Finger (விரல்)

Translation of Writer Jeyamohan's Short Story -


    When Chaithanya was brought out for the first time by a plump nurse, she appeared like a supinely lying tiny baby lizard, covered with a clean cloth, instantly she haughtily protested by brandishing her clenched fists up and down. Like a fresh incipient seed taken out from shell, a gentle heat dissipated on her face. After  uncertain moments of pause, her crooked mouth slowly opened and uttered an obstinate, pertinacious and resounding cry.

    The Doctor gently touched the tip of her lower lip with his index finger. The screaming was stopped at once, a sensory quivering spread throughout the body like electric current, by raising her head in a flash, she tried to clutch Doctor’s finger with toothless mouth.

”Did you see  the intensity of this tiny life??l!!” At these moments her life entirely resides at her mouth and stomach.” the doctor said radiantly.

    During her first month, it seemed like, she was solely possessed by a flaring stomach and a palpitate mouth. We both were positioned ourselves as sanctioned authorities to assuage that “sacrifice yaga gunda’s” sacred fire. Those “unbearable moments of ravenous” always frightened me. Of a sudden, at any time her contorted face turning crimson, with reddened tongue  would began to shriek, like unanswerable inquires, intensively en kindling like reverberation of same word, which used to make me feel as if tearing the skin with blade. How did my shivering hand, fetch the milk bottle? When did I add sugar in it? Boiled water which filled the flask earlier, would spill out making puddle on the floor. Spoons used to play hide and seek with me. Same pillar would hit on my temple over and again. Upon hearing her cry, panicked walls of the room would tremble. Even the drying cloths on the washing lines would throbbingly whiplash the air. Like, the flame of a sacred clay lamp accedes with the ghee, at once the mouth of milk bottle touched her lips, springing up she would unite with the bottle giving off a serene “dhip” sound and start drinking the milk with a distinct gentle noise, which would cringingly fondle our impalpable abyssal fine nerves. Upon the milk bottle emptied, by overturning her, we ought to pat the paunch to achieve a blessing ‘burp’, a confirmation of satisfied ‘gracious deity’ backing to his hut.

   When I brought Chaithanya closer to me, by enfolding her with both arms, a silent shrill emerging from abdomen filled the bosom. What was that? The ever rising Agni inhabited in soul-thrust or the unassailable soul-thrust which grappled the Agni? Agni had been inflaming eating up the soul-thrust every moment manifestly or rather soul thrust had been en kindling consuming Agni. Doctor had advised me to show Chaithanya in the morning sunlight for some time as the sunlight stimulates the production of red blood cells. On those days i noticed that she was turning more yellowish tint day by day with a newfangled ‘leaf sheen’ glimmering at her eyes. Just before the arrival of early morning sunshine, sitting on the steps of entrance, I accustomed to lay Chaithanya on my extended legs. Adjacent beech tree, a relatively farther tamarind tree with its branches and leaves appearing as if motility of thousands of eyes, scattered pebbles, rustling dry leaves and the valiantly colored surrounding walls, all those had been slowly and silently repleting, enviously scooping and gulping the sunshine. Like a slowly gliding river snake into a stream,  Chaithanya was gently dipped in the influx of sunlight with a mild goose-bump. As engulfing the heavenly glorious sunshine with stupefying eyes, yet on the other side, I used to dwell in my usual days and nights. “From Vice to Virtue, from darkness to light, from death to life”, whenever the prayers are intensified mere praying is left over. I reckon prayers are always empty discourses, though, I felt the mystical hush of words deep under my mind while relentlessly jumping over these lengthy verbal. But only from the day onwards I became a father, I started cherishing the faith of the prayers.

    On those days, every moment, while closely observing the secreting augmentation of mighty life in her superfine nerves, had been happening to me a blissful revelation of a universal insight. She ought to convolute the fingers, toes into mouth, take hold of the farther window screens, claim on the air, continually roll over and relentlessly urge towards sky from the earth like a fire flame. I would look at the intensity of her eyes. Hey macrocosmic mini-nature!! What do you want? Why these exertions?  That mini-nature with tiny butt would respond smilingly urging towards me.

       At first, her eyes were like a blue sky behind a firm limpid window. Only on the third month, I found a new inhabitant settled in. Only since then, she would respond to my smile beamingly.  According to Chaithanya, smiling is an acrobatic activity should be performed by entire body; hands, legs, butt.  What sort of solitude she had felt in that soft melancholy chamber? We had to oblige her obstinate demand for unremitting “sense of touch” by keeping her on the laps, cling her on waist, leaning her on to shoulders. Only during breastfeeding, while absorbing the breasts for milk, relinquishing that mandatory demand, ramparts of her body benevolently used to melt down.  At the beginning, secretion of milk was less for Arunmozhi. Propelling her sheer willpower, lactating the spring of profuse elixir in that unfathomable substance, Chaithanya absorbed as much as she could. Watching over the sight of her absorbing breast milk by entirely focusing the soul had been a feeling of euphoria for me.  The rhythm of bubbling milk in that unfathomable spring could be notified in the wriggle of her big toe. Veda says sunlight is the breast milk for earth. For breast feeding, Chatainya ought not be in hunger; Every time at the imminent realization of every surrounded object’s cry that “You are a loner Chaithanya!!” ,  when she just commenced to contemplate the enormous universe by widely opening her eyes, as a response fluttery Chaithanya with blinking eyes searched for magnanimous breast called as “aang” a strange lisping word named by her, as though a fragment of  a faraway alien world's polysemous lingo exuded through her which was also meant as Mom, milk, hungry, dozing ,shivering, dampening and stomach emptied, a word could charm the birds from the trees. Later her tongue divided the “aang” word into two, which were fragmented by milk teethes furthermore. Like the spilled box of coins, the words yielded many more inscrutable words overcoming the rebuke of Arunmozhi, few of them later turned as expressive words, remaining for covertly acts.

