By Anindita Baidya
Anand, Gujarat, India
Anand, Gujarat, India
Dear Ann, these flowers are for you. Every day, in the past two years, I have placed two extra roses in the bunch that you have bought from me. Those two flowers were, everyday, meant for you.
In the past two years, you have, every day, visited my little shop to buy those fully bloomed crimson roses. You preferred full blooms, you had said and after that, I have tended to my rose garden with utmost care and have delicately arranged the flowers every morning. Like the refreshing morning dew, you arrived every day. Like a breeze, you always opened the glass door of my shop and swirled yourself and walked right up to the roses.
Without fail, everyday, my heart was set on a spin when you entered the shop.
A late riser once, I had started waking up early and grooming myself well, without knowing if you even noticed me.
As days passed, the morning hour turned out to be the only meaningful time of the entire day. Before you arrived, my heart yearned for one sight of yours and after you left, the time came to a halt and the world revolved very slowly, around your thoughts until a new dawn arrived.
Dad knew, before I realised, that I was in love. Mum was always a hardcore rational. She said I could not possibly love someone just by looking at her and not knowing a thing about her. She said I was infatuated. Dad said I was in love. For my own comfort, I chose to agree with my dad.
Days went on and with the grace from the Heaven above, the moment arrived every day. I did not even know where those flowers went. They adorned your house, possibly. I did not want to know. Sometimes a remote fear would paralise my heart; what if all those roses went to someone you loved? What if, your roses, and my unnoticed and unpaid- for roses were generously and lovingly being handed over to someone you loved? The thought was so cruel that I would soon brush it away. Ignorance is bliss!
And one day I gathered enough courage to secretly follow you and find out what happened to the roses.
Indeed, those went to someone you loved!
Every morning, before visiting the little chapel, you would stop at your mum’s tomb and place the bunch of flowers on it, with utmost gratitude. You would then kiss the cold stone structure and say a little prayer before proceeding towards the chapel.
So, that is where my roses went to, everyday! Oblivion to it, you, on my behalf continued dedicating my flowers to your mum. And I continued receiving her blessings, that is what my faith tells me!
And that is why she showed me the way. I saw, written on her epitaph, were these lines:
“Forget not, what you dream,
Fear not your thoughts;
Have faith, have hope, have trust..
Through your life’s eves and odds.”
So began my journey, anew. My mum said if ever I wanted to be your life mate, I will have to prove myself to be an ‘able’ partner. My dad said, “In the journey, never lose the dream. Let love be your guiding star”.
So, armed with mum’s discipline and dad’s passion, I concentrated in organising the bits of my little life. The ritual of hiding my two roses, however, never stopped.
You would not even have noticed me or my shy and silent thoughts if Dad had not started his ritual of humming “…..every morning you greet me…” whenever you arrived. Despite Mum’s continuous warning, Dad continued; despite my tearing embarrassment, Dad went on.
And you knew it. You were not as shy a person as I was but you did not ever talk about it. You came, you went and in between, you bought the bunch of crimson gratitude in which I hid my crimson dreams.
Today, my mum says I am an ‘able’ person and ready to tell you what I have always wanted to. I deserve it, she says. I have passed her test, she says. I am a grown up, she says. But I know, deep within, I am the same shy person whose heart goes for a spin at your sight.
Dressed in my dad’s best suit, I am ready to knock at your door. With the crimson blooms in my hands, with an untold tale in my lips and a hope, a fear, a shiver, in my cruelly beating heart, I am here standing at the threshold of my dreams.
I may not be able to utter one word when you look at me. I may fail to tell you what I want to. Here I am, unaware of your feelings; I do not know what your answer would be, neither do I have a clue to what you think about me..
I leave it to my eyes. If my words fail, my eyes will tell you. If my eyes fail, you heart will tell you. Your heart will tell the tale of two roses for you.
For, I know, the heart knows it all……..