That evening, I wished to be with my other friends of childhood in my small garden where I could break into paroxysm of laughter and frolic again.
My coterie of friends since childhood included kids, trees, and flowers of my little garden. I rarely was able to blend well with children of my age but was in love with toddlers of my neighbourhood. The naive pantomime of their eyes always compelled you to believe in their strange stories. My evenings were spent in collecting paraphernalia with those toddlers while the mango tree overhanging my garden rustled pleasantly. All through the evenings they played with their frangible toys of plants and flowers nonchalantly. Once, one of them while walking with me to home asked with curious eyes, “Didi, will you forget us if you moved to another place?” My heart tore asunder at his innocent question and with it came a realisation that things will change.
I can recall another friend from my childhood named Bunny. At least, I called him that because I was not aware of his name till long time. My heart still aches at the thought of his long forgotten memories. It was a night star whose brilliance eclipsed the brightness of other celestial bodies. Its tranquil white façade and pristine halo pacified my mind and soul. I clearly remember him waiting for me every evening while I came back from my errand to the garden. I spoke with him for hours in a language devoid of words. His versus emanated inaudibly from his balmy light and I told him wordlessly the minutiae of my routine untiringly till my mother called me for dinner.
As I entered my home, my mother stared angrily at me for being late. She complained about my negligence in studies and spending too much time with children. I dodged her volley of words and hastily moved to my room. When I sat on the dinner table, my mother whined affectionately about my meagre diet which was leading to my ill-health. Then, she served hot vegetable curry forcibly on my plate compelling me to eat more. I half-ate my dinner and fled to my room being exhausted by her considerate frenzy. As I opened the window, a light breeze played on the boughs of mango trees and scattered stray leaves. I registered smallest of details of evening in my mind that I would tell him the next day and fell asleep.
Days passed along with kaleidoscope of memories and I had to leave that city as that kid had foreseen. Although, I changed numerous cities while pursuit of happiness took various shapes but my friend never left me. Someone told me that his name was Venus. He was devotedly present on every evening to enquire about my well-being. I made lot of mortal friends while growing up but I can’t recall anyone of them assuaging my pain like my celestial friend did. He was like my daily journal where I scribbled my thoughts each day. One evening in the deep stillness birds fluttered their wings. I looked for my friend in the sky and he stood there in his usual tranquil self. That evening, I wished to be with my other friends of childhood in my small garden where I could break into paroxysm of laughter and frolic again.