She walked on the pavement, two books in her hands. Once in a while, she looked at herself in the side glasses of the cars parked along the road. ‘I do not look like a weird person,’ she assured herself. She never spent a lot of time on dressing appropriately. Now, she was in the same clothes as she was wearing at her home. ‘Hair has grown a bit longer than I usually allow it to.’ And this observation in turn sent her down the memory lane, when once upon a time, in a bid to get a tad bit of control over her own body, she decided that keeping her hair short is what she likes. The chaos that ensued!
A young girl and a young boy walked ahead of her, hands locked in a firm grip. On the other side of the road, a woman with a pale yellow umbrella walked briskly despite a slight stoop. Her flat-heeled shoes had an exceptionally solid sole, and the sounds of her rhythmic footsteps was loud even on this side of the road. The woman is old. But seems to be headed to her destination with some determination.
It had rained a while ago, that was before she stepped out of her home with the two books. She had noticed that burden in the air, that always follows rain, which somehow lifted her spirits since time immemorial. Perhaps because she was born on a rain-drenched day in June. But today’s could not be compared with the rains she is used to seeing. Anyway, that explains the yellow umbrella in the hands of the woman. She is certainly a stickler about not getting wet, for holding the umbrella open even after the rains have stopped. What if the drops of rain hanging from the tips of leaves on the trees, or lodged between bunches of flowers, decide to jump out precisely when she was under them, right?!
‘Should I take a right turn here, or is it the next one?,’ wondered the woman with the yellow umbrella. Her shoes went, ‘clip clop’ with each of her sturdy steps. ‘A brown girl on the other side of the road, looks Indian. Must be a student at the University, with her books held close to her body. Such colourful shoes!’ She walked on, adjusting her umbrella when she felt it would disturb the raindrops embedded in the cherry blossoms. ‘The cherry blossoms need to keep the drops for a while, they need the freshness amidst the heat of recent days.’ She imagined, and smiled.
The young girl coughed ever so lightly. Her boyfriend quickly pulled out the bottle of water in his bag and handed it to her, caressing her blond hair. She watched the cute couple in front of her and smiled, shifting the books to her other hand. ‘New love,’ she hypothesised. ‘New love,’ she reminisced, when a drop of rain made its way from the leaf of a horse-chestnut tree and despite the yellow umbrella landed on her fair cheeks that blushed. She had momentarily deviated her umbrella to catch a glimpse of the activity on the other side of the road.
A twenty something feeling her way through life.