Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I attend a wedding

My cousin's wedding dates had been fixed and my Aunt insisted that I attend it. As the date of the wedding neared and we did not have a nurse, it was decided that Jaya and I won't go for the wedding. But the day before the wedding we got a nurse. Jaya casually asked her if she was willing to take me to Kollengode (which is about 70 km from here) the next day for which she would have to get up by 4 a.m so that we could leave by 6 a.m. To our surprise she readily agreed .

So we quickly changed our initial plan of not attending the wedding, called up the taxi service to arrange a car of our specifications and checked with an acquaintance if he could come with us to help in shifting me. It was 8 p.m. by the time all the arrangements were made and our trip was confirmed. Jaya then rang up my Aunt and told her about our plan. She was taken by surprise since she had  assumed that we were not coming. Nobody was expecting me to come.

In Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie writes about a foreword to a book of photographs written by the great Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. (It is curious that a  blind person was asked to write a foreword for a book of photographs.) Borges wrote that a photograph cannot reveal the vastness of the Pampas. It can only show the view till the horizon and what lies beyond is in the imagination of the traveller. It could not capture the tedium of travelling on and on and on through that vast unchanging landscape.

My life after the stroke is in many ways similar to the experience of that hypothetical Borgesian traveler. In these times of rapid change, it is inevitable that my unchanging dreary self will be pushed to the background. I would have been hot news 15 years ago but then people get used to the changed circumstances just like I did. They had seen photographs occasionally but the vastness of the Pampas remained hidden.

So I was a ghost from the past who had suddenly, unexpectedly materialised at the function. One major reason why I was reluctant to go for the function was that I didn't want to shift attention from the marriage ceremony to me as would inevitably happen. This may have been avoided if I had been a regular attendee at such functions but I had never attended a big family function since the stroke about 15 year ago so I would have been something of a curiosity.

I was wondering where I would be parked because I didn't want to be in front of the crowd during the wedding ceremony (which in Kerala weddings is quite short,  lasting for about half an hour) since that would have been a distraction. I also have bouts of cough sometimes which are innocuous but people who are unfamiliar with it may panic. Fortunately I was parked in a room right next to the stage where the wedding took place. Here it was easy for people to come and meet me and there was also some privacy for giving me feeding.

I met a large number of people who I had not met since my stroke. It was like being at one's own wedding - you meet many people, some very familiar, some not so familiar and a lot of people you don't know at all. Sometimes it took me a while to put names and faces together. Father Time had been busy over the years so my brain had to do a lot of processing.

The day after the wedding the nurse left for good citing some illness in her family. 

1 comment:

  1. the crisp english and scenic descriptions are still the same. Years of reading PG ( school days) has its impact. Kudos Suresh
    Manoj Sahay