Good limbs: A Flash Fiction


After an exhausting travel of two hours, rested on a chair – lined opposite to the ATM machine, in the huge hallway of Chennai bus terminal. As an add-on for the travel, got my watchband cut. Pulled it out from the side pocket. It was quarter past seven at the evening. Had enough time before the bus for my hometown to start, it was scheduled at 9 O’clock.

Leaving the sandals on floor, folded my legs over the chair. Took The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje out from my backpack. Allowed it to take me in. Ondaatje’s prose were poetic. Word were heart filling. Serene.

Hana. A twenty year old girl, an army nurse, matured beyond the age, lives in an abandoned villa in Italy, at the backdrop of second world war, with a completely burnt immovable patient – who speaks English.

Hana use to read few pages for the patient; from the book – that he has, sometime from a book pulled out from villa’s library. She entered the story as she read.

She entered the story knowing she would emerge from it feeling she had been immersed in the lives of others, in plots that stretched back twenty years, her body full of sentences and moments, as if awaking from sleep with a heaviness caused by unremembered dreams.

English patient enters his own story happened in life.

Ondaatje shipped me virtually to the abandoned villa in Italy, for sometime – should be for an hour. I just stayed there watching them as they do… like a God.

After being there in Ondaatje’s awesomely penned world for sometime, came back to the bus terminal, feeling myself sitting on the chair. Leaving the book into bag, plugged myself into the music from my xperia. Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi pulled me to the every note of it, when my brain started capturing things happening around.

Someone with – eyes wide open, head abnormally inclined, right arm much shorter than the other, fingers moving – randomly and rigidly, with saliva oozing out from the corner… was dragging himself towards someone – who must be his younger brother, by turning and twisting the body, with an uncluttered smile. Little brother seemed to be at his early twenties.

Younger brother spread his arms, as he stands facing the person rushing towards him, in a way a mother would do for her child making its first step, with his smile ear to ear.

Raul_pizarro's Oil painting

Raul pizarro’s painting

For his legs below the knees helpless, knees pressing the earth down, pushed himself up the air, harder, vein filling with blood, arm bended towards his chest, with a cry mixed with smile to give himself power. Younger brother didn’t help him, intentionally, it seemed as if he wants his brother to try himself out to the maximum he can. Elder brother stood for seconds, with his knees as his feet. Fell face down. Little one dusted off his brother, lifted him – as his limbs waving like a pendulum, swinged him towards his back – holding his brother’s Good limbs.God’s laugh from both the faces.

Me, watching this scene, with a best suiting background music – Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi. Surreal!

Tears came rushing down my cheeks to wet my dried-up heart.

Wiped my tears off, as arms bend, fingers move; as I say.

Didn’t know, as to thank god for me or to curse god for him. But I was glad in a way that, that less grown-up child atleast has someone to turn. For every man need is somewhere to turn.

How cruel it would be to live with a body that you don’t want to be in… from the birth.

Thanking God, moved on to catch my bus.

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