Friday, May 26, 2006

Anne and I

I reached the pool and I saw her lying on the ground. Cold and lifeless I thought at first. Then I realized she was smiling.

When I had first met her, it was in a mela. She was lost amidst the hustle and bustle. I believe she was taking time to get used to the different cultural environment that she was in. It must have been difficult for her. But at the same time she was enjoying the mood. I could tell that from her smile.

Next morning, when I reached the venue of the mela, she greeted me with her smile again. Dressed in a heavily embroidered kurta, she felt a bit awkward. I could understand. But there was not much I could do. She was our only hope of showing ourselves off. They had pulled down all other signs of our vanity and pride. For the first time in one year, I felt alien in this land. But she would not budge from her place. We had an ally. She had decided to take our side. Her smile was comforting.

Humans are such fools: they start getting attached to inanimate objects!

Today when I saw her lying on the ground, dressed in her off-white jacket, it was her expression that caught my attention. Had her face really hardened in these months or was I imagining things? She was sending cold signals. But still I wanted to talk to her. For old time’s sake. But then she didn’t even notice or recognize me. So I didn’t bother to greet her.

Humans are such slaves of the give-and-take phenomenon.

As I entered the room, the researchers, after a series of briefings, told me I had to give CPR to a manikin for their study, my performance of which they would record in their computer. Neat. I knew CPR stood for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and it is an emergency first aid protocol for an unconscious person on whom both breathing and pulse cannot be detected. I am usually not this informed but these days as a respite from receiving online links as a consequence of showing my ignorance, I am getting into this habit of checking the wikipedia before venturing into anything.

‘We will connect you to the dispatcher, ma’am, and you will get instructions on the phone about what you need to do.’ For the next few minutes it was she and I and an awfully bored voice on the phone. I had to enact a role as if I was going to save her life and it was now or never. She was a trained actor; she played the part of a lifeless patient with quite an élan and grace and a million dollar smile. I followed the instructions and started the compressions on her chest. Compressions on the chest right in the middle in between her nipples at the rate of about 2 compressions per second for about three minutes. That is all?

So I began… When I was about 45 seconds into the time graph, a strange thought occurred to me. How would I feel if it was a person I had known? And the moment it occurred to me I regretted it. Had I not known her? Was I not anticipating meeting her again right from the moment I got up today? Had I not felt deprived when she ignored me when I walked into that room? Was I not feeling a strange connection to her now that by some strange power of fate we were together?

Humans are so used to thinking in a certain way that they can’t think beyond what they are conditioned to think.

The researcher said I was good at the last one minute of my time with her. That was the moment of strange connection I know. That was the time when I had started believing that if I thump hard enough, she would actually spring to life. After effects of reading too many fantasy novels and fairy tales I guess. But at the end of it I was not miserable that her heart was not beating. Because from the corner of my eyes I saw her smile. Perhaps she was amused at my thoughts. I know she could read them.

Look at her audacity, the way she is describing me, what am I? Some mind reading MonaLisa?

At the end of the day when I think of her, I am happy. I met her again. I didn’t like the way they locked her in that grey box and towed her away. But I am happy because I was someone in her life for full three minutes today. ID # 106.

Oh my God this is hilarious! In her next to next to next birth she wants to be born as me and she thinks that it is actually possible!


Alankrita said...

Katty Kally this is brilliant

Mandar Gori said...

Even after thousand attempts it is the same old Anne, isn't it?? It seems she has devoted her life for the advancement of science.....

:) Mandar