I was cutting a mango.
Or, to be more accurate, was about to cut a mango.
I hadn't eaten much yesterday, just a salad for dinner.
So was hungry at 1 a.m. and thought, why not a mango?
The mango was cold and ready. The white cutting board was awaiting the press of the slice.
My father walked up to me, and said, Bhaipal Bapuji marigaya. Bhailal Bapuji died.
Things are stiff between my father and me these days, but still, the pain. Hug. We share tears; his staying deep inside the mine of his reddened eyes. Mine spilling out.
Thoughts of the old man with the scratchy voice who was perpetually sick, but perpetually hanging on, like tough leather shoestring, like stubborn sticky cobweb.
Thoughts of the old man sitting in the little room in the house on the hill. The half cousin of the family.
Thoughts of how I used him for a caricature in my monologue. Because he urged me to marry.
Thoughts of how he was the last link to the old Unava - the old village which I will never visit again.
The mango stayed green and perfect and whole and wet on the white clean cutting board.