I mull over most of my life’s experiences before pinning it down on paper. It was the same with what I experienced some ten days back. My hands were itching to write all about it but my mind was telling me to allow it to germinate a bit more. Finally, today I realised that if I don’t jot it down, it is going to escape. So, here it is…
I had already spoken about that small surgery I had around a week back. I had to have general anaesthesia for it. Ooh! What an experience! For both my caesareans, I had been given spinal anaesthesia. Though I passed out and lay senseless during both of those surgeries, it was nothing compared to what I experienced this time.
The last that I remember was a mask placed over my mouth and nose. I could breathe in the noxious fumes but I could barely breathe out anything. The man was suffocating me. Man, I had still not published a novel. I was too young to die! I vaguely remember throwing out my hand to push away the Anaesthesian but whether I succeeded or not has been decided to be kept as a secret by the medical fraternity.
The next I remember was floating. I felt so light – free from worries, free from word counts, free from NaNoWriMo, free from relationships, free from dreams, free from hopes, free from power, free from responsibility. I felt like a newly born child who has nothing to give or lose. And I was in a magical world. Everything was virgin white and circular. I was floating in a circle in the driveway around a building. The building was nothing like what I had seen on earth or even read in a book, even a sci-fi one. The entire structure stood like a smooth circular metallic white cone with no windows or doors visible. From where I floated I couldn’t see the topmost tip of the building. So, I am not entirely sure if the building ended or just scraped across the sky into eternity. I could see no one around me but I neither felt lonely nor craved company.
I was waiting at a particular spot on that structure for someone – someone important, special! I was excited, happy and felt blessed. (now when I think back, at this point, I wonder – I don’t remember the word ‘God’ being mentioned but it felt as if I had an appointment with Him) A particular moment occurred and I was permitted to call Him. I touched the building. Yes, the entire building was a hi-tech touch screen and a rhombus portion of the building disappeared and I met Him. Now, at this point the POV (Point of View) changed. I was still there but I was floating above me. The first me stood transfixed in that I beheld. The second me (the me, that is typing this out right now) started floating away looking down at the first me. Someone was calling me and the first me decided not to come back. The second me didn’t want to come back but the caller was persistent. They were not ready to give up.
Slowly, I heard my name being called out. I didn’t want to come back. Strangely, this was the first conscious thought I had. If I open my eyes now, I’ll never be able to return there. I’ll never feel that peace and calm ever again. I opened my eyes. I could see nothing but some hazy forms before my eyes. I closed my eyes again in hope of getting back there. It was lost. It was gone.
“What is your name?” someone asked me.
“Archana,” I said. Having interned in a psychiatric clinic, I have seen many patients being administered anaesthesia. I always thought all these were regular questions used to check if the patient has gained consciousness. Now, I knew these were questions to test if they had really returned back from that wonderland – maybe I could have sent someone else in my place! I would love to see if I can do that the next time they drug me.
“Put out your tongue.” I dutifully did it. I tried opening my eyes again but it was too much of an effort. I couldn’t move any part of my body but my mind felt so active. I thought about all that I had seen. I tried describing it to my husband. Btw, the tongue was the only organ that moved! Everyone urged me to sleep but the next couple of hours, sleep deluded me. I was too excited by all I had seen.
Finally, after a few hours,I had settled down. I went into a deep sleep. The experience became a memory I’ll always treasure.