Thu, 01 Oct, 2020

Fear

By Asmita Bista

Photo Courtesy: http://www.findingthegracewithin.com/ “What will you do if you get to know that you are going to die?” I didn’t like his question. I put down the receiver of the phone. What nonsense was he talking about! I love my family and the feeling of going away from them always drives me crazy. My mind was going through that question. I got headache thinking about that. It was already 2 AM. I closed my eyes, trying to sleep. I felt something wrong with my hand. I felt pain. When I opened my eyes, I saw cannulaplaced in my left hand. I had an oxygen mask over my mouth. I had no idea what was happening. I was alright a day before. “She has got some major problem. We need to take her to the hospital as soon as possible”. I heard somebody saying that. How can a life of a person change completely within a few hours? I wanted to get up and figure out the whole matter. Oxygen mask and cannula were the obstruction for me. I wanted the oxygen mask out of my face. I tried moving my hand, but somebody stopped me. That was my 8 year old son, Rhythm. “Momma, it is necessary, I heard it from doctor.” I wanted to say, “No, dear, I am okay”, but I stayed silent. “Hey, do you want to have something?” It was Ramesh, my husband who loved me more than anything. I nodded. He went to kitchen to bring something for me. But I just wanted to wake up from bed. I struggled a little to remove the oxygen mask and somehow managed to get that out of my face. I got relieved. Soon, I started feeling difficulty to breathe. I tried putting that oxygen mask again back to its place, but I could not. I neither saw my husband nor my son. I felt someone’s presence at my right side. I signaled him to help me, but he did not offer help. I tried a lot to recognize him, but I could not clearly see his face. I felt suffocation. My eyes wanted to close; but I did not want to sleep. I wanted to get up from bed. My eyes felt sleepy even I tried not to sleep. I tried for the last time and finally was able to wake up. I went towards the door. I saw my son entering into the room. I wanted to hug him. “Daddy”, he shouted. My husband came hastily. I wanted to tell him that everything is fine. But before I could speak, he ran towards the bed, avoiding me standing at the door. To my surprise, I saw my body placed in bed. He did the chest compressions with tears in his eyes. “Daddy, what has happened to mom?” Rhythm was crying along with his dad. Soon, neighbors arrived. They consoled Ramesh. My body was taken away from and placed in the courtyard of my house. Ramesh was crying with my hand in his hand. I did not know what to do. I could not believe that they did not feel my existence. They did some ritual on my body. They placed my body on the stretcher made up of bamboos. They carried it and were ready to go somewhere. I did not like that. I wanted my body back. I screamed but nobody listened. They took my body away from my house. Hey, stop! I want to be back. Please stop! I ran after them. I shouted to each of them to stop. They did not hear me or maybe they were ignoring me. I hated them for such behavior. I was crying all the way. They finally stopped when they reached to the river. The holy river, I never had been before. They asked Ramesh to perform some ritual on my body again. They dipped some portion of my body in the water. I wanted to stop them. But I could not. They arranged some wood and placed my body there. I cried again begging them for help. They placed some more wood over my body. I wanted my body out of it, but nobody was listening to me. “Momma.” I heard the voice. I looked for Rhythm but he was missing. I kept on searching where my son was. I saw the fire. I returned to the place where my body was placed. They had set fire to my body. Oh god! They were burning my body. Hey, stop that! This is not fair. Nobody has the right to burn my body. It is mine and only mine. I cried, screamed until I could, but nobody listened. Tears were rolling down my cheeks. I could not see anything properly. “Momma” It was Rhythm again. I wanted to see my son, but I could not. I wiped my tears but still I was not able to see his face.I tried again to open my eyes. Finally, I was successful. And then, I saw his face. Yeah, his smiling face. I looked around. I was in my room, in my bed. Ramesh was getting ready for office. “Good morning honey”, he said. I smiled in response. I realized that I just had a dream. A dream of fear, fear of death, which I wish would never come true.