Pushpa in her early thirties looked much younger for her age may be her petite figure feeding such an impression in others. She had recently resigned her job when she was transferred to a distant city. Her husband Prasad suggested that she have a break for six months and relax. Her pet hobby with canvass and brushes was dormant for want of time. Now she could indulge herself driving in her car to scenic places where nature cast its charm for those who are tuned in to it. Prasad, a nice guy, was always busy as a faculty in a business school and a consultant to boot. They had a nice house and all the comforts that money could buy. But god had not blessed them yet with a child despite eight years of married life.
One afternoon she went to the backyard to dry the clothes on the clothesline. As she was putting the clips, she had a strange feeling that someone was staring at her from behind. She quickly turned to see a pair of eyes below a head with curly hair transfixed on her hidden by the fence from across the adjacent house. The moment she saw him, he rushed inside the house. In that fraction of a second she could see a very handsome face. .She wondered how long she was an object of his gaze but the thought left her inwardly with unexplainable glee. She rushed inside and opened the bath room window slightly to see whether he was coming out again. But he did not.
Inexplicably she went every now and then to see whether the clothes have become dry with her eyes turned towards the adjacent house obviously overcome by a desire to catch a glimpse again. It was on the third time he came out and stood on the steps looking at her continuously.Pushpa lowered her eyes unable to face the stare but felt the flutter of butterflies in her stomach. She raised her head to see a faint trace of smile from him. She came running inside with half the clothes. She went again and found him nearer the fence as if waiting for her.Pushpa had never seen a better chiseled face with such charm. As she collected the clothes she felt she heard him cough gently to draw her attention. When she turned, he was smiling at her with his eyes twinkling in unsion.She could hardly repress her smile in return. But he abruptly rushed back making her wonder why. In the night she could hardly erase the bewitching face from her mind and was turning in her bed for long before she was overcome by sleep.
The next day she put the clothes in washing machine by 8 30am itself and after hubby left for office went to back yard for drying them. She was in no hurry today. She lingered longer but the hide and seek game continued adding to the thrill.. It was only in the afternoon when she went to collect the dried clothes, she found him standing across the fence as if waiting for her. When he saw her, he lifted his hands for the first time and waved at her. She could not resist her desire to go near and hold his hands. She was so caught up in his spell that she was willing to do whatever he bade her. But she controlled herself and just giggled at him as he continued to wave and beckon her towards him. But he never uttered word.. It was a conversation in silence with eyes and smiles
She had found a spring in her life looking forward to the dawn of each day. Prasad even asked her”Pushpa what is happening? I see you are up early morning daily and rushing through the work as if you have an office. I told you to relax and take things easy. I find the canvas on the easel empty. Are you into watching serials in TV?”
“It is nothing. I am not getting the mood to paint nor even to read novels that I have brought from library”
The next day as she went to the backyard, he was seen standing and beckoning her towards him. She left the bucket on the floor and went near. He suddenly held her hands firmly sending tingling sensation all over her body. She wanted to hug him and smother him with kisses when he asked abruptly ”is there anyone else in your house?”
When she said none besides husband who goes to office, he said “Can I come one day” and laughed.
It was then she heard the buzzer and freed herself and ran inside .It was the courier with a packet. When she came back, he was not there. He never came that day again making her wonder why. She had once seen Susila, the lady of that house, a Keralite slightly younger than her but plain in looks and fat. They had come recently here within a month but had not interacted with her except once
It was Sunday morning. She was having tea with her husband when the bell rang. When she opened the door, she found Susila the next door lady standing with a five year old kid in tow.”I am to go to hospital urgently and cannot take the boy as they do not allow children. Can he be with you till I return within one hour?” she asked
The boy ran to Pushpa without the slightest hesitation and even as she lifted the hugging boy, he said “Did I not say that I will come one day?”