“It’s not the pup, it’s a kitten,” I say, while my mother searches her pockets for her glasses.
“Thank god,” she says. “But it’s still just as bad,” she adds, on afterthought.
We’re looking at the small mangled body on the road facing my balcony.
A dark circular patch has come to surround the dead kitten. It is spreading, coloring more and more of the concrete.
When I go out in the evening the kitten has been removed, and I cannot locate the patch that had been bloodied wet. Nevertheless, I keep to the sidewalk.
The stray puppy follows my mother. It has been supplied with some pet formula by my mother since its mother’s death and its birth two weeks ago. It has become friendly with my mother, and runs with her while she takes her walks.
I wake up late on Sundays.
“You still smile in your sleep,” my mother says. “You know, your first conscious smile was bestowed to a picture of Marilyn Monroe, and her billowing skirt. You were three weeks old and you had never smiled before, except in your sleep.”
I turn to her, propping my head on my elbow. My pillow has yellow and green leaves, and there’s no trace of the dark wet patch that had been a result of last night’s crying. It’s gone, like the cat’s blood. There’s still the buzz in my head, and I cannot remember exactly what had made me cry. I just remember the relief I had felt in submitting to the tepid pressure of tears; the strange comfort in the long forgotten feeling of lukewarm drops snaking my cheeks.
“You know, early baby smiles are a survival instinct," she says. "They are meant to make newborns more appealing, and thus keep them safer. If a baby can win the love of people around it, it’s likely to be better fed and cared for; the odds of its survival are greater.”
I smile at her. My survival instincts come to the fore.
©Rasagya Kabra, September 13, 2011
That is one of the great secrets of life, that life is a movement. And if you are stuck somewhere you lose contact with life.- Osho