I saw a picture today. A man’s picture. My husband’s friend – The Zonal Officer of a bank at that time. He attended our wedding. If I bring out my wedding album, you would see him sitting next to the groom with his hands raised like other guests, praying for love and prosperity for the newly weds.

He was a handsome man, well dressed, always smiling – always ready to help; making jokes, making you feel special. Never a harsh word for any one. No matter how big a blunder, he would give benefit of the doubt first. It was just impossible not to like him.

His wife? a petite, most beautiful woman, was a perfect match. She was intelligent, sociable and a perfect home maker in-spite of having a busy schedule of an MD. It was truly a couple made in heaven; successful, friendly, caring and so in love with each other.

Their youngest boy was a friend of my boys. He was a quiet and shy when around his elders but a good company among friends. I have this funny picture of all the friends, giving birthday bumps to my son. He was there, egging on other boys, but himself staying clean.

Then a few years back, we heard that the wife had died. We wanted to talk to him but the man servant in the house told us that he was with one of his sons, in another country, and he didn’t know when he would be back.

Time has this tendency to pass you by stealthily; so a few  years just tip-toed away without our noticing.

Today I saw a picture, a picture of him . A skeleton, wearing white, traditional Pakistani dress. His hair all gone white, thick glasses hiding red rimmed eyes. Hollow cheeks and an open mouth of a person who has lost all comprehension. Whose memory plays tricks on him all the time. Alzheimer!

My mother also had Alzheimer . Did she forget to breathe ? sometimes I wonder.

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