Tuesday, December 19, 2006

When the temple is hot

The room was dark. She huddled under the blanket and shivered. She tried to bring her knees as close to her chin as possible in a fetal position and hugged her legs tight. Her arms ached from the strain but letting go did not occur to her. Her body seemed alien to her. But she was aware of all the small signals it gave out; every hot breath; every rise and fall of the chest, every twitch, every tremble. She pinched herself resolutely. She tried to figure out which was the more unpleasant sensation - the ache in the thumb that pinched or the pinch itself. She couldn't say.

Life had lost all its complexity. Her body was the epicentre and its myriad functions the only reality. The alarm clock was ticking away; some seconds seeming longer than others. Her arms slipped up her legs towards her knees. And when they broke loose, her body went limp and she felt like she had let go of something vital. She could hear the thump of her heart against her chest and feel the strain of the pulse in her forehead against the pillow. She shook her head clearing it of the bad thoughts. Some loose hair had found its way to her face and lips. She wondered how long she could tolerate that irritation and let it be.

She slid her palm under her pyjamas to feel the smooth warmth of her buttocks. Commmforting... There was dust shimmering in a small column of light that poured in from the ventilator. She fingered the air with renewed awareness. She toyed with the idea that may be they were all living in a matrix. Occasional columns of streaming light suggesting a bigger plan. She couldn’t understand how she could fall prey to the maya of ambition and regrets; the vicious cycle of daily duty; all seemed so inconsequential and petty. She knew better now.

Suddenly she broke into sweat. The fever had passed. She was ravenous. "What have you made for lunch today, Mummy? I feel like eating fish fry." Matrix reloaded.

- Aval

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