“Good morning. How are you?”, I inquired as I entered the house.
She sat on sofa, nonchalant, silhouetted by the morning Sun. I registered a lost note on her wrinkled face bracketed by curly lock, as I neared her.
She now was looking at me with sign of familiarity missing from her gaze. Knitting her eyebrows she asked, “Aren’t you Sharmila?”
I was nonplussed.
“Late again”, she said with contempt, probably to one Sahramila and not me.
I struggled for the answer while taking out massage equipment from my bag for I was there for a Physiotherapy session.
“We will be late”, she chided.
“For?”, I checked while settling at her feet.
“Silly girl. You had promised to accompany me to Moti lake”
Pain flickered on her beaming face as I started massaging her rheumatic foot. It was replaced by the disbelief as I didn’t respond.
“Its near our school. Wont we go chasing butterflies, playing hide and seek there? You are getting forgetful, Sharmila”, she paused with a complaint.
Hands still at work, I felt a knot in my heart.
“That old Peepal tree, its rusty black-brown, moss clad trunk smells of the ethereal perfume. Ahead hides Moti Lake, peeping from behind thicket, winking at us as the ripples on it play tag with slanting morning rays”.
And suddenly she stopped. For she was dwelling, at that very moment, in her distant childhood with her friend and had lost the path back to present, courtesy Alzheimer’s.