Friday, 6 February 2015

Meaning of Expired…….

There are some things that remain engraved in the memory and hard to forget.   

Kezang was studying in class six. That day she was unusually very joyous and bubbly. She was playing and pulling pranks like all the children of her age, only thing is that, that day she was outstandingly conspicuous or so I thought.

Couple of my friends and me were just chatting and basking in the sun after having not so sumptuous lunch near the basketball court. Lunch was not ‘so sumptuous’ because we were always hungry and the food that was dispensed by the powerful cooks those days were not enough and when enough, it was not appetizing filling the bins left there, sometimes overflowing while the children remained hungry.

Kezang came towards us hopping like a small child with her short hair flying in the air. We were uneasy about why she was coming towards us. Is she coming to declare her attraction to one of us? Is she coming to tell us why we were bitching being boys? Did she hear about the remarks passed by the friends?

She was carrying a piece of paper in her hands. My friends teased me that she was coming to handover a love letter to me. She approached me looking directly at me. I was wishing internally that if she was ever coming to give me love letters, why she was not doing it a little inconspicuously and unobtrusively. 

I was relieved when she asked, “Sonam, what is the meaning of expired?” Oh! You came so happily towards me, just to ask me that? I breathed a sigh of relief. What all things me and my friends thought and voiced. OMG!

“Expired means to die, death, time being up like in medicine………”

Before I could finish tear rolled down from her eyes. I felt so sorry for nearly telling her that, being in class six it is pathetic to not to know even the meaning of ‘expired’. I did not tell her that. Did she know what is going on in my mind or what I was going to tell her? I felt bad for thinking what I was going to say and making a cute girl cry.

Leaving the crumpled piece of paper that she had brought along behind, she went running away from me, sobbing hysterically. I stood there ashamed and bewildered. My friends thought that I might have told her something bad and they started eying me quizzically.

I picked up the paper that was left behind and saw a message (telegrammed) to her saying, “Your father expired today (.) Come home immediately (.)” Her home was two days journey from the school.

Had I seen the message (telegram) before, would I be able to tell her the meaning of ‘expired’? I guess not. I would have cried myself before her and avoided telling her the meaning. Perhaps it was the prayers and the good intentions of her father that she be made happy, made her extremely happy even after receiving the message. Until she met me to ask the meaning of the crucial word in the message; and not showing the message beforehand maybe designed that way by the fate/by the wishes/prayers of her father. We became good friends later but after passing out from that Junior High School, we never met. I have heard from our common friend that she is the mother of two and had put on lots of weight.

Thereafter whenever anyone asks me the meaning of words, I always make sure to inquire for what purpose, they want to know the meaning…