Thursday, June 09, 2005

Just Another Sunday at Home

It’s Friday afternoon and I get
the call I dreaded most.
“We’ve decided on Sunday,” says Dad.
As though it was a family get together
he was inviting me to.
“I’ll come,” I say.
“Are you sure?” he asks. “Otherwise
I’ll call somebody else…”
“No, I’ll be there by 10.00,” I say
brusquely, angered by
his eternal distrust of me.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I know
my responsibility, I tell myself.

I reach home and
Mom is all dressed up.
In black. Like she was
attending a funeral. Wasn’t she ?
Dad of course is in his
usual cold, remorseless self,
reading the paper.
It is just another
Sunday for him.
I too act nonchalant,
as though today was no
big deal for me.

I walk up to mutt, who is actually
Buddy, a name I had fondly given
long, long ago.
Almost a brother I had grown
up with, who had shared my
secrets, my joys, my tears, my bed.
Now he is senile, stinking,
almost blind and paralytic, among
other infirmities. He senses me and
as I rub his ears, looks at me through
his bleary rheumy eyes.
His tail twitches spasmodically,
but he can’t get up. I feel awful.
But there is little I can
do for him, except
continue to rub his head
out of affection.

10.30 a.m. “The vet will be
here by 11,” says Dad, glancing
at his watch. He is a stickler for
timing and sometimes I wonder
whether I was born at the time
he willed. Maybe I didn’t,
and so, I’ve never ceased to
disappoint him since then.

Mom gets me tea and
I can see her eyes moist and
she is babbling her head off,
about some inane matter
to no one in particular, as
she is wont to when she is
all tensed up.
The mood is turgid and charged,
as though
we are anxiously waiting
for some exam result of mine.

11.15 a.m . The vet comes and it
is all over within minutes,
with least resistance.
I feel the life ebbing from
the limbs I’m holding
and they stiffen.
So wooden. Dad is watching
me closely, as though
he expects me to swoon on
my feet like the the sissy
he believes I am.
I can feel my heart hammering,
face flushed, sweat trickling
down my spine
to between the tensed cheeks.
But, I hold my ground and
the carcass.
I surprise myself.

And disappoint Dad.

For once, I have not lost
to him in our never ending
battles of one up manship.

Yes, yes, yes !!!
I gloat and
smirk at him and
look for Buddy to
share my rare joy.

That’s when I
break down.


Blogger buckwaasur said...

i found the ending funny...sorry...when the narrator broke down, i laughed...i have this habit of laughing at the emotional types...

was a good poem siggy...:-)

2:06 PM  
Blogger bilbo said...

was a good poem .
Filial wars are their victories are never complete.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Chay said...

Aww that was so ... emotional!!
Tho the twist had me smiling a bit, I am all choked up...
I almost expected the dad to be the one sniffling...

Nice Siggy!!

11:30 AM  
Blogger bharath said...

The ending was a bit too strong. Being carried away in the moments, makes life easier and difficult at the same time.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Maltova said...


1:53 PM  

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