Here are some scenes(the good ones) from my week.
I opened the door to take the day’s newspaper. My neighbour – nay, my friend – was standing at the far end, waiting for her transport to her work place. Her face was long, drawn and tired. Sleep-deprived nights, early mornings and long week were writ on it.
She did not see me.
‘Pssst,’ I said.
She turned, and smiled. I was still wearing the remnants of my sleep.
“Oh, I shouldn’t have called you from behind!” said I, with the pretence of an apology.
“It’s alright,” she replied. “Strictly my back wasn’t turned to you… there was a few degrees’ difference.”
We both laughed at what we would have later referred to as a Poor Joke.
As she boarded her bus, I saw that the smile was still playing on her lips.
As I went in with the newspaper, I was smiling too.
I was at the clothes-line, hanging out Munnu’s clothes to dry. From there I could see the apartment entrance gate.
A Skoda drove in. I knew the car, it belonged to a family two floors above ours. I was just looking away thinking it is the husband whom I barely knew, when I realised that behind the wheel was the wife, with whom I have often spent hours talking Momma-talk about our children. I turned to look again.
As the car glided down the ramp, I saw that she was waiting for me to look the second time, and when I did, she waved. Her two-year-old was with her, his big, black eyes smiling up at me.
I smiled and waved back too.
I said to my friend, “I feel bad that I am not spending time with my son on a holiday, as I am busy the whole day in the kitchen.”
He replied, “Be happy that you are cooking for him. Many Mothers can’t.”
For those who remember the Lonely Child, I saw him again today. He was coming out of the school gates as I went in, clutching something to his chest. It must have been a paper or a book, perhaps a gift from his favourite teacher. He was looking quite happy. He crossed the road, went straight in up the stairs. I did not realise that I had stopped on my tracks, a bounce in my heart, watching him go.