Quandaries in Heaven
Sundar and Meena.
The door plate of their Cochin flat read.
Meena tore off the previous strip from the wall calendar.
It read 14th April, 2030.
Sundar was about to enjoy his retired life this year.
Meena's hair had shades of grey, interspersed in black, with a combination that echoed of the life's wheel philosophy of thick and thin.
On the wall, there hung a portrait of Sundar's mother, who died with her unfulfilled desire of cuddling a grandchild who would bequeath her lineage and ancestral blood. But, towards the evening of her life, she had started slowly coming into terms with their ideals.
"Meena! Did you see my cupboard keys? Where do you keep these ? Oh God...Am fed up..."
"Wait. I'm coming..."
Meena was busy making final touches to the kolam on the portico of the flat, which disguised as a courtyard on auspicious occasions. She perfectly sharpened the edges of the symmetrical patterns with the expertise of a skilled artist. Her yellow silk saree with maroon zari border blended with the colour of the laburnums that emitted their bright yellow shades from the balcony, marking the onset of Vishu, the season of happiness and prosperity.
Meena went inside. As she passed through the verandah, a looking glass that was adorned with a golden necklace mirrored her reflection. In front of it, was a golden basin, neatly assorted with different kinds of fruits, vegetables, pulses filled in coconut shells, flowers, currency notes and coins, all emitting a sense of freshness.
Meena searched in her drawer,pulled out the keys, and told Sundar.
"See...Here it is..."
Sundar walked towards Meena to get the keys. But now, his footsteps had slowed down and his physique was no more the sturdy one as it used to be. He wore a pure white kurtha, and looked very serene and calm, as always, comfortable with his usual self. His spectacles gave him a more intellectual look.
As Meena stretched out her hands to give him the keys, Sundar looked at her face.
It was shining bright in spite of the imperfections on the skin. The kumkum on her forehead and the jasmine strings on her hair made her look like a goddess, at least for his eyes. Sundar smiled and she smiled back understandingly.
"When are we starting?"
(To be continued...)