“Life is too short to wake up in the morning
So, love the people who treat you right
And forget about the ones who don’t.
That everything happens for a reason…
If you get a chance- take it;
If it changes your life- let it.
Nobody said that it would be easy…
They just promised
It would be worth it.”
It was early morning, everything was on silent mode. I raised my tired eyes. Sunrays were streaming through the window pane making a rainbow collage on my ceiling. Hearing a cacophony I tiptoed to the window just to find the Satvayas (a type of grey-coloured medium-sized bird) fighting over their share of the dead ants that Sabana Apu burnt the previous day from the Jamrul Tree. Their cacophony poured bliss on my exhausted soul. I kept watching them from my window till they finish their last scrap of food. For the first time, I felt the morning was more beautiful to cherish in my heart than anything else and for the first time I felt pity for myself, a stubborn need to love myself, a burning fire to regenerate the phoenix from its ashes.
I stood still before my window facing the garden. This year the garden flourished in a new look wearing a vibrant frill all over it. I found Mamoni and Sabana aunty carrying something.
“What is it?” I shouted through the grill.
“Come and see.”
I hurriedly changed and rushed to the garden.
“Wow!” It was a great collection of cacti and seasonal flowers.
“Mamoni what will you do with these? Season flowers need a great deal of attention and care. Do you know?”
“When your father was alive the garden was a beautiful treat. Do you remember Aatri?”
“Yeah, Mamoni.” I felt both sad and happy at the same time. It seemed as if after an aeon’s age I freed myself from a dungeon and met my loved ones in my ruminations. Even my tears seemed too sweet to taste, even my pains for me felt so engrossing to feel. My loss, and my defeat all projected before me to solemnize their reparation. In my deep agony and bafflement, I found a healing touch, so tentative yet so alluring. My eyes were hovering over everything stripping off that shroud of black magic.
“Cannot you help me to do it again Aatri, to turn this garden into a beautiful heaven? There is Sabana to help and Mohon promises to send soil. His father has started a new building so there is enough soil.”
“Aatri beta there is another surprise your Mamoni has not told you.”
“What is it, aunty?”
“We are taking a lease of the adjoining place of the garden from Amalesh Chatterjee.”
“What, that snobbish spoiled-headed pot-bellied politician with his disgusted harangued?”
“Don’t speak in such a manner Aatri,” Mamoni scolded, but Sabana aunty busted into laughter.
“So what’s the plan?” I asked inquisitively.
“We planned to take 2 years lease. There we will grow various types of cacti and vegetables for selling. Do you know cactus has great demand today, in the market?”
They were telling their project, their plans. I felt so mean and embarrassed. What was I doing till now, just some bombastic ideas, nothing practical, nothing that works? And now these people were planning some miracle that could provide the poor villagers with some way out to fight their condition. I felt ashamed of myself. My braggadocio, my fantasized ideas of representing my village, grinned sarcastically at me.
“What a self-centred vain person I’m; even I take no care for Shanti. What a freak fake I’m!” I felt my wet lashes on my pale dark under-eye.
“It sounds wonderful. I am in your group.”
“You are the group leader?” Mohon declared as he entered with some labourers with sacks of soil to spread properly over the allotted area.
“What? Oh, no Mohon I am good for nothing. I am a foolish trash.” I did not know what but something choked my voice and I gulped hard to swallow my emotion.