“Will you ever have time to buy gardening tools for me?”, said Sandhya to Vishwas as she worked in her terrace garden with fork, knife and the screwdriver. Those were her tools so far or rather from day one, reflected Bhagya, as she heard the familiar dialogue from her living room while sipping her morning tea, sitting on the rug near the big French window. Bhagya stayed a floor above Sandhya and Vishwas. Her living room overlooked their terrace.
Every morning, the retired couple would be busy with their chores, he sipping tea while reading the newspaper and she nurturing her green thumb. While pottering around, she would pick a bone over seemingly trifle reason. Each day the reason would be different. It would however, be enough for them to engage in light banter or sometimes a war of words. It never mattered to them as to who won or who lost.
Sometimes, courtesy poor network inside the house, Sandhya and Vishwas would venture to the terrace for a con-call or the video call with their daughter and son-in-law who stayed hours apart on another side of the globe.
On some days when Sandhya would be folding the clothes from the dry-stand on the terrace, in the evening, Bhagya would wave to her from her living room and invite her for a cup of tea. With a smile, Sandhya would reply, “Some other day”.
As life turned the pages smoothly, Bhagya got busy with her job and had to go offshore for a few months. Apart from many things that she missed, witnessing Sandhya and Vishwas’s subtle refreshing romance topped the list. The day she returned; she was eager to witness the morning routine of the lost-in-the-old-world-charm-love-struck-couple. As she settled on the rug near the French window, there was no sign of either of Sandhya or Vishwas. The terrace garden too had donned a wilted look.
“Have they changed their routine?”, pondered Bhagya as the summer days advanced. She left it at that and went about her day. The next few days disappointed her again as she could not hear a single familiar word from the terrace below. “Maybe they have gone to visit their daughter”, thought Bhagya.
One evening, however, she briefly saw Sandhya on the terrace, in conversation with her daughter over a call. All the chirpiness in Sandhya’s voice was missing. Bhagya sensed something unsettling. Upon enquiring with the watchman, Bhagya learned that Vishwas had left for the heavenly abode leaving Sandhya to travel solo on the path of life.
Reality deeply saddened Bhagya. The sight of the unkept terrace garden disheartened her all the more. “She must rediscover the reason to live happily”, thought Bhagya one day. While returning from the office, the next day, she went to Sandhya’s house and rang the bell. As Sandhya opened the door, she was surprised to see Bhagya.
“Won’t you invite me in?”
“Oh sorry. I thought, you landed at my doorstep by mistake. Please come in”, replied Sandhya, a little confused.
“I don’t know whether its right time, but I got you a gift”, said Bhagya with clouds of doubt shrouding her mind space, keeping topic of Vishwas’s demise, purposefully aside.
“Gift? For me?”
“Out of my own selfish motive. Your terrace garden gave my day an invigorating start. It was pleasing to see you working on the terrace amidst the greenery which I am missing these days”, appealed Bhagya earnestly, extending the neatly wrapped gift towards Sandhya.
For a moment Sandhya hesitated. The genuine prayer in Bhagya’s eyes convinced her to accept it.
“Would you mind opening it, now?” checked Bhagya.
“As you wish”, replied Sandhya. “You are so thoughtful” she said choking on emotions. It was a gardening tool kit complete with gloves.
“Friends?”, proposed Bhagya.
“Friends!”, nodded Sandhya. “Terrace Friends!”, she added as a broad smile flashed on her face.
Picture courtesy Pixabay
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