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.