      With the help of these new words, Chaithanya began tiding up her world. “Mummoo” meant as Food, “Amma”(Mother) meant as the entire human-hood. Soon Crows,Dogs were acquainted with Chaithanya by introducing themselves respectively. “Miyav” stood for the four limb animals live under the grand prince Cat altogether . “Kaa” was also known as “the creatures with wings” in her context.

      Upon her legs got strengthened, borders of her own world , were tenderly expanded furthermore. We always could found her at the extremes of those borders. The reason behind her invariably risen eyebrows  was that there was never a dull moment nor dearth of wonders in her world. The gracious mother nature with subdued smile, staying beyond those borders, kept on bringing in new actors  like goat, hen, a head covered Beggar, ball of the neighbour boy and Frog into her world. Those actors every time entering the grand stage,  successfully enacting their respective roles, went behind the screens mirthfully. Soon her linguistic skills started flourishing like a forest. Discovering Television screen as a kind of window, she named abstractly  as “Thendu” (means Open in tamil), in that TV, a sluggishly yawning Sundaravana forest leopard was ably named as “Thendu Miyov” at once. Later a “Bow Miyov” shook its tail, beyond the house gate.

       Teeths were the chief troublemaker for Chaithanya, as an ordinal scrutiny instrument those were used to classify the every surrounded accessible matters into edibles and inedibles, in that list by chance the object like footwear was admitted into former category. Though in the past she had experienced a terrible accident, when trying to respond to a most valuable call, she tumbled down on the entrance stairs, wounding her head badly swollen, at last reconciled only with a help of candy palm sugar, she was always at the ready to attend what is called the “call of wisdom”, as she never wanted to confine in her self-knowledge space and every time there was an opportunity she eagerly tried to explore through the edge of the dome. While weaning off mother’s milk, the most unanticipated realization happened to her, she had to “swallow the bitter pill” in the magnanimous bosom, not metaphorically, literally. she was abused and dismayed, as a well known law of nature had been busted out. Chaithanya, stumblingly tripping around the room, re-examined it yet again, only to reaffirm, yes, the same pungency bitterness. For the next few days, while dreaming in slumber, craving for the warmth of magnanimous bosom, she sobbed inconsolably. At last, she acknowledged that the virtue of magnanimous bosom had been changed to bare bitterness for ever, by comprehending that “Chee” could be prefixed to oppositely mean every good things of the world, she expressed a pertinent term “Chee Mummo” for the metamorphic bosom.

        I noticed an apparent change in her behaviour. She became more and more adamant and low spirited. Arunmozhi’s mother wrote to us, those behavioural change was normal for the children just-weaned off. Only thing was, we had to ensure, she was not habituated to thumb-sucking, as it would be difficult to give up that habit, if she get used to. Then-afterwards along with Arunmozhi, i carefully observed her every moment to prevent her from thumb-sucking. Every time she was in solitude,astounding, contemplating, scrutinizing mood,  while it was just about to get into mouth, i diverted her attention to avoid.

        Incidentally, the corners of the rooms became desirable hangout for Chaitanya. I supposed she reckoned that the house itself just a collection of these corners. One corner preferred for placidly bathing her favourite doll, other was for capriciously hurl the same doll. Every time, we found her perched at the different corners along with the  household utensils which were  gone missing. Once , in the amidst of frenzy Monday morning hours,  Arunmozhi trotted here and there hurriedly in search of the “relieve valve” of the pressure rice cooker. The unyielding captor Chaitanya remanded that valve in the new-found corner of lavatory. Upon founding her with the valve, enraged Arunmozhi rebuked her mildly trouncing with finger,

“Why on earth, is she collecting  all these things?” cried Arunmozhi.

“Don’t scream, just do your work!!” i chimed in, trying to extricate Chaithanya.

A brass vessel rang loudly, upon receiving a ladle blow.

     The same day, when i was just about to start to office, i noticed that Chaitanya herself gone missing. Initially Arunmozhi did not heed to me, asked me to search in the corners of every other rooms, but as time passed on, the seriousness seized her as well. We both were frightened and started searching her outside the house.

“Don’t panic, she should be some where around here.”  Neighbour Prabhu shankar consoled us by looking into the nearby well pit slyly.

       Soon few other neighbours joined us in searching. I psyched out, as my mind filled with unceasing meaningless words, was running out of control. I felt an uncontrollable shivering in my  left leg.

        At last, I found out her, at the nook of bike parking area. Her yellow frock was viewable through the half opened door of a triangular shaped gloomy room, just below the staircase. At a rapid pace, barely keeping myself from running,  entered in to the room; startled Chaithanaya, perplexedly looked at me, with her thumb on her mouth.

   I brought her up and embraced her at once. Taking of the thumb from her mouth, i folded her hands softly along with my chest  like making obeisance with folded hands. I looked at her thumb, it was pale and highly diluted like tap root of a plant. I brought her closer to my bosom, it seemed like a she resisted mildly and looked at me with tightened lips. When i tried to wipe up her finger, of a sudden she uttered an obstinate, pertinacious and resounding cry.

<The End>


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