She laid on the hospital bed with her eyes taped by the nurse so as to avoid them from bulging out. The monitor counted down her pulse and heartbeat second by second; I awaiting helplessly to hold on to the hands that had blessed me, always. The previous day she had stared at me, with both her hopelessness as to her failing organs and the hope that she would come back to us at the same time; which she tried assuring me by slowly tilting her head, albeit without any expression let alone a smile which I longed for.
My mother died. The soul that once supported the body of the old lady whom I knew as my mother – at sixty seven that she was, I still wanted her to hold on – had left.
It has been more than two weeks now. I tried explaining to myself on what more could I have done that would have saved her; probably have taken more care of her, with all her constraints and possibly her own free will in not taking enough care for herself for reasons beyond my perception. For a moment I was angry with myself, and then my dad for not having done enough somewhere; but then whom could I complain as he himself has been lying since two months in another hospital, in coma, oblivious to his better half’s fate.
And my thoughts still kept going back to that old lady – her questioning eyes, her hopeless eyes – eyes that seemed to be asking me if I could save her somehow, oblivious to anything that was going on inside her.
I took refuge in the texts of ‘Advaita Vedanta’, the treatises of Swami Vivekananda. And I am still grappling with trying to accept the truth that defines us, our karma, our destiny; and how I should perceive the unfathomable abyss of feelings that life has thrown at me and hence, lay before me to come to terms with.
I belong to a society where women were once upon a time regarded in very high esteem.Woman – the one who completes the ‘man’ and the one who possesses the cradle of human creation through her ‘womb’. This is the very essence of human duality – the existence of both woman and man in a delicate balance – that together unites the human existence into ‘advaita’ (in sanskrit, ‘oneness’).
However, in very recent times we as a society are struggling to come to terms with how men in general deal with women, and the underlying assumptions of ‘gentler or weaker sex’. Thousands of stories today illustrate this struggle, and out of this chaos is borne the courage and grit of today’s women.
This novel is a strong representation of how women are brought up within this state of things, and how they form strong characters that can complement each other at the toughest of times in their lives. Though the setting is contemporary Indian urban, the appeal is universal in character. The novel, with its gripping plot and dramatic twists and turns, every time reminds us of how such courage is built.
If you are a woman, I hope that it serves as an inspiration and support; and if you are a man, I hope that it serves to give us a more balanced view on how you can share this world with (and complement) our mothers, wives and daughters – on how you can be an example to whom we can look up to.
Everyday I see hundreds of women, and everyday I see exemplary courage emanating out of them. My realization started for the first time I saw my mother, then my sister, and then other women around me, and then my wife Moon as she entered my life, and now my daughter Hiya.
And then a few years back, two women whose exemplary courage in face of innumerable odds inspired me to pen down my first fiction in form of “Life Takes a You-Turn”.
Ankita and Sharmi are my two protagonist characters who come from two very different backgrounds, and cities. The journey, nevertheless adventurous in their own ways, from their childhood to coming-of-age brings them together into a lifelong friendship that results in their lives taking “U Turns” for better or for worse. The thrills and a dramatic climax provides a fitting ending to the novel – that hopes and strives to keep you, my valued and ardent reader, to the edge of the seat till the finish.
Get my book at amazon [worldwide], available either as a kindle edition or paperback, or both.
I would await your kind review and feedback once you join Ankita and Sharmi on this journey and become their everlasting friends ….. a sequel (thriller genre) is up on the cards till then 🙂