World after pandemic

May 2021. The day when the pandemic struck our lives like a storm. "What should we do with the body?" The head nurse said it louder, awaiting a reply. We stood there, my brother and I, blank and shocked. We heard the nurse shout. We didn't reply. Our brains have been dead for quite some time. After a few minutes, "Pack the body. We'll take her to our native place," Brother said. "We cannot hand it over like that. Have you the permission?" Brother told her. "Okay then. And I take it that you're aware of the norms?" Fifteen days ago, Mom was fine when we brought her to the hospital. Soon she became a patient. Now a body. Brother requested to keep her face open so Father could see the body for one last time. 24th of May, 2021. We buried her a few metres away from our home. It was Father's wish to have it like that. To stay close to Mom. Soon after, the pandemic struck our lives like a storm. We admitted Mom to one of the best hospitals. I still remember the first day of our visit to the hospital. Mom peeped us from her bedroom window from the 4th floor while we lay on the road looking at her. Her actions showed how much she missed us. But we made signs that everything would be alright. And it was, for the first three days. Then after there was no improvement in her oxygen levels. The doctor who saw Mom blamed Mom every time for not responding to medications when we approached her to inquire about the status. But Mom as always maintained her usual conduct. Her intention was to never trouble us a bit. Had the doctor invested the same time in caring Mom rather than complaining about her, perhaps things would have been different? Now we're all parted. Father now stays alone in our native place with Mom's memories. I stay at my wife's place, and my brother at his wife's. Because our permanent address in the city has lost its value without Mom. So we stay far away, thinking her existence still exists. We do not want to be reminded of her absence. Some thirty years ago, when I was born, we were thrown out of the house. My grandparents were against my birth, which resulted in our separation. "Please don't dare return. In any case, if you ever get such a feeling, find a railway track," said they. Mother did not utter a word. This was her routine from birth. To be with the worst. For more than fifty years of her life, she had gone through thousands of such phases. When it was time for her to relax, God sent her to rest. When we admitted Mom to the hospital for treatment, she was hesitant at first. Later, when we asked the reason for her ignorance, the first thing she asked was, "Does the insurance cover my expenses?" Only when we convinced her that the expenses would not burden us, did she insist on staying. A day before she passed away, she called me closer, gave a smiling look and held my hand. "Tell me the truth now. Is there any money leftover in the insurance to cover my expenses?" Such was her nature.  In retrospect, I can't think of a single day when she bothered us. She was a strong, an independent woman who led her own path. She set the guidelines. We followed. When the numbers of infected were increasing in the city, we sent her to stay with Father since our native was the safest bet. The place was more remote, with fewer than a hundred people counted and each establishment metres apart. But tragedies occur without a plan. The loss has been heavy upon us. Without her, everything has come to a full stop. It feels like we're left in the middle of the road, to start all over again. There's no one at present to guide, to scold, to warn, to care and to grant unconditional love like her. Everything is still now. Even the trees. What we do not want now is to leave those things unattended which she always wanted us to put an end to. I dare say it needs more than hundreds of living creatures to fill her place. She has no comparison. She would not have received any awards but as we know, she herself was an award. She is not an inch less than God. If there's one thing we ask of the world, It is this: Her rebirth.

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