Blissfully blind

Half of old woman's face with newspaper report showing through“Someone has been shot dead,” my mother told me.

At 87, she has given up hopes of her vision resurrecting. So, she catches snatches of news on the radio. Her hearing too has been playing tricks on her; she gets some and misses most.

“I didn’t quite catch the name,” she sounded sorry. “And the national news was all about some party fighting the other and people making noise and the parliament not able to function and all that.” She couldn’t figure out why someone getting killed in our neighbourhood did not merit a mention in the national news. Or why people fought in parliament.

This morning, the newspaper had all the details. I told her the gist. “Did they catch the killers?” she wanted to know. Well, the killers didn’t hang around. “The police will catch them,” she sounded very sure. I didn’t tell her that there were a police station and a police roadblock within meters of the crime scene.

“Once I would have read all the details,” she lamented, not bothering to hide her frustration at my failure to read the entire newspaper aloud for her.

I scanned the headlines and remained silent. Rather let her mourn her days of newspaper reading than have her read and regret.

“Who won the match yesterday?” She had seen me watch the highlights of some old cricket match. I had explained that it was a recording, but she had forgotten. I mumbled a reply.

In the world that she used to read about, matches were won or lost. Never fixed. How do you tell her that today everything can be and is fixed, including press reports that were gospel for her?

Blessed is she, for the doctors could never fix her sight.

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6 thoughts on “Blissfully blind”

  1. & they say , the people are like minded with one who Killed Gandhi……….. Did he run away? Do they even remember the reasons he gave & then happily got hanged….. They just want Breaking NEWS and some political fuss ….. else nobody would have dared do such things in the range of 15 -20 mt. from police station…..or at least these people comparing his killer to Gandhi-Godse…..would have let his soul rest in peace without extracting such fuss out of it.

  2. Thank you Vijay for this very subtle post. Your mother is probably a good deal older than you and me, but some days, I feel like her – a disconnect with the world as it unravels all around me.So, whether it is the plummeting value of the rupee, or our beleaguered education (my son just took admission in DU and I see his bewilderment at the state of things every evening), or our social inequities.

    I’m not sure things were ‘better’ in ‘the good old days’…. certainly simpler…!
    Maybe this is how revolutions begin, societies die out, life changes.

    Take care!

  3. Sometimes, I miss the simplicity of the good old days. But then, things and time always seem simpler and better in retrospect I guess.

    Today will become ‘the good old days’ in about a decade I guess.

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