Madhav took the
pellet in his hand and looked at the sannyasin with astonishment. But,
sir, he said, my mother! The
sight of me having convulsions and then apparently dying will cause
her great fright and anxiety. Her heart, sir, is not good. This may
Let us see what
happens, the sannyasin repeated. I thought you said you would
do something for me or did I not hear a right? Of late my hearing is
none too good.
will take it, sir, Madhav said, and popping the pill into
his mouth, washed it down with a scoop of Ganga water.
nodded. Now go, he said, and hurry.
Madhav found his
mother in the living room reading one of her holy books. This time
he stood a moment on the threshold until she became aware of his
presence. She looked up and smiled at him a faint smile that made
her face look only more drawn. It was the slow smile of one who has
been much hurt but who yet endures.
have been waiting for you, Madhav, she said. Come
and sit by me a while.
He must at least
warn her. He had not promised not to. Mother,
there is something I must tell you...
She lifted her hand
as though to ward off a blow. Please,
Madhav dear, not now. Can't we enjoy a few moments together? Later
we can talk about your plans. Come and sit down. Let me read to you
as I used to. I will like to remember our moments together when I am
alone. There have been so few of them lately.
Mother, Madhav said, this
isn't about my leaving the world. It's about something that I think
is going to happen right now. I don't understand it but ...