after 52 days part 2

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we never knew someone until we know their ’inner-self’ even though you spend a lifetime together under the same roof. yesterday, i came back to this familiar place after 52 days. took a little journey of the past when spending a day with him seems took on a preternatural length. and, i hated myself for that. after all these years, you’ve waited for this for a good conversation? and yes, we had a great conversation, exceedingly connected, and i wanted to grasp that distant chatter again. trying to relive the routine again, walked on the same pavement, straight to the nearby 24 hours mart, around the corner is the emergency main entrance where you can see and witness all kind of cases coming in. back then i would buy a cup of hot coffee, some fruits or light snack with a magazine to tag along with it. and sometimes, i would stand there for a while watching people. i can see them minding their own business because i feel that they don’t have the luxury of looking at other people while they too have their own circumstances at hand. everybody have their own story here. i took the elevator to level 2, neorology ward 6A, as i passed a couple of young nurses with hummings of whispers between them. i continued walking, feeling like a stranger again until reaches the ward. as i stood outside watching that particular bed besides the window that opens the view of the suburban side of the city. i imagined he was still lying there while i was standing besides him, having some casual conversation on just about anything. but now, the bed belongs to someone else, an indian man at the same age of my father, ruddy in complexion but he was alone. unguarded eyes looking around while his hand connected with a dripping tube. well, i’m here to see his ‘inner-self’, try to understand and put together a puzzle of unwritten feelings about him. his files were already on the table, reports and x-rays from day one in 2013, i browse through each page, put up each x-ray films on the viewer. i’ve been developing black and white films in photography for many years now, seeing the coarse grain, slightly grotesque and pale images of these x-rays staggered me. later, those images started to captivated me with its luminous highlights, elaborate details and moulded beauty. this is it, as i stood still and watched in awe his ‘inner-self’ being displayed for the first time in my life.

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meticulously, i watched every inch of the joints, every bones that use to hold and hugged me. these were the bones who worked double or even triple shifts back then in order to raised his family without complaint. minutes elapsed as the images become very tedious. i almost, almost lost my strength looking at the x-rays, if it not because of my friend, shamzul who was standing behind me, keeping his distance from me, he probably knew this was something very personal but if its not because of him i would probably broke down in tears. these were the ribs and waist that i used to hold when riding on his bike, to the market, to the store or even just for an evening ride. then i paused. they drew me inside and i was immersed by his reflections, taking me back and forth, a glance of a little moment at the end of all. shortly, i was brought back. well, this is the cause of whats the almighty promised us, about life and death. shamzul showed me two of his lower plates were almost gone, there’s a huge lump on his right chest and inside the skull. i remembered watching him endured numberless pain, so much pain he wept. but being him, strong and full of hopes. and i shall permit our conversation to recall, grasping every tones of your voice, when in our days is like the morning sun rises between the hills.

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that afternoon, i finally got to know his ‘inner-self’ through a set of MRI and CT Scan x-rays. after 52 days of trying to gather the remains of my strength, accepting how small we are in this world but we can be as big as we can in the eye of another. a huge thanks to my friend, shamzul for making it easy for me, may you and your family be in allah’s loving hand. i went back and went through his photos and videos…  ‘thank you, for being a father that made who i am today. with every bit of strength you hold, i will hold it too closely with reverent hands. may allah grants you His endless grace and forgiveness upon you’

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