time", I demanded Dad.

"Check your Blood pressure regularly".

He had taken a fall the last time. It was really a big scare. Sultan barked one last time. It was time. I moved into the vehicle and turned to say good-bye. They all smiled. I smiled back at them.

The seats were empty inside the bus. As I settled down in the vehicle, I realized life could not have been possible without them. I remembered I had left my spectacles in the kitchen cabinet. I imagined they had found it and were frantically trying to contact my phone, which was lifeless by now. The conductor was nearby, I wanted to stop the bus and return. A void gripped my heart. A wisp of cold wind blew and splashed onto my face some residue of the rainwater that had collected on the edges of the bus window, the night before. I wondered if it would be hard for me without my spectacles!

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