An Anonymous Gift

Herne Bay – Sept 2010 – The Sad Cafe – Portrait of an Old Lady Waiting on a Friend

The elderly woman at the end of my street. She is alone and I see her gazing outside the window each time the mailman walks by. I learn from the neighbours that her husband left her one day for another woman never to return. Then it was her son, who went away. Her only daughter married. Of course is her only life line. Yet the eyes seem to seek for something more.

I would like to send her a Sari, made of silk, with gold brocade. Why a sari since it is a gift that can come either from a son or a husband.

She would receive the parcel from the mailman with no senders address on it. With a frown she would open the wrapper, gaze at the sari and smile.

“Beta thanks for the gift” she would tell her daughter.

“Maa, glad you received a gift, but I did not send it.”

Little surprised she would look at the sari again, maybe feel it. And a wistful thought that her husband sent her a “I’m sorry gift.” She would smile a shy smile hold the sari against her and look at herself in the mirror. She was no more the young woman he left behind. She would shake her head and smile at herself.

On second thoughts she would pick up the sari again, this time the mirror would see a mother proud that her son could send her a silk sari.

It would mean giving a soul hope, but if it is futile I am right in kindling the hope? May be I would be opening wounds that have healed.

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