Wednesday, June 27, 2007


He sat back in the chair, head lolling against the headrest as Surjo shaved him, carefully, his own face contorting as he ran the razor across his grandfather’s face. Work done, a clean shave. Surjo sat back and admired his handiwork and smiled.

‘Okay, Dadu. Which one today?’ and he held out the bottles, one by one, for the 82-year old to sniff at. He picked Old Spice, as Surjo had known he would. A splash here and a splash there, and they were done. Dadu must have been a good-looker, Surjo thought, noting that sharp nose and the high forehead, not realizing how closely he mirrored the man sitting in front of him.

He glanced at the shaving mirror that lay uselessly in the patched shaving kit for decades now. Once upon a time, these eyes could see, could take in beauty, could read and teach shorthand and typing. Today, they stared unseeingly, the failing ears and nose trying in vain to make up for the oblivion that blindness and old age had brought the old man.

Surjo went off to replace the bag and the old man raised his gnarled hands, feeling the freshly-shaved face. He patted his baby-soft skin and chuckled to himself in satisfaction. Footsteps came closer and stopped. He knew Surjo would be rummaging through the bookshelf. It was that time of day.

‘So, what do you want to hear today, Dadu?’

The hazy eyes that remembered sunsets seen 22 years ago remained blank as he smiled eagerly and said, ‘Milton, of course! Paradise Lost.’


Sandeepa said...

Brilliant !!! Very very well written

Anamika said...

Sandeepa: Thanks :)