The Day AILA Came: Part II

Updated: Sep 13

He went to Lusibari – a small island among 102, in the Sundarbans to meet her once, just once… Exactly what he would say to her and how she would react was something he wasn’t very sure about but one thing was certain that he wanted to see his birth mother and fulfil her last wish.

Siddharth then took the train that went to Canning - the nearest railhead to Lusibari. Siddharth, a would-be professional photographer, was immediately taken in by the dark, damp and dank islands of silt and by the naturalness of the whole environment. At the same time, he was shocked by the squalor of the town, the signs of big-city pollution seeping into this small town. He was taken aback by the size of the nearby river, which looked more like a nullah.

On the ferry to Lusibari, he was the only one who wasn’t engaged in animated chatter about all and sundry. He felt out of place in his Lee Cooper pants (the only pair among all the 21) on the ferry and his Italian leather shoes while the people whose town he was visiting were engaged in a basic fight for survival, for two square meals a day, a shelter and some rags.

In Lusibari, he felt as if he had stepped back into the past where life’s pace was dictated by seasons and climate, where even a drop of water would have echoed everywhere, where life, times and people were almost prehistoric.

He met his ailing mother for the first time in a two-storeyed, pucca-building in the village, the Hospital which also served as a Cyclone Protection Camp.

His mother, Gauri, was 57 years old with just so many breaths left in her. Seeing her son, her blood, the only proof of her existence on Earth. She said that it was one of the happiest days of her life. She held him in her arms and said, “Bhogowan tumako ashirbad koruk (God bless you).”

Siddharth was happy to see her but he was filled with questions, desperately waiting for answers. He wanted his mother to tell him his story, the story of his life. He was almost on the verge of tears when he didn’t get any as the nurses persuaded him that his mother needed rest and she was given sedatives to help her sleep.





This contribution is edited by Edlyn Dsouza, & Tarun Chintam, & photographed by Ravindra Patoju.



This short story is available in a paperback & ebook.

Your Opinion?

  • Excellent

  • Good

  • Average

  • Bad

10 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All