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Specter Impressions Haunting

It’s a holiday and father’s home. We woke up late. After each of us was done talking to Aryamann on Google Duo, we sat in the living room listening to random songs on my Spotify playlist. Mother breaks in between a song —

Mother — When your father recovered after heart attack, do you know what was the first thing that he uttered out of his foul smelling mouth?

Me — No, what was it?

Mother — He said Please mark the sides of my quilt so that I do not smell my feet after they change my bed sheet today.

Mother, father and I sat guffawing.

Mother also told father how last night, I copied a Vyjayanthimala’s dance step of a song which has eluded me now. Mother had laughed because in my impression “The hips were protruded a little too much”. It was funny to me because it wasn’t a mere dance step, it was a holy grail combination of a dance setup, back exercise and being able to mop the floor all at the same time.


I was sitting in the sun reading Donna Tart’s The Secret History when mum mumbled something. It was something about the tough finance situation we’ve always had, now more than ever. I remembered my tendency to always try to placate and soothe her in any way possible (the Vyjanthimala dance step impression was one such effort) when she doesn’t feel right. Then I thought of the extreme (depends on how one sees it) — What if I were to die unnoticed and found later with the excruciating question of whether I died in peace or not lingering in the minds of people that love(d) me. I like to think that this automatic innate impression that I have — to make sure mother is alright — would make me come in her dreams, which otherwise are very dreadful, sweaty and haunting, to tell her that I was okay. Likewise, my father had this lightly humorous, but if seen an other way, onerous mind imprint to keep the quilt direction right.

I wonder how many such impressions we sleep, wake and walk with everyday. Impressions that we don’t even know about, ones that might be sticking in the head since before we were born, it’s possible right? We would never have a way of carbon dating them. I wish to have less of them sometimes, but the fact that I desire to not have a desire, I grin at the blankness of whatever I’m seeing that particular time — I’d just dreamed a dream of not having a dream.


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