The Efflorescing Jasmine - contd
by Roudri Bandyopadhyay
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My grandma brings him the health drink prescribed by the doctor. I notice hesitation in her steps, and she stands at the door. My grandfather looks up at her. They look into each other’s eyes, and in that moment, it feels as if they spoke a thousand words while they uttered none. I sit there still. I freeze.
Grandma walks in, slowly, and my grandpa holds her hand and makes her sit by his side. I have never seen this closeness between them before.
My heart races. Head buzzes with multiple contradictory thoughts. I feel scared.
The world around them seems to be slowly fading away as they conflate into each other.
I too melt away slowly and become an invisible spectator. I see a 16-year-old girl madly in love with a 21-year old man. Their silence radiates love so strong that it pierces through my skin and illuminates me from within. In these moments of silence, I hear words deeper than any ever spoken. I hear them say everything they couldn’t voice in the 52 years that they spent together.
A speck of ethereal light enters through the window and falls on my eyes. I look outside and my eyes fall on the tree turned white due to the myriad of coral jasmines blooming together. Usually coral jasmines announce the arrival of Durga Puja, but today I hear them annunciating the end of an era.
The moments of silence break, and with it my chain of thoughts. I hear my grandfather, still looking into my grandmother’s eyes, say in a mellifluous voice, “take care”.
And in that moment, I see forever. And in that moment, I taste love. ***