His eyes are strange, they are blank, yet it intensely gazes towards the horizon. His hands are in his pant’s pocket and they are curled into a fist. His smooth and steely face is that of a man who has been struggling hard to comprehend that life, no fate, has snatched away his other half. And their young daughter survived the car accident. The impact of the injury she suffered on her forehead might temper her memory, the doctors can’t ascertain as of now, if she would be able to live a normal life again. The present has ceased to exist anymore and the future stands still, uncertain, until she wakes up. And for the last two weeks, Sally has been oscillating between life and death in her state of deep dark sleep.
The man slowly moves away from the window and walks towards the bed, the nurse who keeps a tab on Sally just about walks out of the room. He checks the alarm clock on the table, it reads 10’o clock in the early morning.
The warm morning sun rays beam into Sally’s face. He pulls in the chair from the corner to the bed and holds the cold hands of his daughter. She is in a deep sleep, lying still, only the slow rise and fall of her chest, gives the indication that she is alive. The man strokes her forehead, the old bandage has been replaced with a new one and where the wound sits, the blood clot could be felt. He pushes her raven curls away to have a better view of her face.
“Sally, I shall tell you a story. This story is about a man who shot elephant in his pyjama. Could you believe that? Somebody shot an elephant in their pyjama, isn’t it funny and ridiculous? I can see that you are smiling probably laughing inside. Perhaps, you think your pa is speaking nonsense. Elephants can’t fit in a pyjama. But your mother would have agreed with me.
Oh honey, animals and birds are magical creatures! They can do anything. They can grow very big or turn very small, they can talk, they can sing. Ahh yes, our Bruno doesn’t talk to you, but Bruno knows that true love lies is in showing. No words can match the affection of showing love, my pup. Yes, you got it right, my dear, this elephant is like Mr. Rabbit, the rabbit or Mr. Doodle, the cat from “Alice in Wonderland”. I know you love the Wonderland, it fascinates me too. Oh, I love “Neverland”, as well, where nobody grows old and there is only one enemy to fight, (unlike this world) the cruel Captain Hook. You pup, are the Tinker Bell, you shall sprinkle your fairy dust on Hook, turning him into a squeaky little man, then we shall bottle him up in one of those pretty little message bottles your mother gifted you on your birthday. Oh, she is the Wendy. And Wendy loves her family, she loves you too; only she leaves Peter and decides to never come back.
Okay, let us get back to our elephant who is struggling hard in that pyjama. Poor Joanna didn’t know that her cruel big brother had turned the elephant we saw in the zoo last summer, into a tiny plastic elephant toy and hide it in her pyjama’s pocket. When cousin Joanna came from work and sat with those pyjamas on, the elephant screamed as loud as he could. Do you remember the movie, “Horton Hears a Who!” pup? Yes, it is that movie with the funny “Mask” man’s crazy voice. I agree with you there. He is very crazy and funny too. We both couldn’t stop laughing at the antics of Horton.
So, our Horton thought, he will ask for help, only cousin Joanna was too big, fat and a monster’s size for our tiny Horton who thought he is gonna die out of suffocation in her pyjama. He yelled “Help! Get me out of here. Somebody pull me out!” He shouted at the top of his lungs until his lungs threatened to come out if he didn’t stop. Hahaha… Yes, his lungs called him out from inside his body. They were pretty pissed at him for being there in the first place. If only he wasn’t so greedy to follow the boy with peanuts. Horton felt very apologetic, he decided, “I shall slip away when she sleeps”. I can hear your silent giggle Sally, you can’t deceive your pa. Wendy agrees with me.
As day turned into evening, Horton waited impatiently for Joanna to go to sleep. She was busy watching “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Stranger Tides” with Mermaids. In her mind she thought of herself as Ariel, the mermaid. She too would meet her Prince Charming very soon, someday, if only her hormones, I mean acne, left her alone like the witch Ursula.
Suddenly, Ariel’s phone vibrates. Horton thinks it is an earthquake, in panic, he starts running to and fro inside the pyjama pocket. Our Ariel thinks Sebastian is poking his nose, as always, in her affairs and slams him hard in her thighs.
Horton felt a huge force coming fast forward, he decided to duck, but fell face on the ground. The big thud landed on his bums and the impact was so strong, Horton was knocked out. And that is how, the elephant, kind of got shot.”
The man expectantly looked at those closed eyelids to gaze at him with wonder and amazement yet they stayed shut like the nights before when he read her bedtime stories. He drops his head in surrender to the fate that he has lost his daughter too.
“Did cousin Joanna kill Horton? Did he die? I am sad papa, please save him! Don’t let him die.”
Copyright/Author: Pompi Basumatary