I have seen many people throwing their parents at the Old age Home. It seems like the Alzheimer part has been reversed. Instead of parents acquiring an age and forgetting flesh and blood not by will but by fate, their children are suffering from Deliberate Alzheimer and forgetting them for their personal good out of their own will.
On Eid day there was a news report on Geo TV on this issue. For them it may have been just a few minutes package to fill the time slot but the old and dying crippled mother waiting for her only son and daughter in law on that auspicious Day did not look like she could take it any longer. She said and I quote,
“….Where’s my son…? call my son…I’m scared..where’s my Akhter..” And her Akhter was no where in sight but having a blast at home with his new family. I turned the tv off. And glanced at my own mother. A past reel began.
When I was about stuck between 8 and 7, the age where we are dragged by our feet to school functions, forced to perform ballads in the name of Performing arts. One fine morning the school maid came to our house. It was winters as far as I remember. I went to Blossom Public School then. Where I was to perform with a group of other kids a poem on the stage for which I needed a last minute rehearsal. It was cold and cruel to wake up But I went with her anyway.
The rehearsals ended around 9 in the morning. I was annoyed by this time. No breakfast , no mama in sight. O Khudaya! Had she forgotten about me coming to school ? I felt terrified. Who were these people ? I did not want to stay there with them any longer. I would kick and yell and then the Teacher would soothe me down with her stare again. I would kick and yell again and she would hush me down yet once more.
This circus continued for eternity. I awaited my mother like a lover. She was nowhere in sight. I felt terrified.
Hours passed and then finally the show began. I was told to wait at the back stage for my turn. The day is quite clear in my memory. Because I was small and trying to look for my mother. I had fallen down from a bench where I stood at the back. The kids laughed at this and this is where I really, really went hush. Few minutes pass, came my turn. I was soon carried up and placed on the stage in front of the audience. Have you ever felt a moment where you refuse to go on but have to anyhow? it was one of those times. I was a scared and forgotten cub….
That day has passed. I remember another similar incident.
It was a tough day on my grandmother. She did not feel well and was having trouble breathing. I watched her making efforts with her breath and was asked to recite Surah Yaseen by her bed.
It’s never easy…. To do this. I felt terrified again. I did not want to stay there any longer. My grandmother did listen to me reading while crying but she did not remember this girl’s face or any of us.
She was suffering from Alzheimer. I was suffering from fear of separation. I was a scared and forgotten cub….again.
I would try to remind my nano again and again my name my relation with her , for a second she would smile like she remembers but then again she would forget. She was annoyed. She was terrified and she probably must be thinking who are these people? I don’t want to stay here any longer…
It was devastating . I was the apple of her eye and somehow it felt very hurtful that my grandmother has forgotten her only Pervisha ? That day I was forced to realize the cruelty of Alzheimer. And a fear penetrated my heart, what will happen if one day my own mother forgets my face? Can a child live if he is forgotten by his parents ? That too by a mother who was there at every step of his life? I was 7 again and I had two choices. To let her forget and be contended, or let her forget but remember the love we shared in my own memories again and again.
Sadly There are people who choose the former one. Like Akhter.
There is no Old Age home for my mother and there never will be one because that day my mother did come…she always had. I was in the middle of twisting my arms here there on stage when my eyes fell upon her. I had made a homerun towards her like a crazy lover , ruining my performance and everything. And just when I was about to faint from fatigue of the day. She produced two slices of french toast in front of me like magic and hugged with all her heart.
I will hug you the same Mama when you’re old.. scared and feeling like a forgotten cub.. That’s what the Prophets did. That’s what we as proper humans should do.