After taking her bath she went to the balcony to reminiscent on the beautiful day she had. The colony street was drenched with coloured water and there were still teenagers hidden behind trees, to attack any poor passer byes unsuspecting of any further attacks.
It was the festival of Holi so usually no one got offended by these acts and though it was cold and cloudy outside they showed no signs of retreat any time soon.
She had an eventful day. Away from home she’d thought this time she’d have a boring festival but the new friends she’d made here were no less and she ended up having more fun than usual. Weary and exhausted of all the merriment, she’d finally decided to get back to her room and after an exhaustive bath… she’d finally retrieved parts of her face back. the remaining still tainted deep red – the “Holi” remnants! Soon she was to post the day’s pictures proclaiming it to be one of the best Holis ever!
As she stood scrutinizing the street. She saw that one home had no signs of any colour droppings around it. She could see a clean veranda and a clean garden. As she peeped more she saw an old lady, wrapped in a subtle saree, looking around at the kids playing. She was presumably in her late fifties. Her face giving way to wrinkles and her hair starting to grey.
She remembered seeing her before also. She had to cross that house as she would leave for her office and would find the old lady doing her usual sweeping cleaning stuff. Never had she seen anyone else there.
And today despite being Holi there was still no sign of any other human footprints at her place.
Soon she found herself at the gate of that house as her vivaciously spirited being dragged her there.
The old lady startled as she opened the gate and entered the house.
“Namastey Aunty” she bent down and touched her feet.
“Namstey Beta” she said lovingly spreading her hands through her hair granting blessings.
“Just came to wish Holi aunty. I’ve rented the first floor of the neighbourhood” she said explaining her sudden visit.
“Oh thank you beta” she said her sad her weary eyes brightening up.
The old lady invited her in for a cup of coffee and once inside she knew the reason for her loneliness. there were pictures of her family with a garland on her husband’s picture and from the frames it seemed she just had a daughter who was married off abroad.
She felt sad for the widow. She could feel the solitude and desolation that filled her life and an awe for the bravery with which she spent each day. She, on the other hand, couldn’t even imagine a solitary life.
Soon she was there. She held a tray. Apart from coffee there were various kinds of sweets and snacks stacked in small bowls…
“Wow. These are quite a few. You made all of it.??” she asked surprised. Even the mere sight was mouth-watering.
“Yeah. I did. I was praying to God to send those kids here.
Holi was always grand at my place till a few years back. It’s sad how things end!” her eyes were moist.
“Anyway, I’m glad you came. At least I’ve some company!” she said smiling as she offered her the sweets.
And though she thought she’d the biggest Holi celebrations of all time the contented smile on the old lady’s face as she watched her relish the sweets was heavenly.
It was evening when she finally retreated to her room and as she waived departure to the aunt she could see the happiness on her face.
It was strange to her as to how small silent gestures could mean so much to someone.