“Kuaa… Kuaa..." were the very first words I spoke. I recall that day, on this last day, a day when people smiled in spite of my cries.
Just a month into this world and Liz forced us to bend-a little on both the sides-forming a crescent. Her mom clasped her hands and screamed, "Look! Look! She’s smiling!" Then, a year later, she made me shrivel up and looked at her father. The embarrassed man kissed her on the cheeks and said, “oh, no, dear, you’ll catch germs there!" Slowly, she started to learn how to bend us the other way round. Oh our body used to ache a lot. Didn't she know it takes only four muscles to smile but sixty four to frown? She learnt a lot of new ways to twist and turn me so that each new noise she made, delighted everyone around her. "Mama" "Papa" "Nani" "No" "Iceam peease"
After that for the next 20 years I really worked a lot- reciting multiplication tables, Wordsworth and history charts. Somewhere down this line she decided I am doing quite a good job and she decided to become an Inspirational speaker. After that, it was I who was most popular. For the next ten years, I was all into motivation and leadership. At this time, I felt her press me really too hard. She bit me slightly and spoke so softly, "I love you.” I gave a start and looked up. “Oh, it's you, Michael. Hey, not now, not now... I’m quite dry... not yet ready...,” I tried to say but you did it just the same. But I did not mind because your so gentle, not like that red haired kid who bit me so hard that I was black for a day or two.
She dressed me red and put glitter on me. I was so shy. After all, I was used only to nudes, and red did seem so bold. But, when I heard the words, ‘you may now kiss the bride', I went up proudly. That kiss must have felt like the Oscar and me the red carpet!
Just three years later, I saw red again. I was dressed in red but now there was no laughter around. Only screams and tears filled the room and I looked on in silence. A silence born not out of choice but forced upon me - for no matter how much I twisted and tried, words just failed me. Those cancerous cells had clutched her throat and given me an unwanted rest.
Let it not be said that I did not try by all those in the pink of health. Only Liz knows the truth of what I did suffer. Then, one day, she coated me again in glitter. She sent me a message that she wants to tell Michael an, ‘I love you’ once again-at least one last time. He came home from work and she made me smile. That made him press on me. Then, she told me to say it.., 'say it, you idiot... please!' She said. I tried… I tried till it ached... till the cells grated but I couldn't.
He came back from a wash and started making sandwiches. 'Say it... come on, try', she said. I tried again and again till her eyes watered. She lifted her hands and called him towards her. He came and wiped her tears. She moved me frantically in all directions but I just couldn't do it. He saw the pain and hugged her hard and tears washed his cheeks.
"Michael, I love you! - Just say that, come on!" She ordered me again. I gave it all I had and tried. It was the fist sound I had made in a year-"Miciaargghh” And it turned out to be the last. It’s hard and funny to think how we folks start with a cry and end with one.