The trees grew in the swamp in clusters. The ground was squashy and you could easily find your feet getting stuck in the mud every now and then. The silence was deafening. It would take you some time to figure out what hour of the day it was as little light came in through the thick canopy of trees which seemed to look down upon at you from the top like annoyed parents do when their child spills over a glass of milk.
There was a soothing sensation throughout his body. His neck in general felt weightless and there was a sense of calmness in his mind. The kind of calmness he had never experienced before. He tried getting up. This time, his feet were not stuck in the mud. Rather he got up like old spring toys do when you find among the abandoned toys from your childhood.
A little blue bird flew by him. After almost 35 years there was the palpable desire to spread his fingers and touch the bird. It seemed to him as the most beautiful creature he had ever seen in a real long time. The wind was carrying the fragrance of lavender; the wild ones which grow freely in this part of the world.
“Everything seems so perfect. How could I have ever missed on all of these?” He asked himself. The tiresome routine of the corporate job and the numerous complaints he had against it all seemed to be obliterated all of a sudden. He wanted to run a mile just because he was out there, right in the middle of the swamp with a team of fireflies moving in circles over his head like it was his coronation day and they were the crown.
This however was short lived. The pain seemed to return in every part of his body. All of a sudden there was tremendous tightness in his chest. Like someone was trying to pull out his lungs from his mouth with a scalpel. The pain seemed to implode his head. It felt like someone was tearing him limb to limb with the kind of chain that goes deeper into your flesh the more you try to release yourself from its grip. And then everything just faded to black.
He woke up a few hours later. He woke up to a familiar touch; without having to open his eyes he knew it was Asiyah, his wife. She was holding him in her arms and the tears seemed to roll over from her eyes dripping his forehead. He tried opening his eyes. The brightness was unbearable. There seemed to be a cacophony around him. He was longing for that serenity which was around him even a few moments back. How did he land up here? The obvious smell of disinfectant and the puncturing sense of needles in his skin had little left to guess- he was in a hospital. How did he end up here? What happened to the little blue bird? There were far too many questions lingering in his mind,
“You are an extremely fortunate woman” He could hear a solemn voice “What your husband went through can literally be termed as a near death experience. The police found his car overturned near the swamp and there was hardly any heartbeat when we found his body. The pulse rate was missing as well. We merely wanted to run our drill using the defibrillator and during the last attempt at reinitiating his heart we actually found his heartbeat returning yet again”.
He looked outside the window. Asiyah was still holding him tight. The sunlight was coming through the blue curtains and painting the room with a pretty shade. “Today seems like a beautiful day” He said to himself “I need to make the most out of it”.
Rupajyoti Dutta | PGDM (2016-2018)