Please note that this story is purely a work of fiction and all names, characters, places, events and locales are either a product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictous manner. Any resemblance to any event and/or person living and/or dead is purely coincidental. We do not intend on offending any race, religion or community.
“These roses have withered now. Sad to see that no one cared to water them while I was away. Ms. Manya said she loves them. Then why did she let them wither away? Their beautiful red colour always gave me hope that better things are coming.”
Ragini was standing close to the flower bed looking painfully at the withered roses.
“Ragini!” yelled Ved coming towards her,” what are you doing out here in these cold winds? You have just recovered from a terrible flu.”
“They are dead,” said Ragini pointing in the direction of the withered roses,” I loved their vibrant colours.”
“You know,” said Ved turning to look at the roses,” when I was a little kid, my mother told me this story about Snow white whose mother wished for her unborn baby to have skin as white as the snow, hair as dark as the night and lips as red as blood. Not that I am a racist, but I loved her way of thinking and dreaming about her baby.”
“She,” said Ragini,” I mean Snow White’s mother was sewing when she pricked her finger and a drop of her blood fell out on the white snow through the open window.”
“So you see,” said Ved looking at the roses,” how pain beautifies our thoughts.”
“Not in my case,” she said.
“Why not,” he said,” maybe you are just ignoring all your beautiful thoughts.”
Ragini closed her eyes and all she could see was hills covered in soft white snow. That same snow on which a few years ago she would lay down and create snow angels.
“The snow angels,” she thought,”all I had to do was lay down and move my hands and feet over the snow. And the snow took the form of a beautiful angel. Maybe this time too all I need to do is keep going and all my dreams and wishes will take their own form.”
“You are right,” she said,” I was so lost in my disturbing thoughts that I wasnt paying attention to any other thoughts.”
“The wind cannot return to the place from where its left,” said Ved rubbing his palms together,” And we cannot be the same people we were years or even minutes ago. Stop trying to be that helpless victim you were when your parents left you. We choose to be victims. Nothing is ever forced upon us. If you choose, you can demand your pay from Ms. Manya. You are not asking her for any favour. Stop trying to keep adjusting to new changes and dimming your glow.”
“No,” she said,” Ms. Manya wont ever agree. Its against her rules. If she pays me, I wont be allowed to attend my classes.”
“She needs you as much as you need her,” said Ved,” who else will tolerate her annoying behaviour. The new caretaker couldnt stand her for even a week. Dont let others take you for granted.”
“Daisy called me the other day,” said Ragini,” And she told me that she and Sahil are expecting their first baby. I hope you know about this. Its such a beautiful news to share.”
“It surely is!” said Ved,” A happy time for them.”
” I would love to take care of Daisy as she embraces her motherhood,” said Ragini,” I shall be paying her a visit very soon.”
“But you have just recovered and…………”
“I know,” said Ragini interrupting him,” Even I dont want her to catch any infection through me. But dont worry, the flu has gone now and……………”
“I was talking about your health,” said Ved,” You must take proper rest.”
“She needs me Ved, she does. She is not on talking terms with her parents and Sahil is an orphan. So she has no in-laws as well. I cant leave her alone like this.”
“You are right,” said Ved,” but how will you manage? Will Ms. Manya allow you to visit her so frequently?”
“She will,” said Ragini lowering her voice to a faint whisper,” I will find a way.”
“Ragini,” said Ved,” Is it so important for you to work for this mean woman? I mean I can help you find work elsewhere.”
“Thats so nice of you,” she said with a soft smile on her tired face,”But this house needs me.”
“What do you mean?” asked Ved surprised by her response.
“Ms. Manya has so many secrets,”Ragini said to herself,” If I leave without returning Mrs. Narayani’s paintings to her and without contacting the real owners of this house, I shall live in guilt forever.”
“I mean,” said Ragini,” Its all good. There is nothing to worry about.”
“But the way she treats you………”
“Its okay,” said Ragini,” Its just that she is so hurt that she always ends up hurting others.”
“Are you trying to hide something?” asked Ved with concern in his voice.
“No,” said Ragini,” There is nothing like that.”
“I hope,” he said,” that you are not getting yourself into any sort of trouble. If anything goes wrong, I am always there for you. Remember that.”