Miles away from the cozy town I had made a place I called home, I became just a mere brown file.
I don’t know whether it was a blessing or curse but having travelled a day’s worth of journey to get the pain in my abdomen cured I was diagnosed with a disease that never got introduced to me but had to lure me to this place so far away from home. Added on top of it was the fear of my maiden flight experience.
My daughter reminded me how blessed I was that I was sitting in the plane with no expenses of my own. I wouldn’t call it a blessing; not with images of planes colliding into tall buildings; planes colliding with each other and planes getting lost in the middle of nowhere dancing in my mind. I secretly wished television had never been introduced in our part of world. If only I had not seen these gruesome images in television I would not have been able to conjure up these images.
Fresh fear of being in the clouds, so close to God’s heaven quickened the already altered heartbeat in my chest. Had it not been those flickering television images behind my closed eyes, I would have seen god (that would surely have quickened my recovery!). But instead I was fated to become a brown file.
Holding appointment slips; fees and charges in the handbag; my daughter began the ordeal of standing in queues, a never ending one for that.
Seated under the whirling fan, yet sweating profusely, I would look at my daughter standing in the queue shifting her limbs from one to another. Had it been normal times I would have rebuked her for putting on weight like a sumo wrestler but seeing the dedication with which she looked at my comfort over her ordeals, I watched her with renewed love.
Many days of tests, money paid and sweaty queues later; there it was THE BROWN FILE. I had become a brown file. There were tests and consultation with doctors that needed my presence but even there too that brown file would be there, majestically taking a place more important than my ailing body. I thought highly of the brown file when my daughter left me in the cool AC room of the lodge to get more appointments for doctors, tests and other things that awaited my twisted fate. I knew the brown file was taking my place in that long arduous queues, jostling with population that surpasses more than the total population of my whole country put together.
I marveled at the fact that we didn’t have to get in the queue for getting the reports of all those tests. Whichever building, whichever doctor we were referred to, the brown file appeared miraculously. I didn’t have to tell them anything about my ailment. The doctors and the nurses became like a soothsayer, knowing all about my ailments without any of us having to explain. I would have seriously considered the soothsayer title for these people in this hospital if only I had not seen my daughter chat with her friends worldwide; groped in front of her laptop. Technology! I was aware of it.
I wished to trade places with the brown file whenever I was taken in the big room where none of my kith and kin were allowed save me and the brown file. While the surgeons casted calm glances at the brown file, I was cut up like some goat in a slaughter house. And not to forget, I need to add the act of stitching my cuts like I was some tattered rags in some dark tailor’s corner. Tears stinging my eyes I eyed the brown file resting calmly in front of the computer.
My daughter never gave me the responsibility of peering into the contents of that file. She knows I cannot differentiate an A from B but there was something malignant in that file that carried my name but never blessed my ears. Whenever I asked her, she would smile and tell me about some of the naughty antics she did behind my back as a little kid. I would laugh with her but secretly I could see the pain she tried her best to hide from me.
That brown file has passed many hands; has seen me being cut up and stitched; has seen me sob in pain; has seen me smile with hopes of feeling better soon;has seen me weep silently in despair. Has my soul got in that brown file or have I actually become that brown file, I am yet to learn!