There are small pleasures in life. And pardon oneself, if one wants to delve into them – it is not a sin.
One such passionate hobby was the spoil of an old lady – grandma rather – I met once on the train. I was going to Rourkela from Ranchi to catch another train for Chennai. I don’t know if it were the sweltering heat of the summer that afternoon, or the non-functional ‘sarkari’ fan in the compartment that wrought perspired beads on our visages; but one thing was given – the dreadful scenery on offer outside the metal windows, as the train trundled along, was no respite either, and evoked a sense of despair, loneliness and misgivings about our future of the environment.
But there was this grandma sitting by the aisle seat – a contented countenance full of satisfaction – that attracted our attention. People looked on quizzically, as the lady continued to swivel her arms, like a clockwork, at an angle to the metal bars of the window, and glittering shiny, small things sprayed out, out into the vastness of the barren land. The sun shone brightly in bursts outside, as the ‘things’ took their trajectory to hit the ground. But no it was not gold. The sartorial sensibilities of the grandma gave out her poor background; well, she could have been the princess and sprayed gold fillings for some weird pleasure, but until the prince charming finds her, she would have to be content with spraying whatever it was, but certainly not gold, without much ado.
However, the satisfaction of her physiognomy lurked behind the wrinkles of age, conspicuous to any keen eyes. I went nearer and asked her, “Maa, what is this that you spread with childish joy, that gives you so much pleasure, and that too in this arid inhumane land?”
She replied – “These are the seeds of MariGold. On each of my journey, I spread tens of thousands of them. Someday hundreds of these will flower, and provide shed, respite, and beauty to soak in for my Children like you.”