I ran, ran and ran and finally stopped reaching my mother's bedI had received the news in my office. My mother had suffered a heart attack. No one except my very old father was there in our Kolkata flat that afternoon. My father, who was 86 at that time and himself a heart patient, did not lose hope; he telephoned the driver and somehow took my mother to the Port Hospital, where they (my parents) have been treated for heart problems and other age-related ailments.
I reached Kolkata the next day. The crisis was thankfully over, but I insisted to stay near my mother in the hospital at night. At around 1 a.m., I got up, noted that my mother was sleeping peacefully and out of boredom, started moving in various areas of the hospital.
Kolkata Port Hospital was built on a very large area, but the number of patients has gradually become very less. On that night, I moved from floor to floor of the almost empty hospital. I reached the basement.
Suddenly, a gush of cold air made me fully conscious. I heard the hum of the powerful air-conditioner. I moved towards a large room. The door was open. It was uncomfortably cold in the humid summer night. The room had a hypnotizing effect on me.
White smoke was coming out of the room. There were many large trays. Some of these trays contained dead bodies. I had a feeling that some dead bodies were calling me. I started moving forward. I entered the large room.
Suddenly a man called me to come out. He had a lock and key in his hand. My trance got broken. I came out of the hospital mortuary, shivering. The man started shouting at me. I didn't hear even a single word what he was saying.
I started to run. I ran, ran and ran. I reached the cabin of my ailing mother. She was then awake. She saw my ashen face. She did not ask me anything, only kept her reassuring hand on my fading hairs.
I was no longer shivering. My mother was beside me. She kept a soothing hand on her almost 50-year-old son.